Thursday, November 19, 2009

Off The Beaten Track

So today I will write about... um...

Yeah, it's hard when no one's actually playing this sport we call tennis.

But at least we have London, and I intend to flog that horse until the whole thing is over. I know I talked London yesterday, but hey! guess what!? more London today. And tomorrow, probably, and the next day, and the next, and... oh, use your imagination.

One thing that I have been wondering about is this - why London? The year ending championships has been in a few different places in the past - Shanghai and Houston being among them - and I have to say that I thought London was a pretty strange choice. I mean, sure, they have a pretty sweet arena with the O2 that they might not otherwise get to use, but come on - they have a Slam already. Hell, they have the Slam - ain't no prize bigger than Wimbledon. So why do they get the year-ending championships as well?

Imagine if it was decreed that the year-ending championships were going to be in Melbourne. I don't think anyone would like that too much, because Melbourne already has the Aussie Open. I mean, sure, Melbourne is also very far away from the rest of the world, but that's beside the point. Why don't the ATP share the love?

That's why I thought it was really good that the year ending championships were in Shanghai. Major city in a major country - but Slamless. Sure, Shanghai now has its own Masters series to make up for it, but it's not quite the same. Lots of tournaments claim to be the Fifth Slam, but I don't think you can go past the year-ending championships for prestige outside the Slams. So why stick it in a city that already has a friggin' Slam?

That was a lot of words used to say something quite simple. How very me of me.

So where should the year ending championships be? If we rule out Melbourne, London, Paris and New York - and let's rule out the continents of Australasia, Europe and North America, just to be fair - where do we put it?

How about Johannesburg? Or Sao Paolo? Or Hanoi? There has to be somewhere that deserves a bit of tennis lovin'. I guess it's all about money and facilities and such things... but, yeah. I don't think London really is the Bestest Place Ever to be having your end of year tournament. It's... unfair.

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