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View Full Version : Silly traditions at the Grand Slam tournaments.


flymeng
06-01-2006, 03:27 PM
Some traditions at the French Open and Wimbledon can be annoying and silly.
Here are my complaints:-

1) Install flood lights at Roland Garros inorder for night play. Can't the French tennis federation afford flood lights? Give me a break.

2) Not allowing players to wear colorful apparels at Wimbledon. The officials are so uptight!

3) Flood lights again. This time at the Wimbledon. I understand the grass gets slippery at night. But the weather does get hot and dry in London. If the conditions are safe, they should allow night play.

4) The friends and relatives of the players are assigned seating in the same box in Wimbledon on the centre court. Why do the officials do that? You can see that the cheering is so subdue because the relatives/friends of one player do not want to offend relatives/friends of the opponent. This is just plain dumb!

5) No first Sunday play at the Wimbledon. I understand it is a religious tradition but why play the men's final on the second Sunday. For me, Sunday is a rest day and a great day to watch tennis.

I don't have any complaints for the USO and AO. Maybe they should paint the court blue at the AO for easier viewing.

ACE of Hearts
06-01-2006, 03:42 PM
I think the tradition of white in wimbledon is fine.I agree with lights in RG.

LowProfile
06-01-2006, 06:13 PM
Well the no first sunday play thing is not really a tradition. It was never done before. This year's French is the first major to try it and it's really in the testing stages right now. Personally, I like it a lot, but many of the players are complaining about it.

As for Wimbledon, they're building a covered roof for the main courts (maybe just Center Court) that should be completed around 2009. I can't understand why it would really take that long, but it'll help get rid of some rain delays.

D-Bomb
06-01-2006, 06:19 PM
I've thought about the same things before, flymeng, but I realize that Roland Garros and especially Wimbledon have always been the more legendary slams. If you ask me, I say Wimbledon should do the least amount of changing as possible, just considering how legendary it is. I couldn't imagine Wimbledon with lights and be accepting of it. Often those quirky little traditions are what make Wimbledon so fascinating. Roland Garros isn't quite as revered as Wimbledon in terms of being legendary, but still, the traditions are a breath of fresh air in our world of constant progress. The AO and USO are so much more modern and in your face, so changes are alright for those two.

The part I agree with you about is the players boxes at Wimbledon. That wouldn't kill the vibe so much.

skip1969
06-01-2006, 06:27 PM
i would say that the reason roland garros and wimbledon seem to have "annoying" or "silly" traditions . . . is because . . . well . . . er . . . they HAVE traditions. those two slams have been played at the same venues since the 1920s and, as such, have had time to develop their unique traditions.

on the other hand, your much beloved australian open (which finally stopped its nomadic existence in 1972 and settled in melbourne) and the us open (which brought the men and women together in 1968 and went from grass to clay to hard . . .) haven't had the consistent sort of history to spawn any real long-standing traditions.

that floodlit tennis you like so much only happens at the ao and uso, because those tennis centers were built in the 70s and 80s. as you said, it's hard to play tennis on slick grass courts at night. plus, wimbledon is an actual neighborhood. don't think the residents would be too keen on tennis after dark. at roland garros, they can play well into the night, and even in the rain (unless it pours). at either event, why bother with lights?

personally, i don't want all four majors to be cookie-cutter tournaments. roland garros and wimbledon are the two with the most character. let's not sell out completely to the networks and the marketing gurus. the few traditions left aren't going to kill the players (or us fans) for four weeks out of the year.

jings
06-01-2006, 06:38 PM
A few points.
Wimbledon isn't Wimbledon, it's the Lawn Tennis Championship of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, which just happens to be in a place called Wimbledon and in todays fast world it gets abbreviated, understandably I suppose. But it's hosted by a private club who have their own set of rules and go on with their own life for 50 other weeks of the year. If they choose that their club should have white only attire then so be it. It's like saying you cant' decide what colour to paint the walls of your house, it's not for anyone else to tell you what you can and can't do with your own things. I happen to think white only looks impeccably smart and a welcome change. It's a bit like the Masters - all sorts of rules there about what you can and cant do - eg any spectator found running to get ahead to get a better view is escorted off the course. Strange but it's Augusta's rules, like 'em or not. Same with where players entourage sit in Centre Court, same with how they schedule the tournament. In fact the middle Sunday is left free in the schedule anyway, and only used in the event of severe disruption. Why change anything for the sake of it? It's a glorious tournament with history, tradition and a few quirks ... how refreshingly different.

