Nadal vs Alcaraz: what happens in Las Vegas… | Tennis | Sports


“Nadal vs Alcaraz: the first ending that we do not have written,” announces a gigantic canvas that Netflix has just installed in the Plaza de Pedro Zerolo, the heart of the passage in the central neighborhood of Chueca. I suppose there will be other similar ones in different places in the capital and in different cities, maybe also in other countries, I don't know. And it is not the only advertising for the event displayed in the area. The walls where big concerts are usually announced were covered with posters promoting “the most anticipated sporting event”, a statement that, I hope, is not entirely true for the good of sport in general and tennis in particular. Also for a simple matter of hope, to continue keeping a certain faith in humanity intact.

Its creators call it the slam from Netflix, which is a bombastic way (publicity juicy, I admit, I suppose also effective) of referring to a simple exhibition match, which in turn is the opposite of high competition and the most resplendent spirit of professional sports. But Americans like this type of ultra-processed shows, especially if they are held in Las Vegas and are sponsored by one of its large casinos, which always gives it enormous interest from the point of view of betting and more or less gambling. less organized. Also in the media: if in 2018 it was Turner Sports that offered a pay-per-view face-to-face match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson (it was named The Matchbut soon became known as the Ten Million Dollar Tournament), now it is Netflix that has decided to internationalize and exploit one of the attractions offered by the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

I don't know if this is a sad, pernicious or purely speculative trend within today's sport, but it is clear that it is a trend. There are more and more voices calling for a simplification of the product until only the pulp is left. “It's what the new generations ask for,” they hide. And I'm not saying it's not true, just that the customer is not always right and the public should be able to be educated. Events like this, or like the recent pastiche between Inter Miami and Al Nassr, that is, between Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, broadcast live on a private television in our country, barely contribute to the sporadic entertainment of those who will end up reneging on the offer. if his whims are not fulfilled. And that is as dangerous as a pilgrim, whether one thinks about the audience, or a pet or a child.

The justifications for the future Football Super League also run here: the public wants more matches – by default – between the continent's big clubs and less meritocracy. Behind it, as in the duel between Nadal and Alcaraz that has my neighborhood flooded with posters, a purely economic interest is glimpsed. And legal, too. Another thing is that it is appropriate, advisable or even plausible, as they try to make us believe thanks to the good use of advertising, which in these cases almost always wins or draws. Remember the Ten Million Dollar Tournament? In reality, Tiger and Mickelson only shared a loot of nine. And that is, in part, what the big letters and gigantic posters are about: promises so vague that not even what happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas anymore.

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