Today I am going to talk about one of my passions. Those who know me well and those who don’t know me quite so well will already be aware that I am just a tad bonkers crazy about tennis. Top of the tennis tree, is my very favourite tennis player of all time, the Number 1 World Class Maestro Roger Federer - “Baryshnikov in whites”. Roger who not so long ago dominated the tennis arena for a decade. To watch Roger play tennis is a gift, his grace and his balletic style is second to none. He is a true gent both on and off the court! Let’s face it, he is also rather easy on the eye.
I have loved Roger since the first moment I set eyes on him which to be honest is so long ago that I can hardly remember but in those days he sported a pony tail. Remember? I recall the 2003Wimbledon final when he played against Mark Philippoussis. It was the first of his many Grand Slam wins and the first time a Swiss male had won a Grand Slam. I am still so pleased that his first Grand Slam was achieved at Wimbledon and I hope that Wimbledon will see him win again. He has often said that Wimbledon is a very special place for him and I for one hope he still has at least one more Wimbledon Final win in him.
For a short while before Roger appeared on the scene, my interest in tennis fell by the wayside following the retirement of my other tennis hero Jimmy Connors. Nobody sparked my interest in quite in the same way again until I set eyes on Roger.
Wimbledon is special. To sit on Centre Court in that sunshine watching those champions feels like a complete honour and a privilege. Wimbledon is the icing on the Grand Slam cake and I have had some very exciting moments watching those heros of mine in their tennis whites over the decades. The Borgs, the Nastases, the McEnroes how they have entertained us. Those lawns so beautifully mown, so green, the umpires, the ball boys and girls in their uniforms, the strawberries, the Pimms and on and on – it is all so very British and I love it.
I have been fortunate enough to have had extreme good luck in the Ballot over the last few years for which I am hugely grateful. I’ve been to some terrific matches in SW19 including the Mens Final in 2010 with my nephew. However, in all those years it has been Roger who has alluded me every time – I have always just missed him. I have seen Rafa play three times there, why last year I was so close to him I could have kissed him but I didn’t do that; instead, I managed to snap this gem of a pic whilst he was signing autographs on the hoof – note which hand this left handed player is using!
In January 2011 on a hot 43 degrees summers day I was in Melbourne at the Australian Open and at last I saw Roger! Twice in one day actually – thrill of thrills! Watched him both on the practice court and later in his match. Let me tell you it was HOT HOT HOT.
A couple of weeks ago an envelope came through my letterbox, I opened it and my heart skipped several beats, I went hot and cold as my brain assessed what day the Ballot had selected for me this year. I have hit the tennis ball jackpot this time, tickets for the Mens Semi Finals day. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This has got to be my very favourite day of the Tournament and I am on Cloud 9 at the thought of it!
I want to ask my colleague the Media Astrologer Sally Kirkman whether she might be up for a challenge? Sally has been one of my colleagues on the Better Bloggers Group this month and I would like to ask her what the stars hold for the four top mens Seeds at Wimbledon this year and to make it easy for Sally I am going to give her their birth dates - no rush Sally, we have until June. I do hope you’re up for it!
Roger Federer 8 August 1981
Rafael Nadal 3 June 1986
Novak Djokovic 22 May 1987
Andy Murray 15 May 1987
These are the four players I hope to see on Centre Court on Semi Finals Day – don’t let me down boys.
By the way Roger, if you are reading this post I think this is your year and I’m feeling very lucky. Holding that trophy suits you – why, it has your name all over it!
Photos courtesy of www.tennisgrandstand.com and www.verysporty.com