20 July 2018

Word play

The score tells you the result of a match but it is the commentary that describes the experience and our players are as good with a pen as they are with a racket

A tennis score, as we know, contains only the bare bones of the story of a match. It tells you nothing about how a player felt. For that you need a match commentary which is why we love them here at Tennis HQ.

We can picture the scene when Joachim describes the “wonderful location” of the courts in Jesus Green, Cambridge "by the river, on a warm summer evening” with a choir just within ear shot, just as we can imagine what it was like for Paul coping with “footballs raining down on the court with increasing regularity from the local Wallsend scoundrels"!

Sometimes it’s the court surface that draws attention: “I’m surprised NASA don’t practice at Kneller Gardens, such is its similarity to a moonscape,” said Gareth and sometimes it is the unexpected: “Not often you can describe a Scottish outdoor tennis court as a cauldron, but boy was it hot today,” said Blair.

Edward has a nice way with a metaphor. “There was enough drama in this instalment to make a series of Game of Thornes look like a Sunday afternoon snoozefest … Matt’s returns make even the most aggressive alpine ibex look like a soft teddy bear, in slippers, with a glass of milk and a cookie.” Andy played a game that ”had it all. Great tennis, poor tennis, long rallies, short rallies..tears and anger (well no tears but nearly)" and Richard reckoned: “Need to call England’s sports psychologist.” Graeme’s comment was briefer.  “One word – HOT.”

Best of all are the tales of friendships, kindness and sportsmanship. “Victory is sweet but only because Yoshihiro gifted me some Match Tea Kit Kats after we finished," said Adam. Simon and Paul discovered they “share a passion for Fantasy Football” and Dominic was gracious in defeat. “Rory played really well with his gliding Federer backhand.” Line calls don't have to be difficult as Jeremy discovered when he polayed Gary. “Gary is truly honest on line calls and a genuinely gracious opponent – what a great way to spend a few hours! Perhaps we can queue together for Wimbles tickets next year!” As for Gary, his sportsmanship was returned when he played Bernardo. “I would like to call our Bernardo for being incredibly sporting – on match point I was blinded by the net after hitting a very deep return. I was unsure about it. He called it in. Top guy.”

 As Nigel says “Vivre le tennis.”