Slight ammendment as there is some LTA representation on the Champiobnships committee, but the principal is the same. The AELTC host the Championships and it's their parade.

dh003i
06-01-2006, 07:00 PM
thank you, some people who appreciate tradition!

and thank you, thank you, thank you jings for your amazingly respectful view towards private property!!
it's hosted by a private club who have their own set of rules and go on with their own life for 50 other weeks of the year. If they choose that their club should have white only attire then so be it. It's like saying you cant' decide what colour to paint the walls of your house, it's not for anyone else to tell you what you can and can't do with your own things
Such an obvious insight, but it's profound these days because of the socialist mindset the world over.

OrangeOne
06-01-2006, 07:03 PM
i would say that the reason roland garros and wimbledon seem to have "annoying" or "silly" traditions . . . is because . . . well . . . er . . . they HAVE traditions. those two slams have been played at the same venues since the 1920s and, as such, have had time to develop their unique traditions.

on the other hand, your much beloved australian open (which finally stopped ...
haven't had the consistent sort of history to spawn long-standing traditions, period.


Well, I agree that the older, more stable tournaments have longer traditions, or rather cool 'quirks' if you like.

roland garros and wimbledon are the two with the most character. let's not sell out completely to the networks and the marketing gurus.

Hmm - have you been to all four? I haven't been the USO, but I've seen the other three, and I'd say the Aussie has more character than the French!

Sure, I'm aussie, and I don't speak French, but to me the atmosphere at the AO is huge, one *massive party* with amazing tennis being played on a surface that gives everyone something to work with. Additionally, one can almost always get ground passes (as the grounds are huge) and thus it's always jam packed with loads of punters - not the same scalping / protectionist policies as the FO or wimbledon.

Wimbledon is subdued but *amazing* too, and is easily the equal-best sporting event I've ever seen live (tour de france being the other).

ACE of Hearts
06-01-2006, 07:05 PM
Nothing beats night matches at the U.S Open, i always go since i am in the city.

jings
06-01-2006, 07:25 PM
thank you, some people who appreciate tradition!

and thank you, thank you, thank you jings for your amazingly respectful view towards private property!!

Such an obvious insight, but it's profound these days because of the socialist mindset the world over.
Pleased to have been of service!

HollerOne5
06-01-2006, 10:15 PM
A few points.
Wimbledon isn't Wimbledon, it's the Lawn Tennis Championship of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, which just happens to be in a place called Wimbledon and in todays fast world it gets abbreviated, understandably I suppose. But it's hosted by a private club who have their own set of rules and go on with their own life for 50 other weeks of the year. If they choose that their club should have white only attire then so be it. It's like saying you cant' decide what colour to paint the walls of your house, it's not for anyone else to tell you what you can and can't do with your own things. I happen to think white only looks impeccably smart and a welcome change. It's a bit like the Masters - all sorts of rules there about what you can and cant do - eg any spectator found running to get ahead to get a better view is escorted off the course. Strange but it's Augusta's rules, like 'em or not. Same with where players entourage sit in Centre Court, same with how they schedule the tournament. In fact the middle Sunday is left free in the schedule anyway, and only used in the event of severe disruption. Why change anything for the sake of it? It's a glorious tournament with history, tradition and a few quirks ... how refreshingly different.

Slight ammendment as there is some LTA representation on the Champiobnships committee, but the principal is the same. The AELTC host the Championships and it's their parade.

I disagree. Wimbledon needs to realize that in reality, and on paper, it is EQUAL to 3 other Grand Slam tournaments in the calendar year. I don't know why they are so keen in maintaining tradition, when it just seems rather annoying. The point of these tournaments is TENNIS, and thats it. Tennis players just want to go there, win their matches, and play tennis. They shouldn't have to worry about rules they are breaking that aren't enforced at other tournaments, nor should they have to worry about bowing to the royalty, or maybe even playing on grass. I know I get crap for this on the boards, but honestly, talking to most people at the clubs and what not, I don't think most spectators enjoy Wimbledon the way they used to. There is not enough time between the French and Wimbledon to adapt to the slowest surface to the fastest. The grass favors types of players that are mediocre at best on all other surfaces. Its a joke.

