Letter: Wimbledon angst

This letter sent to the Star was written by Jeremy Biggin, Upperthorpe

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 6:35 am
Andy Murray of Great Britain serves during his men's singles third round match against Denis Shapovalov of Canada during Day Five of The Championships - Wimbledon 2021 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 02, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX***

For many years I’ve looked forward to Wimbledon and the BBC’s excellent coverage (yes, they are good at some things), both TV and radio.

Those days on radio when Christine Truman (Janes), amusingly volleyed verbally with Fred Perry. Dan Maskell on TV (black and white and colour), admiring a Virginia Wade cross-court forehand on Centre Court with an “OOOO, I say!”.

The greats, Little Mo, Gonzales, Osuna, Rosewall, Hoad, Olmedo, McKinley, Truman, Laver, Bueno, Evert, Smith (Margaret and Stan), Billy-Jean, Althea Gibson, Graff, Borg, Noah, Goolagong (Cawley), Jones, Virginia, McEnroe, Nastase, Becker, Leconte, Sampras, Agassi, Martina, The Williams’, Federer, Djokovic (brilliant but not a favourite), Murray, Nadal et al, great to watch.

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As a British supporter since around 1952 I, along with others, have suffered pain watching both the men’s and ladies’ singles.

With very few exceptions, our candidates for glory have flattered to deceive.

The “nearlys” who have had us on the edge of our seats hoping beyond hope that they would come back on serve from 0-40 or break a serve at 40-0 only for our hopes to be crushed.

Sangster, Truman, Knight, Cox, Wilson, Mottram, Taylor, Bates, Lloyd, Henman, Durie, Barker, Croft, Robson, and now Watson, and Konta have all caused angst.

Early days now for some of the men… Norrie, Draper and Evans… and the jury was still out on the new kid on the block Emma Raducanu… until last Saturday afternoon which changed all that with, in my memory, the best performance by a British woman at Wimbledon since Virginia Wade in 1977; furthermore, at the moment, she looks like a future Champ, assuming she remains level-headed.

Some of the tennis is astonishing and captivating, much of it played by unpronounceable names ending in “ova” or “vic”, all with unreturnable shots.

Also many of the players’ nations’ names tend to end in “ia”… Latvia, Serbia, Slovakia, Lithuania, Russia, Croatia… Australia (“you can’t be Kyrgios!”).

In the slightly altered words of the great soccer commentator, Kenneth Wolstenholme, “They think it’s all ova… it really is now!”

Angela Mortimer (Barrett) 1962, Anne Jones (1969), Virginia Wade (1977), Andy Murray (2013 and 2016), all British Wimbledon champions in my tennis watching years… Raducanu, Norrie?… Who will be next?...

New balls please!