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Jun. 23rd, 2009

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The absence of Nadal devalues this year's Wimbledon. There is one great question hanging over world tennis right now: who is the greatest player of all time: is it Federer or Nadal? A tournament in which these two giants fail to come together is less interesting than it should be.

I watched/slept through a lot of tennis yesterday. Much nationalistic fuss was being made over the British debutante Laura Somethingorother- who was defeated- easily- by one of the lesser Eastern Europeans. The commentators were saying how magnificent she'd been. No, she hadn't. Going out in the first round at Wimbledon isn't magnificent- even if you are only 15. Magnificent is what Serena Williams was doing an hour or two later. It would be great if Laura goes on to be an all-time tennis great, but she's nowhere near it yet. Give the girl a break. Let her have space to breathe.   

Nationalistic fuss is better justified (if nationalistic fuss is ever justified) in the case of Andy Murray. Murray is a convincing world number three. Sooner or later he may even win a Grand Slam.  But for the time being he's merely a challenger to greatness- and I do wish we'd pipe down about him. Do other nations get as aerated about the winning of sporting trophies as we British do? Are the Swiss as gung ho about the incontestably great Roger Federer as we are about nearly-nearly men like Henman and Murray?
 
Finally: There seemed to be an awful lot of falling over yesterday. Is the grass more slippery than usual?

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