The Democracy Game

by Andrew Mahon (May 2018)

Hip Hip Hurrah! Artists’ Party at Skagen, Peter Severin Krøyer, 1888


he 2009 Wimbledon final, in which Roger Federer defeated Andy Roddick in five sets, was the longest Grand Slam final in history in terms of games played, with a total of 77. Imagine if Roddick’s supporters had claimed that, given the final score of 5-7, 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 16-14, he deserved the victory because he won more games. It’s a ludicrous suggestion because, as everyone knows, the game of tennis doesn’t work that way and, though it was true that Roddick edged Federer in total games won by 39 to 38, ultimately, neither player was trying to win more games, but three sets. That is the game they play and unless there is agreement about the rules of the game, there can be no game at all.







Andrew Mahon is a Canadian-British writer and classical bass-baritone based in London.

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