Although being at Wimbledon is a special experience there are advantages in watching the tennis on TV. One of them was evident on Wednesday when the former Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova, seeded third this year, met Michelle Larcher de Brito from Portugal who is ranked 131 in the world. It was an engrossing match which the Portuguese player won with great determination but for those present on the Number Two court it must have been spoilt by the continuous high-pitched screeching of both women. Sharapova has been a screecher for many years and Larcher de Brito, a newcomer to Wimbledon, proved to be her equal. At home, with TV, you can turn down the sound and watch the screechless action. At the court, unless you have come armed with earplugs you cannot evade what can be a very unpleasant and even painful experience. Since the Wimbledon authorities say they have no intention of placing a ban on screeching (or on the pervasive grunting of some men) the day must surely come when a slow handclap protest will be heard from the ticket holders.
Turning down the TV sound also fades out the incessant chatter of the BBC's commentators who tell us what we can see for ourselves and too often keep talking even when a pin might be heard in the court itself as the spectators fall silent for a critical service.