It is the case that I rarely venture onto the sports pages of the Rust. The subject is neither my specialty nor within my remit – one might even be justified in stating that it ranks above my pay grade, were it but for the fact that I don’t get paid – but today I feel moved to do so after watching snatches of the extraordinary men’s singles semi-final matches on television yesterday afternoon.
I finished the day listening in bed to the adjournment of the epic Centre Court Djokovic versus Nadal match at 2 sets to 1 in the favour of Djokovic at 11.02pm – some three hours and thirty-eight minutes since it began – quite possibly after having been asleep for the preceding couple of hours.
Previous to that I had also watched the final set of the equally remarkable five-set (6-7, 7-6, 6-7, 4-6, 26-24) Kevin Anderson victory over John Isner on the same court … well, at least from about 10 games all in the final set.
The latter set all sorts of records – at 6 hours and 36 minutes, it beat the previous longest men’s singles semi-final (Djokovic v Del Potro at 4 hours 43 minutes in 2013) by nearly 2 hours and became the second-longest tennis match in Grand Slam history, the longest ironically also featuring Isner, who beat Nicholas Mahut in a Wimbledon first round encounter in 2010 over three days and 11 hours and 5 minutes with the last set grinding on to finish 70-68.
It was impossible not to reflect overnight upon the inequity of the march of political correctness that many years ago now caused the Wimbledon authorities to pay female tennis players the same as their male counterparts.
In the first, Angelique Kerber of Germany beat Jelana Ostapenko of Latvia 6-3, 6-3 in 68 minutes.
In the second, Serena Williams of the USA beat Julia Gorges of Germany 6-2, 6-4 in 70 minutes.
Enough said, in my view.