London, England - With all the hype surrounding the World Cup in South Africa, it is easy to forget that there are other major sporting events taking place this summer. Wimbledon, the world’s oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament, has found itself unfortunately sandwiched into the middle two weeks of the biggest sporting competition on the planet.
However, officials at the All England Club have declared the Championships a soccer-free zone, choosing to show only tennis on the venue’s big screen during the June 21-July 4 event. There will be no screenings even of any of England’s World Cup matches which may fall during the Wimbledon fortnight.
The decision is unpopular - but the fact is that tennis deserves to remain the center of attention during its own tournament. Tennis doesn’t need to try and compete with football, but if it did, it would surely win hands down. Here are five reasons why.
Over recent months, Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has given the biggest hint yet that the sport may be returning to American soil, confirming his hopes to stage a U.S. grand prix again by 2012. But given the country’s troubled history with F1, does the country even want it to return?
F1 hasn’t always been so unpopular in the United States. America’s first ever Formula One grand prix took place in California in 1959, inspiring a generation of homegrown drivers to compete on the international stage, including its only world champions, Mario Andretti and Phil Hill.
The race has been held at various locations across the country, from Florida to Phoenix, to Las Vegas’ Caesars Palace, before settling at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway ten years ago. And the Speedway, which hosted the last U.S. Formula One race, can also boast the largest ever attendance at a grand prix of 225,000.
In the next few years the French Open may be forced to leave its iconic city center location of Roland Garros, in favor of an out of town setting which would allow it to expand like its grand slam counterparts already have. But is abandoning the bright lights of Paris really a good move for the French? And how will the alternative venues measure up?
Ever since the French Open began in 1928 it has been held on the red clay courts of Roland Garros, in the city’s chic sixteenth arrondissement.
As French as Wimbledon is English, Roland Garros, which is named after a French airline pilot and World War One hero, has become synonymous with tennis. And consequently, the French are far from impressed at proposals for a move from their prestigious home to the city’s less than glamorous suburbs.