jings
06-02-2006, 01:56 AM
I disagree. Wimbledon needs to realize that in reality, and on paper, it is EQUAL to 3 other Grand Slam tournaments in the calendar year. I don't know why they are so keen in maintaining tradition, when it just seems rather annoying. The point of these tournaments is TENNIS, and thats it. Tennis players just want to go there, win their matches, and play tennis. They shouldn't have to worry about rules they are breaking that aren't enforced at other tournaments, nor should they have to worry about bowing to the royalty, or maybe even playing on grass. I know I get crap for this on the boards, but honestly, talking to most people at the clubs and what not, I don't think most spectators enjoy Wimbledon the way they used to. There is not enough time between the French and Wimbledon to adapt to the slowest surface to the fastest. The grass favors types of players that are mediocre at best on all other surfaces. Its a joke.
I don't quite follow this .. for a start there's been no significant change in timing between Roland Garros and Wimbledon as far as I recall. Last time I checked I was sure everyone at the Championships was playing tennis and only tennis. Are you suggesting that Wimbledon should actually concrete over the lawns? Wimbledon itself doesn't think that it is superior to any of the other slams. It might be the oldest but attitudes to Wimbledon are a reflection of the respect with which it is held in tennis circles and beyond - it is fairly widely seen as the Holy Grail, not by all of course. As to the Royal Box, well they've actually dropped the custom (not rule or dictat, just a mark of respect shown to royalty at all other times in their life and asked to be observed on court) now but players are still free to bow or courtesy to the Royal Box should they wish to - so in this regard they have moved on. Not sure what your point is. If you don't like the English, royalty and grass court tennis then Wimbledon isn't for you. Otherwise tradition implies a history and it is this history that makes Wimbledon unique. As to it throwing up mediocre players as Champions you must have been watching a different tournament to me. The winners roll for mens and ladies over the significant history of the tournament is a roll call for the greats of the game.

malakas
06-02-2006, 02:08 AM
Excuse me,but is the lower payment of women at Wimbledon considered a tradition?

MaxT
06-02-2006, 05:02 AM
I don't like the tradition of having soldiers marching in at sports events. If you they like to march and some people like to watch, let set a time and place. Tagging along like this, doesn't matter what the objectives are, the effect is not good.

vive le beau jeu !
06-02-2006, 05:31 AM
I don't like the tradition of having soldiers marching in at sports events. If you they like to march and some people like to watch, let set a time and place. Tagging along like this, doesn't matter what the objectives are, the effect is not good.
soldiers ??? in which slam are there soldiers ?... :neutral:

dh003i
06-02-2006, 05:36 AM
HollerOne,

Yes, Federer, Sampras -- real mediocre players.

I could also turn your statement on its head and say that other surfaces allow players who are at best mediocre on grass to win.

The variety of surfaces means that players have to be complete players to win on all of them.

Really, I think the reason alot of people here don't like grass is because Nadal isn't great on grass.

I could just as easily say clay allows players to win who are at best mediocre on other surfaces (all of the clay-court specialists who never do anything anywhere else). Oh yea, and Federer hasnt' won a slam on clay, so it must be junk.

That's your argument, and it's BS.

dh003i
06-02-2006, 05:48 AM
malakas,

Regarding paying women less money, again, that's their right to do -- private organization. It would be their right to do that just because they don't like women, if that were the case.

However, some justifications:

(1) Less pay for less work. Men's matches are 5 sets, womens are 3 sets. A 2/3rds pay differential there alone would be justified.

(2) Women simply aren't as good as men. That's why there's a men's and a women's tournament, because women would get wiped out by men.

(3) Probably because of #1 and #2, maybe men's tennis draws more money?

This isn't politically correct, but it is the truth. Are women paid as much as men in basketball, golf, soccer, etc? No. Why not? Not as good.

JRstriker12
06-02-2006, 06:24 AM
Some traditions at the French Open and Wimbledon can be annoying and silly.
Here are my complaints:-

1) Install flood lights at Roland Garros inorder for night play. Can't the French tennis federation afford flood lights? Give me a break.

2) Not allowing players to wear colorful apparels at Wimbledon. The officials are so uptight!

