We’re well into winter here in South Africa, and one of the highlights of the cold season is of course Wimbledon. Growing up, the famous grass court tournament fell into our school holidays, which meant we usually watched it on our grandparents’ farm. Coupled with the local kids’ tennis coaching clinic we attended every year at this time and it’s no wonder all us cousins got tennis fever. Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, Boris Becker, Andre Agassi, Stefan Edberg, Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe and the like were our absolute heroes.
We lived near the All England Club during our time in the UK and the thrill of actually being in those hallowed grounds for real was immense. Bear in mind that my grandpa would have to crank up the diesel-powered engine that provided electricity to the farmhouse early in those days so we could watch Wimbledon on TV during the afternoon. So I’d come a long way from those humble days to be standing courtside in the flesh.
This year has seen me glued to the television almost every afternoon, embroidery in hand and mind on the tennis. It’s been one of the best Wimbledon tournaments in years, with early upsets and seeded players falling like dominoes, unknowns and unexpecteds living the dream and titanic five-set battles. No writer could have scripted it better.
It’s been such cracker jack entertainment that my embroidery schedule slipped more than the players. You can imagine the scenario, hand poised to take the next stitch … after this point … this game … this set. So the tennis generally won out even though I did manage to get a bit of embroidery done, and it’s been a brilliant two weeks of stitching and watching.
My fingers are crossed for Sabine Lisicki this afternoon and I wish Andy and Novak could both win. Who are you supporting? And will you be embroidering while you watch, perhaps to calm the nerves…?