Serena Williams has a great chance to do something really amazing this week. If she wins the U.S. Open she’ll win the “Grand Slam” in tennis on the women’s side for this first time since I’ve been alive.
The Grand Slam would mean Serena won the U.S. Open, the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon all in the same year. Pretty cool, especially at age 33 in a sport that has teenagers regularly starring in it.
So why don’t I care?
Tennis has never made that much sense to me. I’m not talking about the game, the game makes sense. It’s basically volleyball on the ground with a lower net. That’s fine. No issue there.
I have a few issues with tennis. One being I had no idea a Grand Slam hadn’t been completed in decades. Anytime anyone wins one of those four major tournaments they call it a “Grand Slam Victory” when in reality it’s only one fourth of the Grand Slam. Do the higher ups of the ATP tour not understand baseball and where the term “Grand Slam” comes from? It requires four things, not one.
Also, I was shocked that Serena hasn’t done this, or anyone on the women’s side, hasn’t done this before. Tennis is a game that does its absolute best to avoid upsets. It’s just the nature of the beast. You have to be significantly better than your opponent to pull off an upset over several games and sets. There just aren’t enough variables in the game to allow for many upsets.
I think the main reason I can’t get into tennis is mainly for that very reason. Every single major tournament, at least on the men’s side, it’s the exact same people in the final four. On the men’s side you’ve got Roger Federer going up against Novak Djokovic for the 443rd time with Andy Murray in the mix somewhere as well. I really don’t see the drama is seeing the same people face off only to have them face off three more times during the year. Where’s the real suspense?
And then on the women’s side, outside of the Williams sisters, I can’t name a single other athlete. I just looked up the bracket for the U.S. Open and have literally never heard of anyone else that’s participating.
The lack of American stars besides of Serena probably doesn’t help tennis’s case either. I mean, who’s the last American tennis star you can remember? Andre Agassi? He was American, I think. And he retired almost 10 years ago now.
The constant grunting and screaming the athletes do every time they hit the ball is beyond annoying as well. It’s totally unnecessary. You screaming every time you hit the ball does not help you hit the ball any harder and it doesn’t help you place the ball any better. I don’t need to hear you sound like you’re giving birth every time you take a swing at a hollow, rubber ball.
I don’t mean to take anything away from Serena. If she indeed wins and completes the Grand Slam, that should be celebrated. It’s not her fault the game isn’t popular in the states or that nobody on the ladies side can compete with her. But don’t blame me when I see the news on the bottom crawl on television and not really bat an eye.
Reach Charles Grove at 937-544-2391 or firstname.lastname@example.org.