When jetlag actually works in your favour: watching the Aus Open final in bed at 3:30am 🤷♂️
Something remarkable happened in a recent game of doubles tennis: I was at net with my partner receiving. Both teams were in the standard doubles configuration of one up and one back. The ball was served to my partner who hit a weakish shot at the opponent at net. The opponent promptly wound up for a massive forehand winner and let loose at full strength, sending the ball hurtling toward my face at maximum speed from about five metres away.
Last weekend I played in my first tennis tournament. My coach signed me up because he believes I need match practise, and I agree. I don’t know where he signed me up as he didn’t offer me a website to register on, he simply asked for my details and 50 Ringgit, and SMSed me later in the day to say I was all set. I lost 4–8 in the first round (matches are first to eight games, win by two, tie-break at 8–8), but that’s not the important part.
While watching the BNP Paribas Open in the US on TV (the third pro tournament I’ve watched either in person or on telly), I’m struck by the coverage of the lines-people — the men and women who watch the lines eagerly and call it out when it is. In recent years, the larger tournaments use the electronic Hawk-Eye system, where a player can challenge a call from a lines-person if they believe a wrong call was made. I’m generally in favour of Hawk-Eye because the ball moves so quickly nowadays that wrong calls are going to happen.
Prologue Last week I spent most of my waking hours at the BMW Malaysian Open women’s tennis tournament. It was the first professional tennis tournament I’ve attended. With my borderline-feverish enthusiasm for the game of tennis over the last 6–9 months, it’s not an understatement to say I was flippin’ excited. The Monday morning tennis group had been talking up the event for several weeks beforehand, especially telling me how ‘close’ I’d get to the players. I thought this was a bit weird; why would it matter how close I’d be to the players?
While I sat at the Malaysian Open women’s tennis tournament this week, I thought a lot about tennis. It was my first pro tournament, and I was taking everything in: the way the ball boys/girls move the balls around, the role of the umpire as over-lord of the court, and the lack of commentators (particularly during the five minute warm-up where the player stats are usually shown on tv). Another thing I thought about was winning. Obviously, this was a competitive tournament, with prize money and WTA points up for grabs.
I’m not usually absent-mindedly patriotic, but HOLY CRAP! Agnieszka Radwanska[1. Please don’t sue me for using a photo from your website :S] has been added to the BMW Malaysian Open roster! (Venus Williams and Jelena Dokic Marion Bartoli can’t make it — jam lah). So, I’m lobbin’ to the event like a mofo (see what I did there?). Anyone in need of design work over the next week will need to wait, sorry. (How I wish I’d’ve bought a Polish soccer jersey a couple years ago… :( Look mum, no images!
I got my wife to take a photo of me in my tennis gear. Sounds harmless enough, but do not look! If you’ve known me at all, either for 6 months or most of my life, you will be creeped out. Here’s why: I’m wearing sunglasses My shorts are short enough that you can almost see my knees. My knees! I’m wearing a white top. A white top! I’m holding a piece of sporting equipment I have logos on my clothes (unavoidable) I’m possibly wearing the ugliest shoes on earth You’ve been warned.