My favorite sport is…tennis. Yeah, I realize that puts me in the company of…me. I find it considerably more interesting than other sports. The average intellect of tennis commentators seems greater than for most other sports. The ESPN2 commentators (for the most part) entertain me. And the sport itself is unique. It’s just two (I’m talking singles here) people on the court, trying to figure out how to win. There’s no coaching, there’s no teammate to pick up the slack. There’s no building up a lead and running out the clock.
Speaking of the clock…I have spent large chunks of my time eight weeks out of the year watching Grand Slam coverage for years. But I’m getting over it. I don’t have a favorite on the men’s side anymore. Nadal seems like a nice enough kid and he’s obviously super talented, but watching him play drives me insane. The jumping bean warm ups (dude, watching you do that is sapping all of the stamina I’ll need to sit on my couch and watch this match), the anal-retentive beverage set up, the purposeful pokiness getting up after change overs, and the worst…the ridiculously long time he takes between service points.
I was at the Ice Cream course the weekend of the finals. Even though I knew the result, I was excited to watch the men’s final I recorded. But sitting down to watch it was another matter. Nadal and Djokovic are the two pokiest mother fuckers in men’s tennis.
Yes, many of the points were breathtaking, and required more recovery time, but come on. Time is money. I don’t have 6 hours to watch tennis, especially when over half of it is between-serve hair arranging, ball bouncing, and underwear wedgie grabbing. I found myself fast-forwarding through large segments of the match, because the between-serve time was lulling me to sleep.
How do I know how much time was spent between points, you ask? Early in the second set, ESPN2 showed a graphic with the average time between service points for both men. In my frustration, I calculated from those averages and the number of service points each men played that over half of the time was spent not playing tennis. But that’s not really fair, because the rules allow 20 seconds between points. Taking that into account, the match would have been 1 hour and 20 minutes shorter had they followed the rule. That’s a long time.
My favorite part of the coverage was watching them both squirm in agony (eventually officials brought them chairs so they wouldn’t pass out) during the very long speeches given at the trophy ceremony. See, how do you like being made to wait for the good stuff?
God bless the person who created this video: