Concrete Elbow by Steve Tignor - Savoring the Season
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Savoring the Season 06/11/2010 - 3:38 PM

Rn “They were so simple, those little English tournaments, so utterly artless. Homemade, if you like. Red clay courts, damp and heavy, clubhouses of old brick, and inside all the woodwork nearly worn out. Floors, tables, bashed-up little bars. In the change-rooms, wooden lockers, wet floors, and nice old smells, musty as the devil. They were funny things, those tournaments, but they were open-hearted, and they allowed ordinary people to play them.

Our first tournament was at Sutton, Surrey—cold, damp, old and English. Veal and ham pie, lettuce and watercress, fragile cucumber sandwiches. Also, Teddy Tinling. A tall man in tennis clothes, who seemed at first glance to be all legs and piercing eyes, approached me and said, “My dear chap, those shorts you’re wearing are appalling! Simply appalling. You have no knees,” he sniffed. “Come along with me. We shall have to rig you out.”—Gordon Forbes, writing about his first trip to play the English spring tournaments in 1954 in A Handful of Summers.


“I think any surface change has something nice about it, but grass obviously is the most special one because you are only one month on it, so every day you have the chance to play in this surface is a special day. I feel it is something you want to savor as long as you are on the surface.”—Roger Federer, after his match Thursday in Halle.


Queens is the tournament that reminds me the most of tennis’ old amateur circuit, or at least the old amateur circuit as I like to imagine it. This 250-level event comes just a few hours after a Grand Slam has ended, after two weeks of gladiatorial theatrics in bloody arenas at Roland Garros, where matches are won by sweating and sliding. By comparison, Queens is modest, human-size—homemade, as Forbes might say. It’s also, like those English tournaments of the 1950s, played not in an arena but in front of an old brick clubhouse that, inside, really does have woodwork that seems deliberately worn out. The last thing Queens, which houses a court-tennis court deep inside it, wants to feel is shiny or corporate. The scale is small enough that, like its sister tune-up tournament in Eastbourne, you can see the houses of the surrounding neighborhood from the cheap seats.

After Paris, everything moves a little more quickly and crisply at Queen’s. The players walk among the fans as they travel the short distance from clubhouse to court. The ball skips through the grass—it still does, no matter what people, or Pat Cash, say about how slow the surface is these days. The points get shorter, as do the players’ strokes. The no-nonsense atmosphere must be contagious because they even, including Rafael Nadal, get up to the line a little more quickly to serve. Sandwiched between the high-stakes history-making intensity of the French Open and Wimbledon, Queens feels sort of like a very (very) good club championship. Where else will you see Nadal let out a laugh in the middle of a close third set?

Of course, it’s not exactly like the old days. In Forbes’ day that many of the English events were played on red clay. Even more confusing, they were called “hard courts," to distinguish them from “soft” grass courts. The first open tournament, in 1968, was the British Hard Court Open, played on clay in Bournemouth, England. Now it’s all about grass in Great Britain, which is as it should be. As Federer says, it’s a season to savor, a brief flowering, the way I imagine summer is over there. Grass tennis, because we see it so infrequently, looks like a lark. The players, who have no time to prepare for it, wing it out there. They slip and fall, but it doesn’t matter too much. It’s grass: Boris Becker used to dive on the stuff.

Because of this lack of preparation, I’ve always been surprised that form typically holds at Queens. John McEnroe won it many times, and more recently Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt, Rafael Nadal, and Andy Murray have hoisted the tournament’s absurdly large trophy. So I guess it’s somewhat of a shock that this year everything fell apart. The matches so far have shown again that grass-court tennis, more than clay-court tennis, can come down to just a couple of points. Murray had to sneak out a first-set tiebreaker in the first round against the net-rushing Ivan Navarro. It was a match that, for a second, could have gone either way, but after one excellent passing shot from Murray it veered sharply in his direction. Today he was on the opposite side of that phenomenon. Murray let his game get away from him for just a minute or two in the third-set tiebreaker against Mardy Fish, but they were the wrong minute or two. 

