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Sunday, 11 June, 2000, 17:15 GMT 18:15 UK
Has Wimbledon lost its lustre?
Andrei Medvedev had tennis fans choking on their strawberries by claiming the French Open is better than Wimbledon - but is he right?
Medevdev's comments may well have been motivated by his own sense of injustice at the way the superstars get preferential treatment at Wimbledon, but he did raise an interesting point.
The generally-held opinion in Britain is that tennis stars look upon Wimbledon as the Grand Slam event that every player is desperate to win, but Medvedev disputes that.
He said: "Maybe other guys see it as the greatest tournament in the world - not me. The surface is bad and there's much more history at Roland Garros."
Controversial views, but what do you think?
Is Medvedev right? Are the other three Grand Slam events every bit as important as Wimbledon... or is the home of tennis still to be found on the lush lawns of south west London?
Tell us your views.
Has Wimbledon lost its lustre?
No. Wimbledon remains the pinnacle of Grand Slam events.
There is no comparison between Wimbledon and any other tournament. Andrei Medvedev and the likes, who can't progress beyond the first round, should look at players like Gustavo Kurten who love to play at Wimbledon, even though grass is not their surface. Medvedev is in the twilight of his failing career and can think of nothing better than devalue the tournament of his sport, which is a disgrace and an insult to tennis.
Wimbledon is much more than a tennis tournament, it's culture and history towers above, and has infinitely more prestige than the other Grand Slams put together. Those who don't believe me should go there themselves and feel the indescribable atmosphere of Centre Court.
Anna Hart, Wales
Niall , Ireland
As a first time visitor to the All England Club last Summer, I was thoroughly overwhelmed with the history and mystique. Wimbledon has always been and always will be the most enticing grand slam. They have taken steps in recent years to modernise the tournament, and these changes should be sufficient.
Maybe I am biased, maybe I am exaggerating. I remember as a 13-year-old kid running to the electrician's house to put in the transformer fuse and watch the Becker v Edberg finals.
Wimbledon is the tournament - where the epic battles are fought, with the handshakes, the tears, the agony, the ecstasy, Wimbledon is a pleasure to watch. No other tournament has made me cry and laugh as this one has.
Ian Cross, UK
Although Wimbledon is the most prestigous event in tennis and probably always will be, they need to realise that people need something more than tradition to endeer them to the tournament.
Wimbledon is definitely my favourite tournement. The others are good but Wimbledon is just classic. The matches are more exciting and faster, the green grass gives the place a beautiful appearance, the atmosphere is spectacular and it just give tennis a perfect image.
Wimbledon losing it's lustre. Come off it! It's still the one every player wants to win! Maybe people should start watching the game and not the looks of the players or whether or not the player has any "personality" or not. Players have to proove their skills and the only way to do that is to keep the variety on the types of surfaces that they have to play on. Grass should stay. As for the rain breaks, it's annoying but it certainly shows who can stay "with it" and focussed.
Carla Granier, France
Tennis players who are better on grass will probably say that Wimbledon is the best, those who favour clay will say the French Open. Does it matter? No one opinion rides strong; for some players it is still the greatest tournament for others it is not. It's a matter of opinion like everything else.
Wimbledon has played its part in some of the best matches ever seen and helped contribute to the growth in stature of such great players like Martina Navratilova and Boris Becker. Without Wimbledon would players such as these ever have made themselves such a household name?
Wimbledon is still THE tournament to win - just listen to the majority of players. There might be better tennis at the other Grand Slams (I've always found the Australian Open the most entertaining), but Wimbledon IS tennis. When you talk about the great champions, you talk about players who have won Wimbledon. Ivan Lendl was a fantastic player, but is rarely mentioned among the great players, because he did not win a Wimbledon title. Pete Sampras has never won a title at Roland Garros, but he's mentioned as perhaps the best player of all time.
Gerry , UK
I agree with Medvedev - there is more excitement in the French Open than any other Grand Slam.
