Wimbledon used to be fun before the side-show ruled

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There’s only one good thing about the prospect of a wet and wild summer. It’s a damn sight harder to knock a tennis ball into the air when there’s a storm brewing.

If it wasn’t bad enough that we have to put up with the back-to-back Euro 2012 coverage, and the London Olympics will take over most of July, the annual bore-fest that is Wimbledon is nearly here.

Tennis is dull. Sorry, but there’s no getting round it.

A ball is batted from one end of the court to the other. And then, if you’re really lucky, it will be batted back again.

Due to the competitive nature of the modern-day sport – and the size of the muscles on the male players – some balls are only ever destined to whizz past once, and so fast you’d need super-human powers to spot it happening.

Wimbledon has become the thing I hate most about the summer.

It’s 10 times worse than midges, ice cream dripping down your hands and the tedium of having to shave your legs every second day if you don’t want to look like a Yeti in your shorts.

The sad thing is that tennis used to be quite good and the annual party down at SW19 was a jolly good knees-up.

But now it comes with an unedifying side-show that it’s actually quite hard to stomach.

Every year we’re treated to the mood swings of Andy Murray, the jokes about Sir Cliff Richard singing in the rain and some lurid comments about the attractiveness of the young, Russian, female competitors.

One of the Williams sisters will wear something inappropriate. Some pampered player will get in trouble for shouting an obscenity at the umpire. And the groan-o-meter will go into over-drive when the ladies take to the court sounding like a pack of mating wildebeasts.

It would be great if Wimbledon could get back to its glory days but only amateur club players still wear pristine white shorts and bomber jackets.

Like all professional sports these days, tennis means big business and even bigger bucks. And there’s nothing like a money man to rob a sport of its soul.

So while tennis-lovers might be praying for a dry spell, forgive me for not being too upset if rain disrupts play.