Tuesday 23 January 2018

Kevin Myers: There's as much chance of a Brit winning Wimbledon as there is of Mary O'Rourke appearing in Playboy

Kevin Myers

Wimbledon fortnight: the time to heave a concrete block through the television set and stay in bed, especially as there appears to be, yet again, a British "hopeful". Let us be frank here. Britain produces tennis players rather as the moon produces seagulls. There is as much chance of a British tennis player winning at Wimbledon as there is of Mary O'Rourke appearing in the centrefold of 'Playboy', or David Norris displacing Brian O'Driscoll at centre for Ireland. It can not happen. CAN NOT. Do you understand those two words? Let me repeat them. CAN NOT.

Yet every year the British media get their routine dose of hysteria at the imminent triumph of a British contender, and the BBC trots out poor John McEnroe to comment on the likelihood of this happening. I personally think that McEnroe was beaten to death by an enraged umpire in Colombia some years ago, and he is doomed to spend the rest of eternity in some BBC studio agreeing with the panting, patriotic basset hound who passes for a sports journalist, that yes, the latest British contender has a real chance this year, Roger.

Of course he has, which he'll win around the same time as Malawi's space probe lands on Mars with a cargo of giraffes, some hippos and Madonna's menagerie of adopted little Africans. Poor John is being punished for being unpleasant to tennis officials with this cyclical hell, in perpetuity. But we've done nothing wrong, have we? Yet we still have to endure it. Why? I don't mind the 800 years of oppression, not a bit. But by God, I resent this cheery know-nothing, remember-zero, gibberish from the BBC about the next British contender -- and not just now, but right throughout my entire life.

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