Ditto Nadal this week. He appeared to have carried his momentum across the English Channel, the way he did in 2008, right up until he handed a break back in the second set to Denis Istomin with a couple of oddly timed and, for him, almost nonchalant drop shots. All of that clay-season momentum, built over 24 straight victories, vanished just like that. Nadal barely survived Istomin, after stoning an overhead on one match point, and then he took a rare loss to a fellow Spaniard, Feliciano Lopez. Late in the first-set tiebreaker of that match, he anticipated a backhand return, had a good look at it, but put it in the net. On set point, he had an open crosscourt pass, but he went up the line instead and missed in the net again. A match on grass, especially at Queens this year, remains as dodgy and unpredictable as the footing. (Note: For years I’d never seen Nadal miss an overhead, or even hit one for anything other than a winner. Now he's missed three in four matches: One at Roland Garros against Melzer, the one I mentioned above against Istomin, and another, into the net, against Lopez. If there’s any shot that you don’t want to start thinking about, it’s the overhead. Could it become a factor at an important moment at Wimbledon this year?)

Ms Besides crisp tennis and upset fever, the grass season, such as it is, has brought us a couple other bits of news. Yesterday, Murray was incensed when Mardy Fish unilaterally left the court because he thought it was too dark to play. This comes on the heels of the Kid’s Night debacle between Fognini and Monfils at the French. Is it time for tennis, in the spirit of Hawk-Eye, to stop leaving the judgment to the chair umpire—who, obviously, isn’t out there playing—and begin using cricket-style light meters? These, from what I’ve read, gauge the light and allow either team to call off the game when it gets down to a certain point (tell me if this isn’t how these meters work; I've never actually seen them, or a full cricket match/game/test, etc.).

Also worth noting, on the women’s side: Is Maria Sharapova currently playing with a Prince racquet? The company itself won’t confirm that she is, according to’s gear man, Bill Gray. Whatever that blacked-out racquet is, it’s working, and tomorrow she'll take it out against a 19-year-old American named Alison Riske, who has continued a nice run on the ITF circuit with an even nicer run past Yanina Wickmayer to the semis in Birmingham. (Here's Riske at Nottingham this year.)

Whether it’s the star players or new faces, like Federer says, the ephemeral grass season is to be savored. Compared to hard courts, it's simply more pleasing to the eye. Have you ever played on it? After being rained out on a trip to Queens Club a few years ago, I finally got my chance at the venerable and beautiful Orange Lawn Tennis Club in New Jersey. The paradox of the surface is apparent right in the name of that club, and in the name of the original game: lawn tennis. It wasn’t called field tennis, and it wasn’t played in a park like baseball. It was played in a private space; it was a game for people with land of their own. But when you run around on it, you can feel the least private space of all, the earth, under your feet—there’s nothing between you and the ground. There’s something immortal in it; you’ve entered a small square of nature. After a season of cement and clay, the sight of a grass court is calming, the same way the woods—the immortal metropolis—can be so calming when you leave the city. The grass season is short, but it’s timeless as well.


Posted by garlicnanchovies 06/11/2010 at 04:52 PM

will be interesting to see if any other players migrate to the new babolat "wonder strings"

i guess you could tell if masha was trying them in her mystery set-up

Posted by Pat frm Philippines 06/11/2010 at 05:04 PM

loved the grass...

thanks for the article steve...


hopes that the top men and women get their games going heading to wimbledon...

good luck to maria at birmingham, really eager to see venus, serena, justine, kimmy, maria and sam give us a wonderful fortnight at wimby...

best wishes to the boys too... though nole's playing so poorly these days... but im not counting him out!!!

and lastly... happy independence day philippines!!!

Posted by observer (Go Roger, Maria, France and the US) 06/11/2010 at 05:16 PM

I've played on grass just once and it was spectacular... think I'll go and do it again this summer. I always balk at having to pay money to play tennis, (what is this, golf?), but sometimes it's worth it for grass.

Posted by Red⁺ = Legacy Solidified 06/11/2010 at 05:17 PM

Favorite time of year for me.
Am savoring every second of it.

Posted by mightywind 06/11/2010 at 05:32 PM

I have always been curious about playing on grass. Since I was not a great baseball player or golfer, much less a football player or footballer, I've tried imagining a well-manicured lawn. Is it lumpy underfoot or smooth, flat and undisturbed. I like your description of it as simply "the earth".

Allison Riske is a great tennis name. Chances are she doesn't serve and volley, though...

Posted by Stewart 06/11/2010 at 06:32 PM

Semis - Li Na vs. Rezai, Sharapova vs. Riske (nice match from her to beat Wickmayer).
Predict Rezai and Sharapova in the final, which would make for a very interesting matchup.

