Obviously so much has changed due to Covid-19, locally, in and around our homes and communities, and beyond, getting glimpses, a chance to “see” via social and more traditional media how others are dealing with this pandemic throughout the world.
I wish I’d written more about the silver-lining of the crisis (and I still have time to do so); there are many many lessons to learn about how we should be living, what we should be valuing, etc., in the wake of this deadly and disruptive virus.
But there’s so much we’ve lost, starting with the lives lost to this virus. To date over 500,000 people have died throughout the world from this pandemic. Living in the states, we have over 128,000 dead. Writing these numbers makes the title and topic of this post pointless.
But as we know from either looking at the calendar and/or seeing people throughout the tennis community make this announcement: today would have been Day 1 of Wimbledon 2020.
In terms of the tennis calendar, this is just one tournament among many that we’ve lost since the shutdown began. But this is The Championships.
I was in London this time last year. I flirted with getting into the queue, efforting to acquire tickets and a chance to smell the grass in person. However, being with family and extended family who had other agendas — I conceded. None the less, I did whisk my wife and her sister off to the village to take-in some of the pub life just a stones-throw from the lawns and Wimby paegantry. I think we were there on 5 July.
We chatted with locals, devised plans (house swaps) for future English summer travel, drank and danced and dreamt of staying in such a nice little London suburbia vs central London’s hustle and bustle. What a blast. What a brilliant blur.
Great memories. Such memories are often points of comparison for new experiences, for the new memories being made. At this point, unfortunately, these kinds of memories are helping to define a certain era, a different life: pre-Covid-19.
A lot the commentary about today’s loss, that this would have been the start of the sport’s greatest tournament, the 134th edition of The Championships, is how much people are looking forward to 2021. As optimistic as I can be, I can’t see through the crap that needs to end before we can see that other side. What an absolute mess we’re in.
On the professional tennis front, the losses are piling-up there, as well.
I’m referring to the wins and losses on the court (sorry to be so puerile).
This opens our tennis discourse which has been dead for months.
Since the tour is really ONLY about the Big 3 at this point (there’s some of that optimism), and actually becoming more and more about Djokovic and Nadal with each passing day, month, tournament and year, who is most affected by these cancellations of majors?
Rafa couldn’t defend his 2019 French Open title a few weeks ago. Novak isn’t able to defend Wimbledon, starting today (not to mention that Novak and even Domi Thiem would have been licking their chops at a chance to battle and overcome the Spaniard at 2020 RG).
What an historical sea change for the sport, for the discussion/debate of tennis legacy.
Sad not to see what would have been some tremendous tennis, but even this is awkward, redundant since we’ve already lost so much sport and life and memories.
In closing, wear a mask (if you find that offensive, do a swan dive off a bridge), lay low, be kind to others (unlike what I just said about the Karens and other Trumpers who refuse to wear masks and practice safe distancing for the sake of their fellow Americans), and let’s do everything in our power to limit the losses, and get this proverbial ship pointed in the right direction, towards a return to a life we vaguely remember.