The title doesn’t really make any sense but I just thought I’d shoehorn in a reference to the highly-rated Al Pacino film.
Any Given Sunday is, in fact, one of the shittest films ever made.
It’s a far-fetched cheesy pile of bollocks full of Pacino doing what Pacino does best. That is, making speeches. Long, tedious, shouty speeches that are in reality about as inspiring as a Tim Henman fist-pump.
It’s Little Giants with gratuitous sex, swearing and violence (normally a good thing in films, I will admit).
Anyway, Sunday starts in slams have the opposite problem. They get a bad rap but in reality there are a some potential positives about the concept.
The simple fact is that most people have day jobs and kids have to go to school. For the casual tennis fan, the idea of taking a day off work to go and watch a tournament wouldn’t even register.
With play on a Sunday, they don’t have to. Who knows, if they really enjoy themselves they may even come back later in the week.
This argument applies for smaller events, where attendances in the early rounds can be pretty pathetic, rather than slams but it’s an important point nonetheless.
In other words, Sunday starts can in theory bring live tennis to a whole new audience.
It may be an accidental benefit, given that the organisers’ chief concern is most likely to be an extra day of gate receipts, overpriced souvenir tat and €10 bottles of water, but it’s still a benefit.
In saying that, Sunday starts in their current format are never likely to be much of a success because they have almost universally been adopted in the most half-arsed manner imaginable.
While today in Roland Garros wasn’t quite in the same vein as Stockholm 2007, when Albert Montañes v Rohan Bopanna was the main Sunday attraction, the marquee names were still absent from the order of play.
Apparently the players just don’t want to play on Sundays and the rumour is that Roger Federer was asked to but declined.
I guess players just don’t like having their usual routines upset but the argument that they would object to having to wait two days to playing their second round match doesn’t really wash.
It’s not really that big a deal and happens all the time when the reliable British summer rain messes with the schedule at Wimbledon.
I can see why pundits and commentators don’t like the idea as well. It’s a break with tradition and it reeks of money grabbing on the part of tournament organisers. Also, it’s an extra day of work so you can’t blame the media for being less than enthusiastic about it.
But like I said, if implemented properly, Sunday starts can help promote the sport.
If they’re going to be a success though, there’s no point continuing with the current trend of letting the top players dictate their own schedules.
If you’re going to do something new, at least have the guts to do it properly. Either work out a way of making the Sunday order of play attractive to casual fans or scrap the idea altogether.