Sunday, 5 July 2009

ANYONE FOR TENNIS?

Wimbledon is a superb spectacle. The setting is so wonderfully English with the intimate feeling that the show courts give, the strawberries, officials and those in the royal box dressed in their finery, the purple and green livery and the amazing views across the wonderful city of London. Even non-tennis fans can enjoy the atmosphere, especially on a sun-soaked day during a perfect English summer.

Now it is even better with the addition of a roof over the Centre court to allow play to continue on the all too frequent wet days and the lighting allows for late finishes which is good for the crowd and for players who do not relish having to restart a match the next day.

Most of the players regard it as the one to win - a special event. It seems to bring out the best in players and we are treated to superb matches. I am not alone in thinking that tennis players are tested for stamina to a much greater degree that most other sports players. Footballers for instance, play for only 90 minutes whereas a tennis match can last for 3 or 4 hours. In addition, players are constantly engaged during the play of a tennis match while footballers spend a lot of time strolling round the pitch waiting for the ball to come near. Cricketers too, spend a great deal of time waiting in the field or off the pitch for their moment to arrive.

So tennis is a great test of courage, skill, stamina and agility. The players are tremendous athletes and offer themselves as wonderful role models to youngsters. The Wimbledon officials provide competitions for young players in the form of the girls and boys events and also for those past their prime who may still compete in veterans events.

I would urge you though to look beyond these competitions to the wheelchair tennis. Many people, you may be among them, have no idea that during the Wimbledon fortnight, wheelchair tennis is played to the full. Along with Para-Olympics, this is an amazing spectacle as the players not only have to wield their racquets skillfully to win their matches, but have to use their arms to propel themselves around the court. It is incredible to watch and leaves the observer speechless with admiration at the human qualities displayed by these talented and brave people. Indeed it makes you feel proud to belong.

5 comments:

  1. I don't watch much tv anymore not even golf. It is amazing what people can do Thanks Tony

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  2. I am always in awe of those with disabilities who push their capabilities to the limits - they are oftentimes more motivated than those without disabilities!

    I'll bet wheelchair tennis would be amazing to watch. In fact, it would likely make me feel like a clumsy clod. :)

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  3. I have never seen wheelchair tennis but I know I would be in awe and have great respect for them. I can't even hit the ball across the net in Wii tennis!

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  4. I'd love to see a wheelchair tennis match. Do they show them on television? I've never even heard of them but I greatly respect any handicapped person for playing in kind of sport. I feel very small in comparison.

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