Silly Saturday – How to Cheat at Wimbledon

No, not how to cheat playing tennis at Wimbledon…

Nor how to cheat your way to the front of the queue the night before the gates open at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, or how to get a cheap ticket for Centre Court on Finals Day…

I have been to Wimbledon the railway station ( many times ), the town hall ( amateur dramatics ), but not the tennis. How do you cheat at Wimbledon without going there?

My best Wimbledon was played when I was at junior school. Our friends round the corner had six children in their family. The eldest girl no longer a child, but a sophisticated ( to my eyes ) teenager at the local secondary modern. One year she was going with the school to Wimbledon and had made her own tennis racquet brooch, properly strung with cotton sewing thread; a perfect miniature that fitted in the palm of her hand. The excitement filtered down through sister two and sister three, my best friend and with wooden racquets we played tennis in the middle of our little road. The sophisticated game consisted of seeing how many times we could hit the ball back and forth without dropping it; no referees, no losers.

Learning tennis at high school was quite fun and a friend and I cycled to a Saturday morning tennis club, where the height of our achievement was a certificate for doing 20 forehands and 20 backhands in a row.

green tennis ball on court
Photo by Bogdan Glisik on Pexels.com

For most adults, tennis means watching Wimbledon on television. This is where some of us have to cheat. I dread the frequent question at this special fortnight of the summer. Not how is your novel going or have you been busy in the garden but

‘Have you been watching the tennis?’

I cringe in shame, I could simply say NO, but find myself apologising… not yet or just caught the end of er um oh how about that fifteen year old who beat Serena or was it Venus.

It is very difficult to cheat at watching tennis on television, you cannot pretend you watched Venus Williams being beaten by Coco Gauff; even if you get the names right you need to recount how play went. You cannot claim to have watched avidly every day without knowing every name, who played who and for how long. Some people book their annual leave so they can watch it all properly, so why don’t I get around to viewing?

Perhaps the protestant work ethic, watching television during the day? Or the sunshine; I may live one hundred miles from Wimbledon, but if it’s sunny there it will probably be sunny at home and how could I stay indoors on a nice day. I have tried to watch, I like the notion of tennis and have a fair idea of what they are supposed to be doing; hitting the ball before it hits the court or not hitting the ball before it lands outside the court. It is exciting when players make horizontal leaps and lob the ball two inches over the net, five yards from their opponent. But you have to concentrate; don’t tackle a complicated knitting pattern, sneak a look at your smart phone, doze off, or pop to the kitchen to make a sandwich, for you will miss the shock defeat or the fastest volley in history.

If you have not been glued to teletennis you can cheat by catching up with the sport highlights on television in the evening. Write down the relevant names and scores and memorise them so at work the next day when someone asks if  you saw the tennis you can reply

‘Did you see Selina Kalashnikov in that last set?’

sunshine-blogger

 

Have you been watching Wimbledon?

Have you been there for real?

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “Silly Saturday – How to Cheat at Wimbledon

  1. I lived in Wimbledon, in walking distance of the club in the 70s. I could get home from work, walk along there and wander in for nothing at the end of an afternoon. I got to see a lot of great games, in the era of Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors etc. You couldn’t do it now!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love Wimbledon! I watch in between other things; sometimes with smartphone in hand (when I invariably miss the best shots). And I never remember the names beyond the key players. But I still love it. Maybe it’s the traditions encased within the courts…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve only heard new snippets, especially of the little 15-year old sensation! At least Wimbledon is televised on network TV. Our own women’s US soccer team won (sorry), but is it televised? Not on regular channels. Plenty of women in sports out there rockin’ it worldwide, but all we see in the US are NFL football, MLB Baseball, and almost 10 months of NBA basketball! I remember the golden years of tennis with John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova and Crissy Evert! Those were the days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Terri, yes well done US girls football team! I’m not actually interested in footballl, BUT I would have loved to have played it at school instead of boring netball. It is the first time the media have been highlighting women’s foootball here.

      Liked by 1 person

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