Monday, 11 June 2012

Tennis and tv?

It's a dreary Monday following what seems to me like a month of dreary days. Waging war on snails decimating my lupins makes me feel guilty, but if I want flowers, then it must be done. I tried carrying them (the snails) into the fields behind our cul-de-sac and setting them free there, but a neighbour tells me they are territorial, and will slime their way back to my garden. They're certainly here in great numbers. The trouble is when they're small, they're so very delicate and well, cute, and I have to remind myself that they grow into voracious monsters.

I can look forward to the rest of the men's single final at Roland Garros - if it isn't rained off. If it is postponed again, then they may as well scratch it, because Rafa and Novak will have other commitments and what kind of a match is it that goes on spasmodically over three days? On Sunday afternoon - starting at the idiotic time of 3pm despite the weather predictions - the balls must have been soggy and thick with red dust and, depending where they'd been on the court, at different weights due to the water they'd picked up. If three grams on a tennis rackets means weeks of relearning one's shots, then how do they cope with balls of various weights in one match? Plus which the light was dismal, and the footing insecure.

Novak must have the best trainer in the world. Half an hour in the locker room, and he comes out transformed, first serve perfect after two sets of banging it into the net. What on earth did the trainer say to make such a difference?

With such a lot riding on this final for both men, it was no wonder they were nervous and played tentatively, anxious not to make the slightest error - which of course, led to lack-lustre tennis and errors all over the place. Hardly conducive to making them feel good about themselves or their tennis. Add in the on-court conditions and is there any wonder tempers got heated? Novak wrecked two rackets and a bench seat, and Rafa vented his feelings verbally with the umpire.

The culprit in all this? I have to wonder if tv schedules and the ensuing payments and contracts make all the decisions these days. Arguments and temper tantrums on court make for good tv, so the tv people are happy while the RG people  (whoever runs the tournament) knuckle under and let the cameras roll regardless of the danger to players who may well injure themselves in such conditions. Money talks, as ever.

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