I find it hard to predict how well Rezai will do on grass. Her brutally hard groundstrokes might be more difficult to execute when the ball doesn't sit up as well. Sharapova hits hard of course, but her shots, esp the forehand, are much loopier with a bit more margin. Will be a battle to see who controls the point first.

Course Li Na can't be counted out, quality, if erratic, player.

Too bad, was cheering for Kohlshreiber to take out Fed-man.
Nice to see Teimuraz Gabashvilli doing well after his nice FO run.

Posted by noleisthebest 06/11/2010 at 06:43 PM

There are some lovely grass courts in Christ's college, Cambridge....

Posted by roGER 06/11/2010 at 07:04 PM

Grass, really well kept grass, is great - imagine playing on a carpet, but one where the fibres are stalks of grass - that's the closest I can describe it to those of you who've never played on it. But the carpet has a lot of underlay - it's easy on the your knees, which is good because you spent most of the points bending your knees to pick up the ball that bounces down there somewhere between ankle and knee height!

Badly kept grass is a hell of bad bounces and no-rally points. Horrible to play on, although the cushioned feel is still there, as is the beautiful 'clean' smell of fresh grass. Oh and it's so easy on the eyes - no glare yet the ball shows up perfectly.

As for the light meters in cricket, there's an agreed level of light at which play is accepted to be impossible. The neat thing is that at several cricket grounds there are light meters displayed rather like huge fuel gauges, so everyone in the crowd can see what the actual light level is. As the day slips into evening, so you can watch the light meters drop - it makes it less of sudden decision as everyone can see what the level is and how it's diminished.

It's a pity the grass season is so short - it may be an archaic surface but it would be a terrible shame if it disappeared completely.

Posted by andrea 06/11/2010 at 07:09 PM

there should be some standard for measuring light and whether or not a match needs to be called.

especially since in the 'greatest match of all time', that bloody thing ended in almost darkness.

it unfair to the players.

Posted by claudia celestial girl 06/11/2010 at 07:09 PM

Interested in whether you like the 'red' decor at Queens or the new 'blue' decor. Great picture of Rafa with this piece, they were slipping and sliding out there, and Novak even complained that these were no conditions for playing tennis! But it's part of what makes the season wonderful. Lovely article. Lovely quote from Roger.

Did you know that they play another tune up at a very private club a few days prior to Wimbledon at the Hurlingham Club?! Another one of these private spaces.

There's something about grass - it's almost like a golf course's immaculate grooming, and the aroma of cut grass that makes it a special world.

Did you get the feeling that Rafa is just a little burnt out today, and needs to go re-charge his batteries? For some reason, I have the feeling that all the top seeds need a little of that right now.

Posted by Deuce 06/11/2010 at 10:53 PM

Thanks for the post Steve! I have playes on grass as well. I lived in London one summer and had the privelage of playing on several different grass courts. The one major theme across all grass courts is that it will expose your weaknesses. I had a weak backhand and I could hide it on hard courts or Har-Tru but not on grass. Moreover, with grass you have to stay on top of your footwork and court positioning because it does play faster. A coaches "lots of little steps" and "set your feet" are key to success on grass.

Didn't get to see the Queens matches. It was odd to see all the top guys go down and it will be interesting to see what shakes out at Wimbledon. I did notice Hewitt at Halle rather than Queens which he traditionally plays. Any insights there?

Posted by adicecream 06/11/2010 at 11:15 PM

Claudia CG - the blue at Queen is jarring to me. I think the red made it the classiest place for tennis, at least from my TV perspective.

I'd like to play on grass once but thus far I have only walked onto a court and bounced balls. I was still thrilled.

Posted by pov 06/11/2010 at 11:36 PM

I'm beginning to suspect that the reason Tignor writes so well about tennis is that he writes well - period. With a poet's soul.

Posted by pogiako 06/12/2010 at 12:56 AM

The clay season is too long. They should have the same number of tournaments between clay and grass. At least one master tournament in grass. As of now, clay specialists have a great advantage. Grass specialists are of great disadvantage. So its not really fair.

Posted by Sam 06/12/2010 at 01:28 AM

Beautifully put Steve. I briefly had access to grass courts when in my midteens, and it seemed so...civilised! Strangely, it seemed this way because of the lack of development. Manicured courts and surroundings, in a park in the city.
Sadly they adopted artificial turf. A long time later, I was recently invited to play at a private grass court club again. That same peaceful, civilised feeling returned.

