x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Showing finals in 3D will not add to the spectacle of Wimbledon

For every interesting image of puffs of chalk dust drifting through the air we probably will get one or two of the "his mole is bigger than I thought" sort.

Wimbledon in 3D! The mind reels. Booming serves headed for our faces. Roger Federer's tears as big, fat oblong drops that roll down his cheeks and splash into the grass.

The latest technological breakthrough in the game was revealed last week when organisers said the men's and women's finals this year would be filmed in 3D for the first time and available for viewing in select theatres.

"Wimbledon is renowned for its heritage and sense of tradition," Ian Ritchie, the chief executive of the All England Club, said. "At the same time we are always looking for ways to improve the presentation of the championships by successfully blending that tradition with innovation."

We appreciate the nod to modernity, but 3D seems a bit intrusive. We already have high-definition television that highlights blemishes, cold sores and the earliest stubble of a 5 o'clock shadow.

Unless someone is chasing down a shot in a corner, throwing rackets at the camera or can be coaxed into weeping, it is not quite clear what sort of improvements Wimbledon in 3D might bring to viewers.

Revelations in 3D seem most likely to be of the "looking up his nose" variety.

For every interesting image of puffs of chalk dust drifting through the air we probably will get one or two of the "his mole is bigger than I thought" sort.

Some things we do not need to see, even in the name of "blending tradition with innovation".