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Sunday, 11 June, 2000, 17:15 GMT 18:15 UK
Has Wimbledon lost its lustre?
Andrei Medvedev
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?

HAVE YOUR SAY


No. Wimbledon remains the pinnacle of Grand Slam events.
Mike, US

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.
Andrew, Scotland, UK



This tournament builds the emotions of both the fan and the player to an almost unbearable crescendo with the excitement, the skill and the delight which is the dying genre of grass-court tennis

Anna E. Hart, Wales
Wimbledon is the classic and the classy event where skill, finesse and magical entertainment flourish, and where its competitors never fail to delight the thousands of fans with their smooth tennis and their raw emotion. This tournament builds the emotions of both the fan and the player to an almost unbearable crescendo with the excitement, the skill and the delight which is the dying genre of grass-court tennis. It is precisely this aspect which elevates Wimbledon to a unique league and thus separates it from its counterparts; the grass lends a spicy variety to the game which cannot be found on the courts at Roland Garros or on those at Flushing Meadow. Whilst encouraging stimulating, albeit ubiquitous displays of base-line play,which are common to all the Slams,the AELTC has a little bit more to offer. It presents the crowd with exquisite examples of serve and volleying, which are increasingly few and far between. Therefore, this serves to demonstrate the edge that this magnificent tournament has over every other of its kind. The combination of its magical tradition and its ability to invite scintillating varieties of play, lends to the championships that crucial advantage which ensures that every year, floods of both fans and players, flock to discover the mystical and fantastical ambience that shrouds the lush green courts. of SW19.
Anna Hart, Wales



I would say, even in this years tournament for some of the outranked ladies and men, it brings the best out in them

Niall , Ireland
As Sue Barker once said, Wimbledon plays a special part in the sporting calender, and how right she is. Everyone and anyones eyes are on the grass courts of SW19. It is no doubt an awaited grandslam for the players, but for myself as well. It retains great history throughout the years the all-white dress, for instance. The majority of players long await to win this title. Henman once said " The atmosphere on Centrecourt is Unbelievable, its the best court in the world. If I could win one tournament, Wimbledon would be it". We even had epic battles on the courts, such as Bjork and McEnroe. But as one person said, the clay court specialists gets frustrated here, which is unfortunate for them. I would say, even in this years tournament for some of the outranked ladies and men, it brings the best out in them. So Strawberries and cream all around!
Niall , Ireland



Wimbledon is THE tournament of the tennis calendar that all other tournaments try to aspire to. Wimbledon will always be the home of tennis and the place to win at

Dom, England
The surface is bad? Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam tournament that offers something a little different!!! All too often you can watch (another) game on clay or hard court where players stand at the back of the court and rally all day. Although this does provide entertainment, grass has that little bit more of an athletic edge - the Boris Becker dive so well repeated by Tim on Saturday is the perfect example. No other surface produces athleticism like it. Wimbledon is THE tournament of the tennis calendar that all other tournaments try to aspire to. Wimbledon will always be the home of tennis and the place to win at. As for Medvedev's comments - sour grapes!!
Dom, England

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.
Andrew, United States

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.
Dinesh, India



It will soon become apparent, as the modern game continues, that Wimbledon's grass courts are little more than an aberration

Ian Cross, UK
I thoroughly agree that Wimbledon in the last few years has not been the greatest tournament in the world as regards quality in the men's game. How can it be when not all the best players compete? We cannot continue to be smug about the prestige of this tournament. Admittedly, it has history, glamour and royalty. And don't we labour the last attribute? Only in this country do professional players still have to bow or curtsey to a minor royal, or even a major one. Wimbledon will be left behind if they do not move with the times. It will soon become apparent, as the modern game continues, that Wimbledon's grass courts are little more than an aberration. Australia and New York realised this years ago and replaced the grass with hard courts.
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.
Clint, United States

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.
Beck, Australia

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.
Cecilia, England



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

Simon Chapman, England
Wimbledon is great but not the greatest! The French and US Open's are really fun, Wimbledon is boring.
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.
Peter Treyton, UK

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?
Simon Chapman, England

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.
Roholte, Denmark



Wimbledon is tennis

Roholte, Denmark
Blame the players! They are so unbelievably boring and devoid of character they are killing the game as a spectator sport! Wimbledon has and always will be the number one tennis stage, it just needs a crop of refreshing and vibrant talent to remind us what a great game this is.
Gerry , UK

I agree with Medvedev - there is more excitement in the French Open than any other Grand Slam.
Nobbir, United States

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.
Mahadevan Aravind, India

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.
Jeremy, UK



The very fact that it is very difficult to get tickets to Wimbledon is a testament to its popularity

Jeremy, UK

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.
Tim, UK

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.
Lisa, USA

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!
Lisa, England

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.
Jonny Lawson, England



Wimbledon is as much a part of British culture as fish and chips and the Queen.

Lisa, USA

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.
Frank Quinn, Scotland

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.
Rebecca, England

Wimbledon is the tournament that every player wants to win; I think that says it all.
Trevor Pugsley, Wales

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!
Katie Turner, England



People flock to Wimbledon during the fortnight, and it's such a major tournament - no way has it 'lost its lustre'

Katie Turner, England
It's time people realised that Wimbledon is not the tournament it used to be. The whole event has been in a state of decline for some time. Why else are people more preoccupied with the tournament's past than its present?
Jack, England

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.
Kay, Scotland

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.
Betty Slingsby, Canada

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.
Martin Weston, Italy



The other Grand Slams have grown in stature, so that they rival the prestige of Wimbledon

Rob Kerr, London, UK
While it is true that the history of competitive tennis began at Wimbledon, there is some truth to what Medvedev is saying. Not that Wimbledon has lost anything, but that the other Grand Slams have grown in stature, so that they rival the prestige of Wimbledon. This is, in my opinion, in part due to the change in the game that makes tennis more attractive to watch on other surfaces, particularly clay. Some modern competitors might say all the right things when interviewed by BBC front-men and women, but in a year where the grass court season is so short, where are the reasons for placing Wimbledon on a pedestal?
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?
Nasreen , UK



Wimbledon is a tournament I look forward to every year and it brings the summer alive

James, UK
Wimbledon is a tournament I look forward to every year and it brings the summer alive. I do not feel that there are any more or less rallies at the All England Club compared to hard or indoor courts. Big serves will always be an advantage no matter what surface you play on. The emotions, the tense moments, the big points, the excitement are all there and I can¿t imagine a tennis season without the fortnight of enjoyment that Wimbledon provides.
James, UK

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.
Alex, UK

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.
Suzanne, England



Has Wimbledon lost its lustre? You cannot be serious!

Suzanne, England
I'm fed up of hearing people harp on about the "good old days" of Wimbledon. The tennis on show in recent years has been of an amazing standard. The modern game is much quicker and involves more skill than that of yesteryear. The moaners should try watching the games rather than watching for signs of personality.
Matt, Ireland

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.
Nick, USA

Search BBC Sport Online

See also:

11 Jun 00 |  Sportstalk
Has Henman got what it takes?
11 Jun 00 |  Sportstalk
Are the women more entertaining?
11 Jun 00 |  Sportstalk
Short-change for the women
11 Jun 00 |  Sportstalk
Can anyone stop Sampras?
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