So, the British Number 1 women’s tennis player, Johanna Konta, is now out of Wimbledon, having been beaten by Dominika Cibulkova. Ms Cibulkova by the way played an energetic and suberb game, at one point losing 4 match points but eventually going on to beat Ms Konta. What with Andy Murray out of the running due to still recovering from a hip operation, it’s down to Kyle Edmund to keep the British show on the road.
I always try to follow what’s happening at Wimbledon, but as far as I’m concerned it was better when I used to come home from school and plonk myself in front of the telly for the evening whenever Wimbledon was on. Mum would be doing whatever she did; dinner would appear on the table, but there was no sitting there watching tennis with a tray on my lap. No, it was a case of eating as fast as I could to be back watching Ilie Nastase, Jimmy Connors, Chris Evert, and Evonne Goolagong et al do their thing. John McEnroe would shout ‘You cannot be serious!’ and I’d lap it all up.
Has Wimbledon changed for me over the years? Yes of course; there’s more money involved than back in the 1970s and the players are more dour-faced these days with the stress of needing to win and keep up their ranking. They don’t piss about as Nastase and Connors often did. Also I can’t sit in the armchair all afternoon and evening and watch the matches as I now have work and household duties that interfere with the games! When my boys were small I tended not to get around to watching it at all, and sadly lost track of new players as the old ones retired or threw their racquets up in the air in disgust.
The days of running out of the school gates as a sixth former with friends and hopping on a train to Wimbledon to stand outside the centre court and watch the evening games for free are long gone. Yes, people coming off the court would give us their tickets, and in we’d run. I saw many of the great players, and for that I shall be ever thankful. Now I live around 150 miles away and the train service is limited to say the least. Driving there would be a nightmare, but now there’s no Mum around to stop me sitting with a tray on my lap and watching the odd game or two on TV if I want to. Dear old Dot – I wish she would appear though…
I know many of you prefer the football, but I don’t give two hoots who wins that. For me it’s always been tennis! Perhaps it’s a girly thing?