Posted by adb 06/12/2010 at 01:42 AM

I'm with Pogiako, especially after reading your story about the lure of grass-court tennis. After the sweaty,grimy, slow clay season, which is a struggle for TV viewers and more so for the players, I'm relieved to have the quiet splendor of players in white (mostly) moving over the only natural surface the game is played on (except for sand, which I've never seen). It's so much more organic than other surfaces, and watching the pro's adapt and adjust to it highlights the true grace of the game. Fewer tournaments on clay, please, more grass! (And that's not just because I'm from Northern California!)

Posted by My Perspective 06/12/2010 at 03:13 AM

Spot on about the light meters, but its the batting team that calls of the day's play when light meter level dips. The fielding team would love to continue :) Light meters have indeed worked well in cricket

Posted by Cotton Jack 06/12/2010 at 04:58 AM

In cricket the batting team are "offered the light"

I had the absolute joy of playing tennis from the ages of 9 to 13 on grass courts, often just playing in my socks while still wearing my school uniform during the lunch break.

Posted by tina ("tako je sport") 06/12/2010 at 06:27 AM

In the US, Rhode Island has some grass courts - and not only those at the Hall of Fame. Also, if I remember correctly, there were a few constructed at the Hyatt Grand Champions in Indian Wells. Or maybe it was another of those Coachella Valley resort towns - but I never played on grass out there.

I never played on grass enough to get used to it, but I recall not liking it. It was so different from the Har-Tru I learned on, and the hard courts I played on most. It just felt so strange to me. And as a teen, I was a pretty serious player - if you can call being ranked #2 (junior) in tiny Connecticut serious, LOL.

For those who feel grass court specialists are at a "disadvantage" - the most prized trophy in our sport (according to most people, including big sponsors) is won on grass. Somehow people can win this trophy multiple times without any Masters event on the surface. (Perhaps this is precisely what makes Wimbledon so special?)

Hey, if they have light meters in cricket, why not use them in tennis? Seems fair.

Posted by reckoner 06/12/2010 at 06:37 AM

as surfaces go, i still like clay (or a very slow hard court) the best

Posted by Liz (4 Federer & Serena - 4 ever!) 06/12/2010 at 08:37 AM

Lovely article, Steve. I like the quote from Federer. The Oz open used to be played on grass, too. Now wouldn't that be lovely if they had continued to play that slam on grass?

Ironically enough, my favorite player Stefan Edberg won the last Australian Open played on grass in 1987.

But Wimbledon remains my favorite tournament and the one I most want to see one of these days...

Glad the season of dirt is over...bring on the players wearing white, the strawberries 'n cream and the green grass of Wimbledon!

Posted by skip1515 06/12/2010 at 09:09 AM

The Bud has always called for playing barefoot on grass. While I can't say it appeals to me, after a pretty fair amount of time on grass courts over the years (for an East Coast hard court guy) I can understand the siren call Bud answers.

Playing on grass is lovely. Simply lovely. Often maddening, yet lovely. To paraphrase Peter Falk in "Wings of Desire": there are volleys, and there are overheads, and occasionally you get to hit them together......

If you love tennis you owe it to yourself to play on grass at least once if you get the chance. If you can do it at the Hall of Fame, and taste a little of what it was like to play at tournaments like Queens in Forbes' day, all the better.

Thanks for the post, Steve.

Posted by just horsen(Sorry, I'm pulling for the Celtics) 06/12/2010 at 11:04 AM

Great piece, Steve.


Posted by jimmy77jimmy 06/12/2010 at 02:24 PM

like the article, but is anything that happens to Sharapova anymore relevant to anyone or anything?

Posted by Keith 06/12/2010 at 03:07 PM

From several bloggers who were at Queen's: it was not only raining and windy, but awfully cold this year. Players sneezed. Wind swirled. Air was humid, grass unusually slippery.

So no wonder top players did not go full tilt and got bounced early. The only top player who tried, but just got frustrated and mentally wobbled, was Murray. All the others were playing safe and conservative, having Wimbledon in mind. Two sweatiest guys, Roddick and Nadal, didn't even break a sweat. Both Djokovic and Roddick complained bitterly about conditions, these two barely agreed to start playing at all. Roddick even said to the umpire (Lars Graf) "It's nice that you're satisfied, but it's my knees, not yours."

Posted by Mike 06/12/2010 at 06:34 PM

Just about all the Cambridge colleges have their own grass courts still thankfully. Emmanuel has one in one of its main courtyards!! It is great fun to play on in just socks or barefoot especially in the evening as you get dew just settling on the grass.

