So the “little king” got his ring. LeBron and company found a way and got their NBA championship over the Oklahoma City Thunder/Seattle Supersonics. Ok, that’s enough of that.
It’s time for Wimbledon, you know that time every summer when the Brits get together, mow their favorite tennis court and serve a bunch of strawberries with really rich milk. Oh, and tennis players from all over the world come together to compete for a really nice serving tray.
Wimbledon began in 1877 and Britain’s Spencer Gore beat William Marshall – also from Britain – 6-1, 6-2 and 6-4. There wasn’t a non-brit holding the serving tray until 1907 when Norman Brookes – an Aussie – beat Britain’s’ Arthur Gore but Gore came back and won the next two. It wasn’t until 1920 that the USA had any thing good to say about Wimbledon when Bill Tilden won back-to-back championships.
There were two interruptions in the tourney to fight the two World Wars – from 1915 to 1918 and 1940 to 1945. If you want a few more numbers, Britain has won 35, USA 33, Australia 21 but no other country has two digit wins. Egypt won a title in 1954, there only one. But that’s just the men’s side of things.
The ladies got started in 1884 with surprise, surprise – a brit winning. Maud Watson. Oh, and she beat another Brit – Lillian Watson. I don’t know if they were related. The first non-Brit to win was an American – May Sutton Bundy. Peg and Al were elated….
Overall, the US has 54 titles while the UK has 36. No other country has double-digit championships. But Spain, Switzerland and Russia all have one each.
What is your favorite Wimbledon moment or era? As a teen in the 70s Chris Evert and Tracy Austin were great tennis players and hot looking women. So I took note. There were cool names to say like Evonne Goolagong, Hana Mandlikova and later Gabriela Sabatini, Arantxa Sanchez-Viario and the Russian invasion with Anna Kournikova and ther rest. They all fought with Martina Navratilova for titles. And there was Steffi Graf, Mary Pierce, Monica Seles and Jennifer Capriati.
They all had talent and personality, well, except for Martina. She was just a robot of tennis talent. And they were fun to watch.
But the men’s side of things was very entertaining. John McEnroe, Bjorn Borg, Arthur Ashe, Stan Smith, Illie Nastase, Guillermo Vilas of the 70s gave way to the likes of Boris Becker and Andre Agassi. They were loud, brash and had personality.
Can you name any professional tennis players today? There’s a slew of them out there but to me, they are all vanilla. There’s no flavor, no personality and thus….no reason to watch. I’ll take a Connors v McEnroe over any matchup you can put together today. Oh, and I do mean today’s aged Connors and McEnroe. Heck, I’d even take an Andre Agassi v Goran Ivanisevic match just to hear the announcers…
Tennis. They’ve sure got the looks for today’s game but not the heart and personality that it once did when people actually knew when and where on TV to find Wimbledon or any other big match.
What’s your favorite Wimbledon moment? Wimbledon player? Do today’s players hold a match to the 70/80s era?
This article brought to you by the good folks at Urbane Apartments Royal Oak Michigan, Urbane Apartments Ferndale Michigan,Urbane Apartments Birmingham Michigan, and Urbane Apartments Dearborn Michigan