Tag Archives: Hawkeye

Confessions of an Ageing Tennis Player: 2nd set, how to win at Wimbledon (13th game)

Preparation is for wimps (8-5)

Well, whether I like it or not, I now know my opponent for the final match of this year’s Wimbledon men’s tennis finals. I have tried in my silly, superstitious way to avoid looking at the draw, but now there can be no avoiding the truth of who is left in the championship.

So, it’ll be him and me again. We’ve had some epic ventures in our time, and this looks like being yet another one.

So, how to prepare?

Emma (R) suggests saunas, gluten free pasta and a spot of practice on the Virtua Tennis 4 Xbox console. I’m more inclined to hit a few balls at the BBGs who line up at the back of the practice courts at this time of year, puffing on a few illicit ciggies before they’re called to bow and curtsey to the great and the good.  Avoiding my power packed service will definitely keep them on their toes.

On the other hand, it’s now too late to prepare for anything other than what the final result will be. There’s a lot spoken in elite sporting circles (the ones I frequent) about failing to prepare and preparing to fail: but my view is that preparation is a much over-rated pastime and that we would all be a lot better off if we lived in the heat of the moment, in the hustle and bustle of the here and now, rather than worry in advance about this particular shot, or that particular action.

Tennis is a sport – take it from me – which requires its players to get in the zone, stay there and don’t leave it until the last BBG has picked up your drenched towel off the grass and you have shaken hands with HRH and banked the cheque. 

And that means hoofing it down to the pub for a couple of last-minute pints of our landlord’s best foaming Hawkeye Bitter before casually sauntering down to Centre Court some time on Sunday, ready to take my place in history.