Posted by caleb 06/12/2010 at 10:23 PM

well actually tignor nadal missed two overheads in his match against melzer (McEnroe was commenting that nadal should have let the lob bounce instead of taking the overhead in the air).

Posted by gymnogyps californianus 06/12/2010 at 10:52 PM

Grass courts remind me of "cinder" tracks, extinct since the early to mid 1970's. I'm not as learned in tennis as most who blog at this site, having been a runner since age 16 (I'm 74 at the moment), & only watching tennis on TV--the Slams since the early 70's but recently as much as I could get (lacking the Tennis Channel) on ESPN & the networks. I sense a kinship between grass & "cinder." Cinder came to mean, esp. in California, mixtures of clay, crushed brick, & dirt. The all-weather tracks that replaced cinder cannot equal the sheer gut pleasure you felt in running on cinder as your spikes went "thunk" into the ground, & of course the sound was entirely different from the dull slappity-clappity on all-weather surfaces. Yes, it's true that dirt tracks deteriorated by the time the 2-mile, say, came up in the late afternoon of a track meet, ca. 1958--the way grass is worn off late into Wimbledon. Still, there's magic in grass & dirt, something elemental that hard courts can never equal. Like wooden bats in the major leagues or wooden drivers in pro golf. Isn't too bad that tennis surrendered wood for you know what? What will be, will be. In any case: I can hardly wait for Wimbledon.

Posted by JohnC 06/12/2010 at 11:11 PM

The problem is the balance between hard, clay and grass has gotten out of whack. The solution, to my mind, is to move the US spring hardcourt season to grass. At the moment it's an orphan anyway, since it is followed by the clay season rather than a hardcourt major.

Posted by Doss 06/12/2010 at 11:26 PM

Frankly as an American I'm sick of Sharapova and Oudin articles! Alison Riske spent time being a real girl and took the time to finish college and seems to be the real deal!

Posted by marilynbutterfly 06/12/2010 at 11:34 PM

Doss, What a hypocrite you are! The Williams sisters and Davenport have been the only Americans representing the USA and they have never really got the support that Sharapova has in the USA; davenport because you don"t think she is pretty enough and the sisters because they are black! Most of you Americans are hypocrites and don't deserve the Williams sisters or Davenport!!!

Posted by fran 06/13/2010 at 04:18 AM

Does anyone know when the Halle final is being played today?

Posted by TJ Hughes 06/13/2010 at 07:04 AM

BBC commentator Andrew Castle captured the essence of Queen's Club the other day. As a victorious Feli Lopez threw his sweatband into the crowd, Castle observed that "they are so polite here they'll probably wash it and send it back to him".

Posted by GrassClayHard 06/13/2010 at 04:31 PM

True, there should be more grass court events. But of course at the cost of hard court tennis, not clay. Seems to be quite complicated to change the plan. So Monte Carlo, Rome and Madrid stay as they are. Indian Wells, Miami, Cincinnati and Paris-Bercy have their own precious tradition. The solution may be to shorten the US hard court season a little bit: Fill in one additional week between Roland Garros and Wimbledon, move Queen's to the 2nd week of that break and make it a Masters-1000 tournament (which replaces Toronto). Then let there be two weeks between Wimbledon and Newport and hold Newport as another Masters-1000 tournament on grass (which replaces Shanghai). Not sure if Queen's and Newport would be able to organize a Masters-1000 event but other places of course could take over. Queen's a Masters-1000, wouldn't that be great? That would make 4 hard court Masters-1000, 3 on clay, 2 on grass. The Grand Slam set up is fine, AO = slower hard court, RG = clay, Wimbledon = grass, USO = fast hard court. Definitely a much better setup than we have now.

Posted by evangelyst 06/13/2010 at 05:58 PM

Sam Querrey - Wimbeldon Champion 2010?

Posted by Ethan 06/13/2010 at 09:31 PM

The most important thing for me is to find out how many opponent's faces will be ground into the lush lawns of Wimbeldon by Roger & Rafa. The good news is Soderling will have his IKEA FACE once again rubbed deep in the dirt either by Fed or Rafa.

Posted by roderick 06/13/2010 at 10:10 PM

Used to be grass courts at Stadacona Park in Victoria, BC. Played on them as a kid. SO sad to see them get paved.

