Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Where is incentive to win at Wimbledon?
By Greg Hardy Spcial to ESPN.com
Finally, a win for the underdogs! Especially when they’re losers.
In a generous twist, Wimbledon announced that this year’s 10 percent uptick in prize money will be sprinkled heartily on those bounced in early rounds and qualifying.
Apparently, the likes of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal insisted on it. Or maybe they’re feeling sorry for unknown 17-year-olds who, in about the time it takes to watch an episode of “The Killing,” get bludgeoned 6-0, 6-0, 6-0.
Wimbledon is spreading the wealth around more this year, but Fandom isn't so sure that's a great idea.
But while first-round losers get a 26-percent bump from last year as the singles jackpot rises 4.5 percent), Fandom wonders if this strategy could backfire.
What if a spoiled brat fresh out of tennis academy thinks, “Why should I push this tiebreaker? Let’s cash out and jet back to the hotel. Brooklyn Decker is on my floor, and I’m dying to ask her when the new ‘Battleship’ trailer comes out”?
What about the based-on-a-true-story movie script about the plucky orphan who needs to win Wimbledon to save grandma’s ramshackle tennis academy from tax collectors?
Clearly, there’s less incentive to power through the fortnight in a “Rocky”-style montage when, meh, a quarterfinals bow can pay off the lien.
But if the money’s got to go anywhere, at least the All England Club is spreading the wealth among its own, and not hiring Nickelback. Game, set, match.