She’s the most unlikely athlete to look at. None of the usual wasp waist and slender limb. But she oozes determination with her shadow-shots – all double-handed and as ungainly as her play. But she wins – and might just spring a surprise today. And then she’ll do this again, I’m sure. Wimbledon, 2 pm BST.

France's Marion Bartoli overpowered Belgian Kirsten Flipkens 6-1, 6-2 to reach her second Wimbledon final. She faces Germany's Sabine Lisicki in the final.

Underrated: Andrea Temesvari


In la primavera a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love, in the summer it turns to tennis. Back in the days of wooden racquets, all white clothes and Dan Maskell I was crazy about tennis. I used to play all the time becoming quite adept at the sport.

Once upon a time there was a beautiful Hungarian tennis player called Andrea Temesvari. She batted balls in the 1980’s and is a contemporary of me. When she was winning the Italian Open in 1982 I was celebrating being crowned school champion. It was a vintage year for tennis. Continue reading “Underrated: Andrea Temesvari”

Lob shots keep falling on my head

For the first time in about twenty years I was on a bike today. It is a short trip to the local tennis court that we usually walk. My son said why we don’t we take the bikes for a change. After getting permission from my other son for a loan of his cycle, off we went.

It is said that you never forget how to ride a bike. In seconds I was on the saddle and pedalling through the revolutions. The wind was in my hair cutting a dashing figure. Continue reading “Lob shots keep falling on my head”

Another British triumph or two

Andy Murray

Never one to make viewing easy, our cherished North Briton dragged us through his highs and lows with the skills of a Proms conductor. It was descant and bass in quick succession and we were poised to disown him again, as his friend Novak seemed to be taking charge. But no, his Caledonian courage saw him through.

Meanwhile, our other provincial hero, young Rory, gave another masterclass to his rivals and must soon decide where his allegiancies lie for Rio 2016. Will the green be his colour as well as his arena?

Superbrat didn’t sweat

There’s a few traits about today’s tennis professionals that make me want to shout. They are so fussy about the balls they receive before they serve. They’ll have three in their hand and after analysing them will discard a few to the slave ball boy. Honestly these sportsmen are a spoiled lot; they should see the balls I play with. Also, the rejected balls are rolled along the ground to the ball boys forcing the child to stoop to pick them up. What’s up with bouncing the balls back to the ball boys? Give the ball boys a break, for goodness sake. Continue reading “Superbrat didn’t sweat”

The minor league tennis champion

Summer-lovin’- self-pity- reluctant acceptance- minefield- Oh I say!- there’s always one- a knife scraping on a plate- as bad as Murray’s maw- Doctor, Doctor, I’ve got tennis elbow- non-rugby conversion- love fifteen – mega bucks

In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love, in the summer it turns to tennis. Without bumping my gums too much, if I had a bigger serve you’d never have heard of Jamie Murray. Failing to make it at the highest level hasn’t bothered me and my life took on a new career track. Continue reading “The minor league tennis champion”

Sweet love all

This is a tough time for patriots. The Australian Grand Slam is already quickening the pulse. Andy the North Brit threatened disaster as usual, but won; while Sam Stosur, the local favourite, didn’t make it over the first hurdle, in company with all the rest of the British contenders.

Meanwhile in deference to the unattached Cuprum, the England cricket team are demonstrating their powers of collapse. Does Pakistan have a point to prove, I wonder? (Not a single no ball yet, I see!)

I think I’d better hibernate for a few days, or the tension will take its toll. Only call me if there’s some good news.


Can she do it this time?

Last year Sam reached the finals of the Paris Open, but was defeated in an incredible display of unusual skill by her Italian opponent.

This year she’s stormed her way into the final of the US Open, to challenge the High Priestess of Tennis, Serena Williams.   She’s the first Aussie lady to make it to the American final since 1977 – that’s a long time between drinks!  Can she win her first Grand Slam title?

Frankly, I doubt it; Serena is some tough cookie.   But although logic says no, my heart will be cheering for Sam.