I don’t really know why I like tennis.
I’m not a huge sports fan, well actually I’m not really a sports fan all together. I’m not sure though if this is true, perhaps I just don’t like the identity of a sports fan because I love my identity as a creative nerdface (who doesn’t create anything) and sports and art don’t really go together.
I am having a bit of a sports fan identity crisis.
In fact when I told my friends I was going to Wimbledon, one of them responded with a pained ‘Why?’ and when I said ‘Well I love tennis’ he went quiet and replied with a raised eyebrow ‘Well that is something I never knew about you’.
It had started, I had just come out of the jock fan girl closet.
I love tennis. I blame Justine Henin.
I remember coming home from school one day and being distraught that the afternoon cartoons had been replaced by these sweaty people hitting balls around. For some reason I left the TV on, only maybe paying it 0.2% of my attention, when a random close up of Henin’s face caught my eye. It transformed my 0.2% attention to 100% instantly.
Her face was like a million words. Big beautiful words that only the likes of Butler-Yeats could do justice. Henin showed me that day how tennis can be an art. The dedication and determination bit into my core and suddenly I wanted her to win. The emotion rose from excited butterflies in my stomach to a pounding hammer in my chest and throat.
That was the day I understood what it means to be a sports fan. To sit on the line with a player willing them to push themselves far enough to win. That even though you didn’t really break a sweat, it feels as if you win too, the euphoria is breathtaking. If they lose you’re right there with them through all the disappointment…until tea time and you remember that you aren’t really all that much affected by some guy losing a tennis match.
I went to Wimbledon on Tuesday. It was an experience that I have wanted to participate in since seeing Henin play all those years ago. It really was everything I expected and more. Including the extortionate prices…apparently my girlfriend thought £8 for a plastic cup of pimms was reasonable.
We tussled with the conundrum of where to stay as prices soared for accommodation the longer we left it. We eventually decided to drive and camp in the van which turned out to be a really cool idea. However, when all was said and done it ended up still costing us a pretty penny, what with camping site fees, congestion charges, park and ride fare and Pimms but I’m glad we camped. It was a liberating feeling sitting out under the stars with the dozens of happy sqwarking parakeets that I was so excited at first to see until the morning when we discovered that they had shat all over our van.
We arrived early and headed to Henman hill to eat our lunch and watch a bit of Liam Broady’s game against David Goffin, we didn’t catch the end but unfortunately Liam lost out despite playing a great game. Henman hill is a lot smaller than I had imagined, actually to be honest the whole venue was a lot smaller than I had imagined, which was a massive relief for my reserve of spoons.
We then headed to court one to start our days worth of tennis games. First up was Tommy Haas and Milos Raonic. My girlfriend and I took massage wages on each player, I backed Raonic and she backed Haas. Play was excruciating to watch, it was peek heat time and it felt uncomfortable just sitting there so god knows how those boy’s coped. They were both beautiful players to watch. Raonic won 3-1 and I have left Wimbledon with a huge crush on the Canadian.
Next up was the show stopper Heather Watson vs Daniella Hantuchova. The crowd were obviously backing the Brit and she won 2-0. I watched the nail biting game between Watson and Serena (at home unfortunately) and I was absolutely distraught at her loss. I am a massive fan of Williams but Watson was the underdog and what with her being a Brit and my having seen her play in the flesh I was pretty upset. Watson was so close! She was playing the game of her life at 23 and giving the #1 seed a run for her money. Watson is one to watch. I will now be backing Williams all the way for the seasons grand slam. Sorry Ms Williams for my fickle support.
Finally it was Stan ‘the man’ Wawrinka vs Victor Estrella Burgos. I put my massage stakes on Burgos and unfortunately he lost his game 3-0 and I lost my massage. They both played well but Burgos had a fire that I couldn’t dismiss and I think he was unfortunate in this game.
As we stood to applaud Wawrinka’s win, my girlfriend got down on one knee and proposed to me like a massive womb. If you had told me this was how she was going to propose in advance I would have had a full blown panic attack whilst running as fast as I can to the hills…fuck the hills I would have gone to the damn moon! But as it turns out I’m a super womb too.
So yeah I am getting married but I think that deserves a post to itself. So I shall just comment that it was a perfect proposal and to no-one’s surprise, I responded like an idiot;.
So that’s about it for my Wimbledon adventure. I am 100 % behind Serena for the grand slam and Federer for the world record of 8 Wimbledon wins. It’s so very exciting. I will be watching in anticipation and I wish all the players well and thank them for such a passionate entertainment.
Go team SPORTS!
Thanks so much for reading.
Peace, Love, Harmony and Respect.