Wimbledon, Britain’s premier tennis tournament, started today. As a child growing up I always watched Wimbledon, and each year it left me inspired to spend the summer working on my driving left-handed forehand well into August.
All these years later the name “Wimbledon” still brings back fond memories. I remember the rise and fall of Navratilova, Jimmy Connors’ tenacity, John McEnroe’s weird service, Stefan Edberg’s elegance and probably my favourite match of all time: a brilliant semi-final in ’77 that saw Björn Borg beat Vitas Gerulaitis 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 8-6. I was also a massive fan of South African Kevin Curran, who never quite did as well as I hoped he would.
Stick to What You’re Good At
Wimbledon hasn’t really moved that much with the times. Sure, the technology has changed slightly what with electronic “eyes” detecting whether the ball is in our out and the demise of the wooden racket. But what keeps me coming back to Wimbledon every year is its sheer class. Its professionalism and the sense that I know what I’m going to get: awesome tennis played out at high speed.
Wimbledon has never dumbed down. It’s always insisted that players follow a strict dress code. It’s stuck to grass, which isn’t the most popular surface on the circuit, and only recently added a roll-out roof over the top show courts to keep the London rain at bay.
As a business owner, I respect Wimbledon for maintaing its unique brand, sticking to its guns, and its consistent message that this is the premier tennis tournament on grass in the world.
Sure, games at the US, French and Australian Open are no doubt equally enthralling to tennis fans around the world. But there’s something special about a tournament that harks back to another era. That captures a sense of summer, at least for me. [Read more...]