The French Open is definitely more exciting and more difficult to win as tremendous skill and stamina is required. At Wimbledon, it's the serve which counts and the game is boring because there are hardly any rallies. In recent times, the French Open has thrown up new winners almost every year whereas Wimbledon has been dominated by Pete Sampras.
The very fact that it is very difficult to get tickets to Wimbledon is a testament to its popularity. However, it does suffer from a poor climate that produces many breaks and delays. I think that we should get more coverage of the the other tennis tornaments around the globe.
The corporate frenzy that accompanies the tennis at Wimbledon may be one of the most significant reasons that the atmosphere has changed from some 'innocent' golden era. The players are media celebrities, sponsorship vehicles and a poor performance in a tournament reflects badly on their value. The UK 'market' is becoming saturated by other sports. The incredible rise of football from working-class origins to stock exchange worship, is forcing tennis and the 'big' event at Wimbledon off the collective conciousness.
Wimbledon is as much a part of British culture as fish and chips and the Queen. It's the atmosphere that makes Wimbledon unique and that is why the players enjoy playing there. I mean, where else in the world would you get Cliff Richard singing in the rain? No other tournament in the world has the atmosphere of Wimbledon.
I don't think Wimbledon has lost it's lustre. Even though I've been three times, I still want to go back every year; the atmosphere is friendly and really exicting during matches. I just wish more British players would make it through the first few rounds!
Whatever people say Wimbledon has the greatest tradition of all the Grand Slam events. In some ways it is unfortunate that the surface favours the fast serve but this does give Wimbledon a unique edge. The fact that Wimbledon not the French, US or Australian Open is what everyone wants to win shows that the players still believe Wimbledon has not lost any of its magic.
The Australian Open outshines the other three Grand Slams. Why? Because it realised it had to change drastically to keep people's interest and had the courage to abandon grass. Grass is for cows to eat - not for playing tennis on.
Tennis at Wimbledon is different and it should be different. If Wimbledon had the same playing surface like other Grand Slams, then the sport would become boring. Wimbledon is about volleying not boring rallies. The problem with Wimbledon is its surroundings and poor infrastructure.
Wimbledon is the tournament that every player wants to win; I think that says it all.
No! I've lived in Wimbledon all my life, and everyone always makes some comment about it when I tell them where I live. People flock to Wimbledon during the fortnight, and it's such a major tournament. No way has it 'lost its lustre' - Wimbledon's great!
Wimbledon has lost its lustre. But it's more to do with the nature of the modern game than the place itself. The matches are too often won by the people with the biggest serve lessening the excitement of the game.
Wimbledon is the most important tennis tournament with tradition, great play and atmosphere. All the best players are there. To
win must be the crowning glory! Of all the Grand Slams,
Wimbledon is the greatest. Long may it survive.
Wimbeldon tennis has become extremely boring.The men's game is not at all entertaining.There is no skill. It comes down to the power of the serve. Clay is charming, skilful and it tests the player's endurance. Wimbeldon is boring.
Rob Kerr, London, UK
I think that other Grand Slam events can be considered more interesting simply on the grounds that a much greater numbers of players can win them. At Wimbledon only a few can win it and where the men are concerned it is often the one with the biggest serve. I mean, who could bet against Sampras taking his seventh Wimbledon crown at this year's event?
There is absolutely no doubt that Wimbledon has lost some of its lustre. Whether this is the fault of the tournament itself or the bland personalities of the current crop of stars is arguable but the end result is the same - Wimbledon isn't what it used to be.
Has Wimbledon lost its lustre? You cannot be serious! I'm looking forward to this year's tournament as much as ever. Those people who aren't should remind themselves what a unique tournament Wimbledon is.
Wimbledon has lost its lustre and the reason for this is the emergence of other tournaments on the circuit that produce much more entertaining tennis. The lush lawns at Wimbledon give too much of an advantage to the player's with a big serve and lessen the excitement level of the game, making rallies virtually non existent.
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