Tennis On The Radio
Yesterday, I lay in the sun in the garden and listened to the tennis from Wimbledon.
It’s funny, but tennis is rather a good sport to listen to, rather than watch.
But then, we have a very proud heritage of listening to tennis on the radio, as many times, I’ve heard the superb commentary from the great Max Robertson, perhaps in a car or whilst working in the garden or on my car. Read the Wikipedia entry about Robertson, as he was a truly great all-round broadcaster.
Tennis on Radio 5, is a bit like Test Match Special, in that it is about sport and chat, with some interesting guests during rain and between action. I remember one memorable interview by John Inverdale of Julian Golding. Inverdale was initially surprised that Golding, a black Olympic sprinter was at Wimbledon. Golding said that he had been invited by the LTA, as he was encouraging youngsters in London to take part in sport. Golding disclosed that he had been a promising tennis player, but had found the life very lonely, when travelling to overseas tournaments. So he had turned to his other sporting asset, athletics, mainly because of the cameraderie of his fwllow athletes. When we moan about the lack of decent tennis players in the UK, I hope we take advice from Golding.
But why is it that some sports, like boxing, cricket, horse racing, tennis and football work on the radio and others like rugby don’t?
I suspect that a sport which allows time for chat works. After all, some of the best BBC sports broadcasts are the racing ones from the Cheltenham Festival. Radio allows the characters to shine through.
But then as that late great broadcaster; Brian Redhead once said, if radio had been been invented after television, radio would be the dominant medium.