Wimbledon in the Dogs (Underdogs)
In an article about Serena Williams’ shocking defeat at the hands of 24thseed Sabine Lisicki the Metro ran this line: “One of the few things that Wimbledon loves better than Serena Williams is a gallant underdog beating the best.”
I want to highlight what’s wrong with this sentence by pointing out that Serena Williams is the world number one and was top seed coming into the tournament this year. I think therefore we can safely say she is the best female player at the moment. However her being ‘the best’ as well as being Serena Williams would make the sentence in the Metro basically equate to; ‘the only thing that Wimbledon loves better than Serena Williams is anyone that plays against Serena Williams.’ Which would obviously be daft.
You are reading too much into it I hear you say and maybe I am. However I think that this is exactly the problem with the English mindset towards sport, we love watching the best of the best, that’s why we pay so much to go to events like Wimbledon, but yet we seem to enjoy the underdog winning even more and just look where it gets us. Our immediate gratification at seeing an upset inevitably leaving us in the end with a lower calibre for the rest of the tournament.
Picture if you will next years World Cup in Brazil only without Germany, Brazil, Spain, Argentina and Italy qualifying. No one is looking at that and thinking that’s great news. Yet this is exactly where our underdog loving mindset leads us. See the problem with the underdog beating the best is that it means that what you are left with is not the best, which is what you came to see in the sodding first place!
That imaginary world cup is sadly what the latter stages of Wimbledon has become this year with Nadal, Federer, Serena, Tsonga, Azarenka and Sharapova being the Germany, Brazil, Spain, Argentina and Italy. I highly doubt there has been another year where going into the Wimbledon quarter finals The Times has to run an article entitled ‘The Women You’ve Never Heard Of’. Which in my eyes basically equates to ‘the women you really don’t give a monkeys about except for in the one set when it looks like they are going to beat someone you do give a monkeys about.’