I still enjoy watching Grand Slam tennis matches even though I rarely have the chance to watch tennis as much as I used to. Modern men’s tennis is excellent, but it has an odd problem. The top seeds are just too darn nice.
Look at the French Open semifinals this year. I mean who wants to boo Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray? There’s no tantrums or other sideshow scandals. *knocks on wood* They all accommodate the media, are well-spoken, have good senses of humor and show superb sportsmanship even after some of the most heartbreaking losses. Yes, each have had a few speed bumps, but overall there is none of the drama we’ve seen with past rivalries or anything truly distracting.
I kinda liked McEnroe going off on officials, Jimmy Connors all fired up and booing the Eastern Eurpoean players who often seems so cold, robotic and unlikeable. It added tension and excitement to a match.
In a world where athletes kick-off a news broadcast because of bad behavior, this niceness is refreshing. If you love tennis, then you really just get to focus solely on the main event. If you love tennis, but find strong rivalries that involve actual hate and some on- and off-court drama spice up a match, well, you’re going to have to turn to the NBA or maybe women’s tennis (and wait for the Williams’ sisters return).
The most drama today’s tennis titans offer us is the debate about who can be called the GOAT–Greatest Of All Time. When the talk is of greatness at the thing you do, I guess that means men’s tennis is in a good place.