Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Don't read this if you don't care about tennis.

Most of you reading this probably don't know I quite like my tennis. I use to really enjoy playing when I was younger and if I hadn't spent the last 10 years dedicating most of my waking hours to music, I would have been playing sport. I suppose I would have made a go at either tennis, football or athletics (whether sprinting or jumping), but instead they all faded out over time and now I'm lazy and unfit, but at least I'm making music, and I've got a better chance of making a living from that than I would have those. I haven't played tennis in years, mainly because none of my friends played since I left school, but I still feel like after about an hour of playing I'd get back into it. When I watch it I remember how each shot feels, and how the rhythm you get into when you're playing well is so very similar to the feeling of playing a song you know inside out, more so than any other sport.

Unlike a lot of British 'tennis fans' Wimbledon is not the only tennis I watch, but it certainly is special. Ever year I feel like there is one game that really gets the tournament going, and I've just watched this years. Andy Murray, the only British player with any hope of getting anywhere lost the first two sets against Gasquet, ranked number ten in the world. Having just watched Euro 2008 without really caring about the result (though I was happy to see the sublime Spanish team beat the lumbering brute strength of the Germans - that was simply a victory for good football) I wasn't looking forward to a second week of Wimbledon with no one to cheer for.

Had Murray gone out in straight sets it would have been through no fault of his own. He played well from the beginning but Gasquet was simply incredible, it was like watching Federer play, the natural ability, the consistency, and the ease with which he pulled off the most difficult of shots. But Murray took the third to a tiebreaker having raised his game to match the phenomenal Frenchman. He won the tiebreaker on a shot that should have been impossible to reach, ending up beyond the grass and stopping himself just in time to not fall into the little pit the cameramen stand in. They must have got some brilliant celebratory shots.

Errors started to enter into Gasquay's game, which had previously looked almost flawless, and Murray suddenly looked the one who was unstoppable, and it proved so as he took the fourth and fifth sets to make it into the quarter finals.

What struck me most about the game was that, regardless of the result, it was a joy to watch. No offence to Tim Henman, he had a very good career and seems like a nice guy but my God he was a chore to watch! Murray has a confidence and aggressive side that Henman never really had, I expect him to win points. The fact that he came back to win it in five sets just adds to the excitement by offering the prospect of another match to come, this time against world number two Rafael Nadal. At the end Murray showed off his muscles, I imagine to show the effort he's put into the physical side to his training, which was noticeable - comparing to the last time he was at Wimbledon, he'd never have been able to keep up that level of play for 4 hours. But he won't be comparing with Nadal in that department, the Spaniard is build like a brick shithouse.

While I'm hovering around the subject, the tennis players of today must be some of the fittest sportsmen around. The way the cover the court is unbelievable, and to keep that going for longer than two back to back football matches, credit where it's due.

Back to Murray, I have just one thing against him: he's one of those Scottish people who like England to lose. I don't get that, I support Scotland against anyone but England and Ireland (I'm half Irish). I wonder how he'd feel if all of the English people in the crowd at Wimbledon wanted him to lose.

In other news I was recording today and equipment kept fucking up. Had someone been in the room I'd probably have killed them just for being there. I'm winning clipstar at the moment so hopefully I will be able to get some better stuff when that's over! Though I'm only winning by 2 votes and there's a month left. I was kind of hoping that mentioning it in a video would do more to be honest; I've got just over 200 votes out of almost 6000 subscribers. Oh well.


Dom said...

I was ready to go to bed at 8 last night. I thought 'I'll just wait for him to go a break down in the third', but he didn't, the Gasquet started tightening up towards the end. But lets face it, if he hadn't been serving so poorly, hardly getting any first serves in, he'd have probably won easier. But Gasquet was amazing for two sets, so of those backhand winners were incredible. Like a bullet!

Carol J. Richardson said...

Hmm!! We have an old saying across the pond: If you don't use it, you lose it......
I once played tennis and water skied; not now----it would no doubt kill me.
Hope you get back into tennis. Also, a second career could be Sports Writer. I can tell you would be very good at it. Enjoyed your blog!!!!! Good luck in
Clip Star!!!!!

Jim said...

Well, I can't say I really care about tennis, but I read it anyway. If the music thing doesn't work out for you (though I can't imagine it won't, because you're so fucking awesome), you could definitley be a sports writer. I know almost nothing about tennis, but the way you wrote about it was very engaging, and I wasn't at all bored reading it.

Maybe when the music thing does work out for you, you could be a sports writer on the side.