Match Point

Match Point

I was in RL Louisiana this weekend, saying farewell to a dear woman I worked with for several years at the bookstore.  She had retired just within the year, and had moved back to Keithville to be with family, so it was something of a shock to us at the store to get the news.  Three of us made the trip across two and a half states to attend her funeral.  I drove by myself; and, as I was rocketing up I-20 on Saturday morning to get to the church, I played with the satellite radio in the car, until I recalled what day it was.  I flipped to the BBC World Service feed in time to catch the opening of the Ladies’ Singles Final at The Championships, Wimbledon.  I heard most of Serena Williams‘ record-matching win1 against Angelique Kerber, whom she dismissed 7-5, 6-3.  And this morning, before I left the hotel to return home, I followed Andy Murray‘s fierce battle against Canadian star Milos Raonic in the Gentlemen’s Singles, with Murray winning 6-4, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-2).

I remember for years, between about 1977 and 1994, it was my “tradition” to watch NBC’s “Breakfast at Wimbledon” presentation on both Saturday and Sunday mornings.  (It’s now moved to ESPN.) I’ve only ever played the game one time; but I’ve always enjoyed traditions, and The Championships is definitely one of those.  It’s given me an appreciation for those who can play tennis at the heights of talent and ability, and I’ve seen some of the more memorable battles ever enacted on a tennis court during the fortnight at Wimbledon, such as the famous 1980 men’s final between Björn Borg and John McEnroe — a nearly four-hour, five set match that included a monster 34-point tiebreaker.  It threatened to last even longer, because McEnroe and Borg tied in the fifth set as well, and Wimbledon doesn’t play a tiebreaker in the last set — you must break the opponent’s serve and win in normal fashion.  (Borg finally won the overall behemoth of a match, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-7 (16-18), 8-6.)

Yes, the newfangled stuff like Second Life is fun and enchanting; it can even be enriching.  But you can’t ignore the traditions….

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1 With her win on Saturday, Serena ties Steffi Graf for most career Grand Slam singles championships in the “Open Era” (when professional players were allowed to compete at the major championships). The overall leader is Margaret Court, with 24 Grand Slam wins.

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  • Annette Sport Tennis Outfit by Jezzixa Cazalet for Prism.  This outfit includes a pair of shoes, ball and racquet, which I’m not using here.

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