If only you were more of a snob, I'd like you better: I've heard some crazy explanations in my day about the reasons why tennis is losing its popularity, but perhaps none so off-the-wall as Slate offers us today: because everyone can afford to play it, no one wants to.
Sure, the author gives lip service to the fact that the matches are more boring, because the players are more boring, and no one can see, much less appreciate, a 130mph serve, but really, if tennis could just be more like...more like...............golf...............then it would be more interesting. See, Tiger doesn't wear shorts, and ummm, golf matches are played mostly at private clubs, so ummmm, see??!?
I don't question that Americans are social-climbers at heart, but to suggest that the reason golf is surging and tennis waning is because golf is elitist is just....so freaking elitist. Golf is more popular because of one word: Tiger. End of sentence, end of story. Even I, golf hater, will watch golf (at least the majors) because Tiger is playing. Short of that, I might like to stick around and see how Lefty wins or loses a tourney.
Tennis is boring because all the players are. The Williams girls gave the game a brief shot in the arm, but their all-too-evident laissez faire attitude instills the same in the same in the audience. Roddick is verging on being a one-serve wonder; Davenport, the Russians...all too inconsistent. The Maestro...he is a thing of beauty to watch play, but when no one can step up to the plate with him (not even Steffi's husband), then we are left with no one to cheer for.
Tiger's invincibility raised the game of golf up to new levels. His supposed fall, took it even higher. We all love a champion, but we secretly love the little guy too. Tennis has no little guy...it has Gulliver, and it has its Lilliputians; FeeFiFoFum, with no "Englishmun". Please, someone, rescue my tennis fairy tale.