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MANASI PHADKE | Updated on January 24, 2018

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Economics at Wimbledon — and more

Smirk if you will. But tennis and economics are linked. Did you really think it’s about grass and clay? More like who is in the EU and who goes away. Big serves and volleys? More like whether the stock rallies. Strawberries and cream? Oh, it’s an economic regime.

Wimbledon 2015. Court No 2 Nick Kyrgios of Greek origin, known for his antics on court, received a warning for “audible obscenity” by British umpire James Keothavong during the match against Frenchman Richard Gasquet. In the next game, Kyrgios showed his defiance by uninterestedly pushing Gasquet’s serves into the net whilst pointing to the hapless umpire.

This small incident has pushed the Euro Zone into a state of terrific panic. Inspired by the umpire, British PM Cameron too issued a dire warning that he would restrict the movement of Greek citizens into UK, should Greece actually move out of the Euro. Greek voters, incensed by the ball-out by the referee, refused the bail-out. What! Beaten by the French! Austerity goes into the net, while defiantly staring at the British.

Meanwhile, the French do not know quite what to do and are hoping the Germans do. The Germans are admittedly worried. Especially after Spaniard Rafael Nadal was beaten by German Dustin Brown. Some people have opined that those kind of dreadlocks should not be allowed on the Wimbledon courts.

All of Spain is on a hair-trimming spree and the contribution of hair-dressers to GDP and sentiment is at an all-time high. Spain has now threatened that it may well be the next to move out of the Euro. Angela Merkel is thinking of changing her hairstyle to keep the PIIGS in check. What a d(r)eadlock!

And then, there’s Federer. This Federer Reserves a place for himself in top 5 and when usurped, can cause more economic issues than all of the Federal Reserves in the US put together.

Why, when he crashed out of the Australian Open in January 2015, it got the Swiss government unpegged and they floated the Swiss franc against the euro. It’s only with Stan Wawrinka’s win at Roland Garros that the Franc stabilised a bit. The clear winner is, of course, Serbia. Serbia, which has long wanted accession to the EU, has grown tired of continuously answering silly EU queries. What the deuce! We have an advantage. No 1 is our very own Djoker. Why so serious, EU? Come on, let us in.

Closer home, as PM Modi delivers a career grand slam internationally, Indian players have got confused as to which country to pair up with. The poor souls are trying every combination in all the doubles events with players from Switzerland, Brazil, Croatia and Canada. Break point at Wimbledon to make it in India.

The dollar has never looked stronger and more “Serene”. Maria Sharapova keeps getting better too. Oh no, not her shots. Her shrieks. This year, she notched 109 decibels in the 4th round, a feat so far only achieved by India’s very own Arnab Goswami.

Rumour is that we will soon see him on the tennis circuits, demanding answers for racquet abuses and unforced errors. Ear doctors and heart specialists in London are rubbing their hands in glee, thinking of the rise in business this will create. Pharma stocks have risen.

LaMo doesn’t want to live in London anymore. He’s coming back to India.

The writer is a Pune-based economist

Published on July 12, 2015

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