There is only really one sport that I like. That I can play (and didn’t require the humiliation of being chosen last at school) and that I’m happy to watch: tennis! And as a Brit my heart is especially fond of Wimbledon. As I child I desperately wanted to be a ball girl (slight issues with the facts that a) I didn’t live in the borough or anywhere near and b) I couldn’t throw or catch and was seriously clumsy. But still…). And I think both my dad and I harboured Wimbledon dreams as he used to coach me at a local high school. I had the ability to dart around the court and to place a shot. I earned my six Lawn Tennis grades in a week. But I didn’t have the competitive spirit. Put me in a competitive situation and I’d crumble. There went that dream.
But I still love to watch. Oh my God, the crush I had on a mulleted Agassi is embarrassing.
Last year’s tournament was going to be hard to beat. Especially once Murray got knocked out. Could the final possibly be as emotive? Oh my God! Luckily Husband took charge of dinner tonight so I got to squirrel myself away upstairs to watch without Boo complaining that she’d rather watch CBeebies or Noodles just putting on a Peppa Pig DVD as a means of over-ruling my viewing pleasure. At around the fourth set the house downstairs went ominously quiet. Still I wasn’t to be lured downstairs, even with my trouble-senses twitching.
I was happy to come down to household carnage if it meant I didn’t have to miss a second. But then Federer went at snatched victory from Djokovic’s hands and forced a fifth set at about the same time Noodles started whingeing up the stairs. I had to watch the end with Boo darting round in front of the TV (she makes a terrible window) and Noodles squirming on my lap. The chicken over cooked and bedtime got put back, despite it being a school night. But WHAT A MATCH!
But oh to have actually been there! Funnily enough Husband manages to get tickets for just about every sporting event going for himself – the football (obviously), snooker at Sheffield, cricket at Lords, horse racing, etc, etc… – but not once have I had a ticket for Wimbledon.
One day though, surely my time will come. In which case it’s important to be prepared. Because, in these social media drenched days, it’s not enough to just be there – you have to be seen there.
Luckily the BBC loves nothing more than an easy stereotype to fill the hours of play. After all, there are only so many times between games you can show a man eating a banana/drinking Robinson’s barley water (although I’ve yet to figure out why it’s always decanted into Evian bottles. Sponsorship deals, I guess, but it just looks weird as it’s clearly NOT Evian. Or maybe the players are like Noodles and will only drink from a specific sort of sports bottle top. But as they’re not two-year-olds I’m guessing its still the former).
Anyway, if you’ve still stuck around through my ramblings thus far, here’s my guide to getting your moment in the Wimbledon spotlight. Bonus points if you get a slo-mo feature.
1) Be a player.
Obviously a sure-fire way to feature prominently as definitely being there (although, to be honest Andy Murray wasn’t 100% present in his match against Dimitriv that saw him out of this year’s competition).
The close-ups of the faces pulled aren’t always the most flattering though.
Maybe I should be pleased I wasn’t cut out for Wimbledon greatness.
2) Be the umpire…
Too much pressure. Too many hard decisions. Although it is the best seat in the house.
3) …or a ball boy/girl.
Mind you, they usually only get featured if they get hit by a ball. With serves of 120mph I’m not sure I’d fancy it much.
Similarly, you can be hit by the ball in the crowd, so your moment of fame will be of you a) possibly sustaining a concussion and then b) fumbling with returning the ball, whilst actually wanting to keep it as a memento. And you’re far less likely to get a personal apology than the court staff are likely to get. Pah.
4) Be a coach
But then you have to sit there all nonchalantly whilst everyone else is going crazy. I’m not very good at nonchalance.
5) Be a WAG.
Nobody can surely out-Wimbledon WAG Kim Sears though. Oh for hair that luxuriant.
Plus I’m not sure I could put with the tension after a lost match. It’s bad enough when Husband’s football team loses. Imagine what it must be like when it’s actually personal? No thanks!
6) Be royalty…
Oh, the hardships of a royal life with instant access to everywhere and a full-time nanny for baby George.
7) …or have royal in-laws.
Having a famous bottom has hurt Pippa Middleton about as much as it has Kim Kardashian. My backside is bigger than both of them combined. Surely it therefore deserves its chance to sit in a Wimbledon seat?
Plus, of course, I could, possibly, tenuously, be linked to Swedish royalty. That’s got to be enough.
8) Be a celebrity.
The crowd today seemed to be bursting with famous faces. Posh & Becks, Samuel L Jackson, Hugh Jackman (in full-on don’t-worry-it’s-for-a-character disguise)…
No wonder there aren’t enough seats for us rather more normal people.
9) Be a blue sky.
The threat of rain is never too far away at Wimbledon, so a blue sky is always going to get some coverage.
10) Have hair that looks wonderful in slo-mo celebration.
Although if Kim Sears and/or Kate Middleton are in the crowd your presence won’t be required, thanks.
11) Be an eccentric middle-aged lady with a themed hat.
Should my friend or I ever miraculously get Wimbledon tickets this may be our best bet of getting spotted amongst the crowd. Sadly.
Mind you, it could be worse. You could be elated to have court-side seats, but then – like the woman in the red dress below – have your moment obliterated with the slo-mo ball covering your face.
Or, get caught on The Hill flashing your knickers.
See, Wimbledon, I’ve learned my stuff. I know what to do. Now, if I could just have some tickets for next year that would be excellent. I’d make the perfect spectator and I promise not to flash.