As Wimbledon 2013 commenced and everyone started doubting *Andy Murray’s skills even when he played really well, such is (or was) the national past-time, various people said to me things like “you should go there and watch it in person, soak up the atmosphere and all that.” Except I am boring like that. The way I see it, balls to the atmosphere, and double balls (pair of balls?) to the sunshine and the sensations: more than anything I want to actually see the tennis without people’s big fat irritating heads getting in the way. For doing that, nothing beats watching it on the laptop screen, live as it happens, close to the essential amenities and food sources that I require at such a mentally punishing time. I know a lot of people would’ve set their own grandmother on fire and pushed her down a very large flight of stairs just to get a seat in Centre Court, but for me I simply cannot allow myself to be interrupted. Plus, the way life goes, it’s very possible that I’d need a wee just at a very crucial moment, potentially ruining everything. It’s a good thing I wasn’t there in person, then…else when Andy finally put Djokovic down, it might have all suddenly got a bit too much.
(Put Djokovic down. A very dramatic way of putting it! Almost as if Andy was the vet and Novak was a sick, tired dog who could no longer do the splits. Oh, what a thought. This analogy doesn’t really work, of course, seeing as due to their specific physiology, dogs can’t even attempt the splits, so I decided it was better off being in brackets. On second thoughts, it probably would’ve been better to liken Djokovic to a cat…on third thoughts, it was a crap analogy.)
I was a complete non-stop verbal nightmare, sitting there watching that relentless, amazing final. Firstly, I made my girlfriend Jen experience every moment of it with me, even though she isn’t the least bit interested in tennis (she had the optional choice of doing some sort of practical activity like Henna’ing her candles while we watched, but decided against it in the end – probably wise as I’d only have kept screaming “he’s winning, he’s still winning!” in Jen’s face, potentially leading to some very wonkily-designed candles), and secondly, I kept clapping like a toddler whenever anyone hit the ball. One thing nobody could say was that I wasn’t prepared. Twenty minutes before the historic final began, having forced us to return from the shops at a strict time to allow me ample minutes to get ready, I gathered the things I would need to not have to get up during the course of the thing. It would be bad enough that I’d have to go to the toilet every so often…I couldn’t have my desire for food and treats getting in the way of things even more.
It turned out I had planned things well. Meticulously, you could say. I was proud of myself. With two large glasses of water there within easy-reaching distance, I would easily stay hydrated, and with various snacks, I’d have things to comfort me when things got hard for Andy (and if need be, I could always send Jen off).
By the half-way point I was screaming and shouting and really getting on Jen’s nerves (even though she loves me, giving me plenty of leeway to act like a tennis dork as and when I wish to). When Djokovic started a) arguing with the umpire** then b) slipping all over the place***, you could see that Andy could be in with half a chance. I say half a chance because, let’s be honest, we all thought Novak would come back at him, creating a scenario almost as hideous as the one I described earlier, where a grandmother in dire circumstances was mentioned heading towards some stairs.
But he didn’t. He couldn’t. And with that Andy Murray actually went and won.
Andy Murray, the world’s least likely stand-up comedian, finally Wimbledon Champion in 2013. Brilliant! I just wish I’d had enough faith in his skills to put some money on him at the bookies…
* I was going to say “poor Andy Murray,” but learning about the £1.6 million prize money quickly changed my mind. Did you hear? He’s just donated it all to charity!
** The umpire was a bit thick, wasn’t he? Even though I wanted Andy to win, that umpire was definitely biased…
*** Up until that point, I had no idea that Djokovic was capable of losing his balance, so this was a shocking and lovely surprise!