Anyone not for tennis?

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The Independent Online

Impossible challenges of modern life, number 304. Anyone who can get through the next two weeks without catching a glimpse of a Wimbledon tennis court on the television deserves some kind of prize.

Other challenges in the same series include spending more than £20 in McDonald's; getting through the year without hearing a firework; solving a computer problem by making one phone call of less than 20 minutes' duration to a helpline; being able to fold (a) a micro-scooter and (b) a pop-up tent while (c) looking as if you know what you are doing; and explaining any mobile phone tariff on a single side of A4 paper.

Not that the Wimbledon challenge is one that will be widely attempted. At a time when no sport is what it used to be, tennis remains comfortingly familiar. Soccer is increasingly a branch of the satellite television industry; cricket is all garish get-ups and, now, regular pitch invasions.

So, while men's tennis may be more of a power-serving contest than of old, and the women's game may have too much of the catwalk and soap opera about it, there will still be strawberries and cream for tea. "Quiet please!"

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