Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Illustration for article titled Playing Left-Handed At Wimbledon Is As Big An Advantage As Playing Right-Handed

Today's New York Times reports from Wimbledon on the sneaky advantage that left-handed tennis players enjoy on grass:

An estimated 10 percent of the world's population is left-handed, but in the men's and women's singles at Wimbledon, five of the 32 remaining players, or 16 percent, are. According to the tournament's Web site, in 125 years 10 left-handers—eight men and two women—have won a total of 26 singles titles.


Let's see—subtracting the years missed for World War I and World War II, the Wimbledon men's and women's tournaments have combined to produce 240 singles championships. And 26 singles titles out of 240 would be...10.8 percent.

Maybe the numbers don't tell the full story. Who are these lefties who've exploited their unfair edge at Wimbledon, "whose ball flight, spin and bounce run counter to what right-handers are used to seeing"—the Pete Schoureks or Bruce Chens of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club? Nine of those 26 titles, according to the Times sidebar, were won by Martina Navratilova. John McEnroe won 3, or one fewer than he won on the hard court at the U.S. Open. Add in Rod Laver, Jimmy Connors, and Rafael Nadal, and you've got 20 of the 26 lefty championships covered.

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