Sports Letters: Tennis by jingo

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The Independent Online
Sir: It would appear that the All England Club (and the BBC, for that matter), have totally lost sight of the fact that the wonderful Wimbledon tournament is not like a Davis Cup or a World Cup football event. It is supposed to be a tournament for independent professionals who are making a living and, hopefully, a reputation from participating. It is not Britain against the rest of the world.

To schedule every Tim Henman match on a show court gave an enormous advantage to one (British) individual by giving him the support of thousands of people who applauded every mistake by his opponents. At the same time, other equally good or better players were condemned to, for instance, "the champions' graveyard", Court No 2. The chauvinistic attitude was pathetic, immature and embarrassing.

The BBC was equally guilty of showing us predominantly matches in which Brits featured. We were condemned to watch Danny Sapsford, ranked No 595 in the world, while there were other excellent matches going on elsewhere. Admittedly Sampras was involved, but he very kindly played virtually left- handed in order to make the match less embarrassing for everyone.

JAN VAN OLDENBORGH

Godalming,

Surrey

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