Sunday, December 27, 2009

It's Not Cricket

Another post inspired by cricket and the transference of stuff across different sports (though I have just realised that the Hopman Cup starts on Saturday and the Abu Dhabi cashcow exo on Friday and I will be saved! saved! from the horror that is the Time With No Tennis).

At the moment, as I watch the cricket, one of the Pakistani batsmen has started to go for his shots, to smack the ball all round the ground and suchlike. Even if one isn't necessarily going for the Pakistanis, it's much more interesting to watch than the normal slow pace of test cricket, where it can take half an hour to score a run (or so it seems).

And then I thought about tennis and how players sometimes play in their shells, even when the shots are there to be taken, because it's percentage play. Sure, if they go for their shots they might make a mistake, but what's the worst that can happen? They lose a point. It might be a crucial point, but it's not like cricket, where you can lose your wicket.

I don't know where I'm going with this... except to say that people should go for their shots more. Because that's what the sport is, surely? It's not nudging the ball around the court until someone makes a mistake. It's shotmaking and artistry and winning a point rather than waiting for someone else to lose it. Yet some people play tennis like test cricket, and that's totally not the point of the sport.

In cricket, you have one day cricket and twenty20, where the whole point is to smack it around and score some runs and put on a spectacle for the viewer. We have no real equivalent to this in tennis - well, exos, I suppose. But it's kind of a shame we don't have an arena where players can open up freely on their shots.

Though I think we do, and I think it's day to day tour level tennis. There's no point being a tennis player if you're a wuss that won't, you know, play tennis.

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