3) Flood lights again. This time at the Wimbledon. I understand the grass gets slippery at night. But the weather does get hot and dry in London. If the conditions are safe, they should allow night play.

4) The friends and relatives of the players are assigned seating in the same box in Wimbledon on the centre court. Why do the officials do that? You can see that the cheering is so subdue because the relatives/friends of one player do not want to offend relatives/friends of the opponent. This is just plain dumb!

5) No first Sunday play at the Wimbledon. I understand it is a religious tradition but why play the men's final on the second Sunday. For me, Sunday is a rest day and a great day to watch tennis.

I don't have any complaints for the USO and AO. Maybe they should paint the court blue at the AO for easier viewing.

1) I can see lights for the FO. In fact, since the matches are so long and constantly have to be postponed - lights would be a beneift to the FO.
I'd say lights would improve the FO like the retractable roof at Wimbledon.

2) I like the all-white clothes tradition at the All England Club. That's a tradition that adds a sort of flavor to the tournament and makes it stand out. Besides, the color of you clothes has nothing to do with your play, so it's a minor change. Plus, there are plenty of tennis clubs all over the world the have similar sportswear requirments.

3) For some reason, I don't want lights at Wimbeldon. For some reason it just wouldn't seem right. Plus, as some posters said, the grass may become to slippery.

4) Yeah, move the players freinds/relative apart and let them show some emotion without worrying about seeming rude.

5) First sunday play would be cool, but the players don't like it and see it as a way of the tournament making more money while paying them less.

MLoutch
06-02-2006, 07:21 AM
You may not realize that at this time of year in Europe it stays light until very late - In Paris today they can play until almost 10pm - lights are not needed!:confused - so you now want players playing on until 11 or 12 or 1am like the USO - sorry but the late night matches suck and the players hate them - great for TV and the after 5 crowd but lousy for the players.

In Rome the night matches that were played until 12am had in some cases less than a few dozen folks in the stands - it looked terrible and the players again had major complaints about playing so late and playing infront of nobody.

JRstriker12
06-02-2006, 08:24 AM
You may not realize that at this time of year in Europe it stays light until very late - In Paris today they can play until almost 10pm - lights are not needed!:confused - so you now want players playing on until 11 or 12 or 1am like the USO - sorry but the late night matches suck and the players hate them - great for TV and the after 5 crowd but lousy for the players.

In Rome the night matches that were played until 12am had in some cases less than a few dozen folks in the stands - it looked terrible and the players again had major complaints about playing so late and playing infront of nobody.

It's not a matter of holding- or rather starting matches at midnight, it's a matter of making sure matches that start are completed the same day.

On ESPN they said the latest match in FO history ended at 9:50 pm. Everyone was surpised that Venus' match wasn't suspended and that they completed the match around 9:40.

If I was a player - especially a winning player - I'd want to finish my match that day. Having to lay-over until the morning can kill your momentum and also give you opponent more time to think about what's going wrong and talk to thier coaches about the match before you play again.

malakas
06-02-2006, 08:41 AM
dh003i,I don't disagree with their right to do so.But that doesn't change the fact that I still find if stupid and discriminating.
Well,don't women do their best according with their power and physical endurance as men do?
Also, about what you said that they have separate tournament so as women won't be wiped out by men,I don't know any championship or tournament for both men and women.If you know I would be interested to hear.
And,you said some good examples of women being paid less. Basketball,golf ,soccer.How about ballet(dancing in general),gymnastics and beach volley.Don't you think that women players draw more spectators?(if you say ballet is only art,tell it to the dancers who practice 6-7 hours a day)
Furthermore,many of my male friends,believe me..they would pay much more to see women's tennis than men's tennis. :rolleyes:
Also,I don't know but maybe you or someone else could answer this,the tournament's organizers do they make the same money from the men's and women's tournament?

But even if nothing of the above was happening(?) I would still say that I find it idiotic and discriminating.

OrangeOne
06-02-2006, 08:47 AM
But even if nothing of the above was happening(?) I would still say that I find it idiotic and discriminating.

I guess that's your right to find it that way. It is of note that despite what they may say, none of the people who matter care about it!

(Who matters? Well, in this case, those who are actually affected by it - the top, ooh, 128 main-draw women (+ qualies, etc etc). Let's face it - they all show up to play! :D )