I’ve always been a big tennis fan. I played a lot as a child and have been lucky enough to see most of the top players live. I’ve read loads of tennis books, including, of course, Open by Andre Agassi (review here). I’ve also been to the famous lawns of Wimbledon, and even got a photo with the famous trophy. So I just had to go and see Roger Federer when he was in the Nitto World Tour Finals, an exclusive tournament for the best eight male players of the year. In the opening match of the London-based tournament, he faced Japanese star Kei Nishikori. But in a huge shock, the Swiss maestro lost 7-6 6-3.
I’ll get back to regular posts soon, but just wanted to share with you my two articles for a new tennis website, Tennis365.com. One is a look at the achievements of Andy Murray so far while the other is Michael Stich’s run to the Wimbledon crown in 1991. Feel free to click on them and have a read.
There was so much to see on the Wimbledon visit I had recently that I had to seperate it into two parts. This post will focus on the guided tour (you can find my experience of the shop here), which takes you around different courts and the overall area. As there was so much to see, I’ve reviewed the tour in a non-linear way so as to group the photographs better.
On my recent trip to Wimbledon, I took this photo of the iconic court. It has heralded countless legends over the decades and even empty, you can sense its magic.
As a gift from my good friend Tosha, I had tickets for the Wimbledon tour. As regulars of the blog will know, I am a big tennis fan. I’ve quoted numerous legends like Arthur Ashe and Chris Evert to current stars like Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro and been to the 02 to see the ATP World Tour Finals numerous times. I’ve read Andre Agassi’s autobiography Open, Fred Perry’s biography The Last Champion, Levels of the Game by sports writer John McPhee and Break Point by tennis journalist Kevin Mitchell.
With Novak Djokovic’s life on court continuing to unravel after his unceremonious dumping out of the French Open tournament, his relationship with his newly-hired coach Andre Agassi will be more vital than ever. As the finals of the male and female take place this weekend (Agassi is the last American male to win in Paris), here are eight quotes from the Las Vegan’s seminal autobiography Open. Published in 2009, three years after his retirement, it tells of the 47 year old’s struggle in losing is childhood to tennis, being a prodigy, his rivalries with other competitors and fall down the ranking after years of success. The hugely honest and insightful memoir also tells of his inspirational recovery to the top of the game and later contentment in retirement. You can also see my review of the book here.
When we were competing against each other for 18 years, with her as No.1 and me as No.2, or the other way around, there was a lot of tension between us. At the end of the week we were the only two players left in the locker room. But we still had each others’ backs even then. Every Sunday one of us would be comforting the other one. There was always that caring, that compassion between us. It was very deeply rooted.
7-time French Open champion Chris Evert on her rivalry with 9-time Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova. With 18 singles Grand Slam titles each, one of the two held the top spot for all but 23 weeks for 12 years between November 1975 until August 1987. In one of sports greatest rivalries, the pair met 61 times in finals, 14 of which were in Grand Slams.
Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.
Three time Grand Slam champion and four time Davis Cup winner Arthur Ashe (1943 – 1993). As well as his impressive achievements on the court, he was a true inspiration off it. Ashe played a crucial role in forming the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), vigorously campaigned against racism even during his career and set up the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS and Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health.
People say, “You retired too young.” And I counter that by saying “I got a head start on the rest of my life.”
Andy Roddick, who along with four-time slam winner Kim Clijsters and four-time Paralympic tennis wheelchair medallist Monique Kalkman-van den Bosch, will be inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame. During his highly-consistent career Roddick was an ATP World Number One, won the Davis Cup, was in the top 5 for 187 weeks and memorably won the US Open. Since his retirement the 34-year old Texan native has concentrated on his family, broadcasting career, commercial real estate companies and the Andy Roddick Foundation.
I never thought I’d be number one in the world. It’s been many years of work to get here.
Two-time Olympic champion, two-time Wimbledon champion, US Open and Davis Cup winner Andy Murray. Murray is the first British tennis player to be ranked top since the ATP rankings came into play in 1973, and achieved it seven years after first being ranked second.