Confessions of an Ageing Tennis Player: 2nd set, how to win at Wimbledon (7th game)

Dashed dreams and future horizons (5-2)

I was dismayed last night to find out after I’d been hanging out with Roger (F)) and Rafa (N) that Andy (M) had fallen at the second hurdle of the prestigious event that is the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament.

As one who had earlier that afternoon successfully progressed to the third round, I felt for Andy and his dashed dreams. My immediate reaction was that I jump on a bus and get straight down to his penthouse suite in Putney and console him. Rafa (N) advised me against it though. He had tried such an approach a couple of years ago only for Andy (M) to set his American Pit Bull Terriers loose on him the moment he rang the doorbell.

It is difficult for someone so old to fail at such an early stage in this international competition – and to fail so badly, truth be told – but I am sure he will take it on his substantial Scottish chin and recover in the fullness of time. I sent him a text message to tell him as much and urged him not to give up.

Think positive!” I texted him – “but don’t give up the day job either”, I joshed with a funny little emoticon at the end of my one-hundred-and-sixty-character message. He hasn’t replied yet, but I expect he’s going through some tough soul searching at the moment, up there in his penthouse suite in Putney. No doubt his yappy dogs are keeping him company.

That’s the trouble with being so old on the tennis circuit these days and trying to live off your past glories. You go into a game with your head in entirely the wrong place.  You think you’re it. You think you’re invincible. You think the world owes you a living. You think you’re God’s gift to tennis. Just because you’ve got a nice penthouse suite in Putney and a family of yapping American Pitt bull terriers.

But the fact is, you’re over the hill, you’re long gone Daddy-oh, and there ain’t no turnin’ back the hands of time ‘cos you gotta make way for a new generation of up and coming stars – all us tennis players who’ve been waiting in the wings for years and who may not have the penthouse suite in Putney, or the barking mad American Pit Bulls, but by God we have English spirit and English blood and are on the path to reclaim the ‘King Of All Tennis Tournament Trophies’: the Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Singles Trophy.

So, when Andy (M) surfaces from his black dog depression and is ready to talk to me, I shall benignly place my hand on his shoulder, steer him gently in the direction of YouTube videos on how to play tennis and offer him a couple of ring side seats at my next match – which by the way, is my third-round tie tomorrow.

At Wimbledon.

The place where he just got eliminated from.

It may just get him in the right state of mind for his next Grand Slam tournament.

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