BACON’S BITES: Golden time for tennis. But who is your favourite? Murray, Djokovic, Nadal, Federer.
- Credit: PA
I do enjoy tennis.
I don’t play, only watch. The last time I did pick up a racket was at school where we were lucky to enjoy grass courts – all very nice.
Having an eye for a ball meant I was half decent... but only half!
So, I have huge admiration for professional players. Their fitness, guile and skill is right up there with the best sportsmen or women on the planet. And right now we are still in the midst of four of the greatest men’s players that have ever graced the game.
Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal seem to know no bounds. Between them - and before this weekend’s French Open final - the quartet have won 47 Slams (Federer 18, Nadal 14, Djokovic 12 and Murray 3).
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That’s incredible enough, but still they continue.
I honestly thought both Federer and Nadal were toast this time last year with, among other things, injuries appearing to take their toll.
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But how wrong can you be?
Federer bounced back to win his 18th grand slam title at the age of 35, in the Australian Open in January, beating Nadal in five sets.
Federer may have sat out this year’s Roland Garros, but Nadal is now gunning for a 10th French title.
Murray got as far as the semis in France again – not his best surface. And are you writing off Djovokic after his French quarter-final defeat to Dominic Thiem? Me neither.
Quite simply we are living through a period of sensational men’s tennis players.
It’s a contrast to the women’s game where the brilliant Serena Williams (23 Slams) has dominated for a decade, although there are signs young players like Simona Halep and Jelena Ostapenko, who contest the French women’s final this weekend, are starting to excite.
Back in the men’s game, the likes of Thiem, Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori, Grigor Dimitrov and David Goffin have still not broken through yet, as the ‘big four’ march on.
How long will it last?
Well, who do you think will win Wimbledon if not one of Murray, Federer, Nadal or Djokovic?
Great players, great times, enjoy it while it lasts.
The current ICC Champions Trophy is going nicely under the radar, don’t you think?
That’s what you get I suppose for selling your soul to satellite television.
Most people I speak to about the competition, either...
1. Don’t know it’s on.
2. Couldn’t tell you how England are getting on!
I know the likes of Sky do plenty of great stuff on the sporting front, especially for the likes of darts, NFL, boxing and many other sports that receive little terrestrial TV here in Britain.
But the likes of cricket and golf should be far more accessible to the mainstream.
A quick-fire highlights show of the Champions Trophy is hardly a way to get more fans interested in the game. While I believe I caught a highlights glimpse of the PGA Golf Championship, at Wentworth, on TV recently, didn’t I?
Cricket, like golf, needs all the exposure it can get and to as many people as it can get it too. Neither sport is football, NFL or F1 with the cash that swigs around those sports.
Money alone won’t persuade youngsters to go to their local cricket club or pick up a golf club.
We need more administrators to look beyond the £ signs.
Eight home wins on the bounce from Ipswich Witches and there is a real feel-good factor at Foxhall Stadium these days.
The management did their bit in assembling a strong side, despite an early-season injury crisis, and the riders are doing their bit on the track.
“Have pride in the Witch,” is all Chris Louis ever asks from his team – Louis junior having ridden for the club for more than 20 years.
In fairness, it’s quite a simple process for the team.
Riders are expected to give 100% and always have time for the fans – it’s not too difficult and the riders rarely fail on either account.
Speedway may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the riders know who pay their wages and respect their fans accordingly.
Many sports could learn from the ethos.
I won’t take credit for this tweet, but it made me chuckle.
May: refusing to resign.
Corbyn: presenting second place as a kind of victory.
Our politicians owe such a debt to Arsene Wenger!