When Too Much Tennis just Isn’t Enough
Ah, sport. The two sports I claim to prove that I’m not entirely a bookworm who never comes out of a book are tennis and cricket, on which – it being summer – I have been able to glut recently.
I am, though, not a true fan.
My brother will watch any cricket game he can possibly get close to; probably even U12s. My mother will stay up til the wee smalls to watch tennis. Me, I watch cricket when Australia is playing – impossibly jingoistic, I know, but there you have it (I do at least enjoy the five-day form, and am not simply a 50-over slut). The tennis I primarily watch is what we just had over the last fortnight.*
A few years ago, Mum suddenly realised that I lived in Melbourne, and there’s tennis in Melbourne! So we’ve started a tradition of her coming over for three days of tennis – we get tix to a stadium each day, and decide on the day who we’re going to watch and if we can bothered slumming it with the plebs on the outer courts (answer: yes, if there’s an Aussie who promises to put up a fight, and it doesn’t clash with someone awesome in our stadium). (And when I was in the UK last year, she still came over for the tennis, and had a jolly fine time without me.)
We went for three days in the first week, and saw some pretty good matches. The two that stand out were Dellaqua beating Schnyder – very exciting – and Luczak taking it to Nalbandian; didn’t leave the place until 8pm that evening, because it went to four fairly long sets. We saw a couple of other Aussies, as well as some games where one person was just getting smacked around the place. Didn’t see any doubles at all for the whole Open, which I was a bit sad about – I love watching them up at the net.
As for this past week – I was so glad Federer** beat Tipsarevic, because we saw him playing an Aussie (Siriani) on a show court and he was being really snooty. I was also the only person (out of four) barracking for Djokovic last night; I think he’s pretty cool (saw him beat a poor Italian man, in the second round). Sharapova looked gratifyingly excited and amazed when she won, of which I approve.
And now, I go back to watching basically tennis for the next 11.5 months – not having cable tv – and, today at least, I think of my brother and mother both at the fifth day of the test.
* That said, when I was at college I got up after only a few hours of sleep and watch the Poo and then Rafter in consecutive semis, which they both won – it was the US Open, I think? in 1998. And then went to inter-college rowing all day… ah, fun times.
** I remember the first time I saw Federer on the tv. I misread his name, and thought it said Fedora; ever since then he has been Johnny Fedora to me, thanks to a Golden Book (remember them?) I loved as a kid, about two hats: Johnny Fedora and Alice Blue Bonnet. That story had it all: romance, adventure, tragedy, a happy ending….
We didn’t go this year, but the few years before that the Ma and I have attended the Aus Open for a couple of days… and wondered why we didn’t start doing it much earlier. We’re going this coming January – very exciting! Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the first week, couple of days at Vodafone and one at Rod Laver. Very cool!!
My question, though, is this: I opted for the email option, where they send you a PDF and you print out your ticket. And… on top of the price of the ticket… you still have to pay an extra $4.95! for the privilege of using your own paper and ink! Grrr.
I’m a bit sad… I had been sad at the thought of missing him last night while flying home, but it turns out that was unnecessary, so now I’m jut sad that he’s not on the next two weeks, while Aunty has highlights of the French Open instead.
I can’t believe Agassi is out! Inconceivable. And the Poo, too… although that one isn’t so hard to believe.