Posted by 06/14/2010 at 05:11 AM

I think that we all need to start attacking Federer so that maybe the information will get through his thick head that he needs to change his strings on his racket, start listening to a coach instead of thinking, I'm the best, ha, ha, ha, or that he needs to change his game. With every lose, he is getting to be just a run down has been, tennis bum and pretty soon Nadal will catch up with him as far as number of tournaments won. Doesn't he know that people are just laughing at him. All the players are making bets, who will beat Federer today. I think if he goes out early at Wimbledon, he might think about retiring before all the other players catch up with him. I know that he's very proud, but I don't think that he has anything to be proud about at the moment. All his records are coming to an end. Lets get this message out to Federer. Wake up or Ship out!

Posted by 06/14/2010 at 05:15 AM

I think that we all need to start attacking Federer so that maybe the information will get through his thick head that he needs to change his strings on his racket, start listening to a coach instead of thinking, I'm the best, ha, ha, ha, or that he needs to change his game. With every lose, he is getting to be just a run down has been, tennis bum and pretty soon Nadal will catch up with him as far as number of tournaments won. Doesn't he know that people are just laughing at him. All the players are making bets, who will beat Federer today. I think if he goes out early at Wimbledon, he might think about retiring before all the other players catch up with him. I know that he's very proud, but I don't think that he has anything to be proud about at the moment. All his records are coming to an end. Lets get this message out to Federer. Wake up or Ship out!

Posted by Kombo 06/14/2010 at 10:04 AM

My favorite surface is a hard court and there are many players who like it too. I don't particularly like the style of play that succeeds on clay. I believe a good serve should be rewarded more than a not-so-good serve, assertive play ought to be rewarded, otherwise what's the point? A defense contest, not my cup of tea. Grass is interesting and I could support more tournament on it, especially if they get good at making the surface even and reducing bad bounces.

Posted by PM 06/14/2010 at 10:48 AM, that has to be the most imbecilic,vapid assessment on Federer I've ever had the displeasure of reading.

Pull you head out of your a@&%$ and write something intelligent about the greatest player in history.

Posted by Ethan 06/14/2010 at 10:53 AM

Durbull: That's very oridinary.

I'm no Fed fan, but to speak about a champion like that in those terms is highly disrespectful. His records speak for themselves and he as nothing left to prove in the game aside from a few Nadal thingies which in the grand scheme of things, don't matter and are pretty low on the priority list.

In fact, he's only a handful of players EVER to be in a position where he can set his goals around records and what he wants to achieve instead of just aiming to win through to the second week of a Slam.

Even if he loses first round here and the US and never wins another match again, he's still one of if not the GOAT.

Show some respect son!

Posted by Curly 06/14/2010 at 11:50 AM

For what it's worth Ethan you are in the same pen as the dunce Durbull, with your moronic Soderling comment.

On the positive side, props to Keith earlier for some excellent insight and inside info, thanks dude.

Posted by TiffTexas 06/14/2010 at 03:33 PM

@ Durball,

I suppose winning a Grand Slam a mere 4 months ago in Australia and making it to the French Open quarters and two other ATP finals means the man is really washed up and should no longer play...??? This is the most rude, disrespectful, preposterous comment I have read in a long time. Roger Federer is the Greatest Tennis Player of All Time. He is still in his prime. So what if he hasn't won EVERYTHING in sight for the last four months... Give him, and his fans (and even those who just love tennis) a break. You need some help. Please seek some guidance from a professional counselor and stay off of these boards with comments like that.

Posted by BruceLee 06/14/2010 at 04:23 PM

Check out this great article:

Posted by espnalanaldo 06/16/2010 at 10:19 PM

Oh, yes, grass can be savored quickly. It is the most boring of all the slams. Never like Pete's wins in grass either, even if he is a favorite player of mine. The plays are boring, mostly not lasting than 4 shots. Did you see Sampras vs. Goran? HO hum, yawn!!!

Why Wimbledon gets so much exposure, beats me! Is the tie-in to the old school of monarchy who are nothing but a bunch of legitimized murderers, Henry the VII, for example, etc. (could it be that Diana was one of the dispensables to the crown). A country with so much brutal history is given this much importance??? - shame, shame, shame.

Oooops, sorry, I digress.

Contrast the grass play of Rafa beating Roger in 2008 is the standard and classic by which subsequent grass plays will be judged. With Nadal in it, grass play is fun to watch again.

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