Saturday, 25 June 2011

Oh shut up, Annabel! SHUT UP!

This is another departure from the usual travelblogues I dish out but I'd just like a brief word about commentators on women's tennis being the most patronising people on Earth. The first week of Wimbledon is reaching a close and I've enjoyed it immensely, bar the talking. I cannot imagine any other sport where the losers are treated so ridiculously by the people paid to talk about them. Match after match I have enjoyed despite the "experts" gushing over "amazing" and "terrific" winners whilst at the same time being quite so condescending to the defeated.

I really enjoyed the Sharapova v Robson encounter yesterday afternoon and was particularly impressed with the latter's forehands down the line which are as good as any I've seen at the tournament this year. That she should come off the court having been ahead 4-1 in the first set and then 4-2 in the tiebreak before eventually succumbing to a player seeded miles above her in the second set (although the passing shots continued) showed a growing maturity in a developing player who I genuinely believe is only a couple of years away from really doing something special and I come back again to that forehand: It's already a mighty weapon.

Laura Robson. This woman does not want your pity. She's just a bloody good tennis player.

Ha ha I said "Mighty weapon".

Sorry - Anyway to then hear the commentators call her performance "plucky" nearly made me kick the telly. They made out that she was lucky to be there, had given it her best shot, no-one really expected her to win and that she was just a pretty little English girl doing her best for Queen & Country. I'm currently watching a six stone Russian getting destroyed by Serena Williams. The commentators are only a nuance away from saying "Awwww... bless". The woman has qualified for Wimbledon. She is a professional tennis player. She's not fulfilling some finishing-school diploma requirement and I don't know her history but I imagine she has won a lot of matches to reach this point in her career. I'm sure she went into the game believing she could beat her opponent and did not consider herself there to make up the numbers.

Garry Richardson. This man fawns over female tennis players like they are his favourite little daughters on sports day. He is not alone. The rest of them are as bad. He's just the most punchable

Were the English football team given this kind of treatment when they were thrashed 4-1 by Germany in the 2010 World Cup? No they weren't. They were vilified for being useless, overpaid, clueless wastrels who weren't fit to wear the shirt and should be ashamed to be English. Were our 4x100 men's relay team forgiven when they dropped the baton in the Olympic Games? NO. They were destroyed by the commentary team for not practicing changeovers, not training hard enough and getting the rudiments of the event wrong. Were our cricketers "let off" The Ashes whitewash of 2006/7? NO! They were berated for laying down, rolling over and getting rear-ended by an Aussie team filled with passion, aggression and revenge on their minds. Steve Harmison's first ball of that series had the likes of Geoffrey Boycott calling for nothing less than the man's head on a platter.

To remind you of what I do for a living, when comedians die on stage they get booed off and they're not then  interviewed on the way out by some gushing, patronising former public schoolboy: The promoter throws their money at them with contempt, they suffer the Schadenfreude of the rest of the dressing room and they're unlikely to be ever booked back there again. Let's have a bit of reality in SW1, please.

Oh and Andy Murray had another great match last night as well and the British Number One will remain the nation's favourite until he loses, when he will revert back to being a moody little jumped-up Scot who hates the English and can't grow sideburns.

Andy Murray. Will this week's British hero become next week's  spider-cheeked Braveheart?


  1. Another great blog, and I am in complete agreement.

    You said "mighty weapon", hehe :-)

  2. Proper comments, it appears that over the recent years a second place finish finds no respect. Although I was on the tennis team in high school, I haven't followed the sport since the McEnroe/Borg matches, so I don't know if the coverage here is similar.

    However, I am enjoying the woman's FIFA matches and look forward to using my second computer screen at work to watch this afternoon's match-up between England and Japan. I'm hoping to eventually see an England/U.S. contest, with a 1-0 outcome (no shoot-out, that rule stinks).

  3. It'sa shame our women played exactly like the men in the quarter final against France...


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