Why I love tennis: My top 10 Wimbledon Moments.
Why I love tennis.
Wimbledon is the reason I love tennis.
I’ve followed the tournament (albeit on television) for more than thirty years. During that time I’ve laughed, cried, cheered, gasped and held my breath whilst watching some of the most iconic moments in tennis history.
Every year, when the Wimbledon build-up begins, I’m glued to the BBC TV coverage, just as the ticket-seeking fans are glued to their spot in the seemingly endless queue around the grounds. One day I hope to experience it for real. It’s on my ‘bucket list.’
I love everything about Wimbledon: the tradition; the strawberries and cream; Henman Hill/Murray Mount; Sue Barker and the team of commentators. I’m hooked from the very first serve, right through to the second Sunday. That’s when I settle on the sofa and watch in eager anticipation, as the players make the journey from their locker rooms to emerge through the familiar green doors onto the famous turf of Centre Court.
Favourite Tennis Moments.
Most, but not all of my favourite tennis moments are from the Wimbledon Championships. Andy Murray beating Roger Federer to win a gold medal at the London Olympics in 2012 was another special moment, especially as it came off the back of him losing to Federer in the Wimbledon finals earlier that the year.
I remember being desperate to see the match but we were on holiday in Wales at the time. Cue me, watching it on a smartphone in a beach tent, whilst the rest of my family paddled in the sea. Even the promise of sun and sand couldn’t tear me away from the prospect of such a historic win. There, beneath the canopy of my little tent, I wept unashamedly when Andy won the match. I was barely able to speak when the kids returned from the sea, wondering what the fuss was all about.
Although Andy Murray’s victory in the London 2012 Olympics was one of my favourite tennis moments, Wimbledon has given me a veritable treasure trove of wonderful moments.
My Top Ten Wimbledon Moments.
1. Jimmy Connor’s metal tennis racket. Yes, believe it or not, I’m old enough to remember the end of the ‘wooden racket’ era. I remember being fascinated when Jimmy Connors walked onto Centre Court in the late 1970’s with the first metal tennis racket I’d ever seen.
2. The Chris Evert-Lloyd and Martina Navratilova rivalry. I used to love the epic matches between these two legends. It was pure magic to watch as the graceful and elegant strokes of Chris Evert-Lloyd were pitted against the power and skill of Martina Navratilova.
3. Boris Becker. I remember 17-year-old Boris Becker bursting onto the Wimbledon scene in 1985 and becoming the youngest player to win Wimbledon (as well as the only unseeded player ever to win the title). His serve and volley game, together with his outrageous athleticism and determination to reach every single ball had me shouting at my television in disbelief.
4. Pat Cash climbing into the player’s box. I’ll never forget Pat Cash clambering through the crowded stands and into the player’s box to embrace his father after his 1987 win. He was the first of many to make the victory climb over the years.
5. Jana Novotna being comforted by the Duchess of Kent during the presentation ceremony. Jana was heartbroken after she ‘choked’ in the 1993 Wimbledon final, losing 5 consecutive games to Stephie Graff, who went on to take the title. I was overjoyed when her heartbreak turned to triumph in 1998: She finally won the elusive Wimbledon singles title, much to the delight of the crowd and the Duchess of Kent.
6. Tim Henman vs Goran Ivanisevic semi-final 2001. This was the closest Tim would ever come to a Wimbledon final. He was in complete control of his match against the Croatian wild-card Ivanisevic. I believe he would have gone on to win the match if rain hadn’t interrupted play and taken the match into a 3rd day. The rain delay reinvigorated Ivanisevic and he went on to win the match and the Wimbledon title.
7. Nadal vs Federer final 2008. The 2008 Wimbledon men’s final between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer was arguably the best tennis match ever played. It lasted almost five hours and had the crowd enraptured by the astonishing level of tennis being played. As the light faded on Centre Court, and with everyone concerned play would be suspended until the following day, Nadal finally won the title.
8. The longest tennis match in History. I watched (on and off) in awe and disbelief as American John Isner and Frenchman Nicolas Mahut battled for 11 hours and 5 minutes over 3 days to finish their 2010 Wimbledon match. Isner finally clinched victory, winning by 70-68 in the final set. Inevitably, exhausted from his marathon match, he was beaten in the next round.
9. A British champion at last! I wept tears of joy when Andy Murray beat Novak Djokovic in the final in 2013, ending a 77-year wait for a British Wimbledon champion. It came a year after his emotional Wimbledon loss to Roger Federer.
10. The roof and the rain. Wimbledon has had its share of rain delays over the years. I remember: the floods; open the doors to welcome the crowds to ‘People’s’ Sunday to keep the tournament programme on track; Cliff Richard singing to the crowds during a prolonged rain delay; the constant covering and uncovering of the courts. Not surprisingly, I was relieved when they finally installed a roof on Centre Court, using it for the first time in 2009.
Anyone for tennis?
So, now you know why I love tennis. That’s why I’m looking forward to the free family tennis sessions I signed up to at my local tennis club as part of the LTA’s Great British Tennis Weekend.
The LTA’s GBTW is on Saturday 16th July and Sunday 17th July. Why not join in the family fun and sign up for your FREE tennis activity here: http://bit.ly/BritMumsLTA.
Over to you.
Do you like tennis? Do you have any favourite tennis memories? As always, I love to hear from you.
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I’m working with the Lawn Tennis Association on their #GBTW campaign. Sign up for your FREE tennis activity here: http://bit.ly/BritMumsLTA.
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I’ve got to be honest I’m not a very ‘sporty’ person although I have enjoyed the odd tennis game with my husband and friends (and usually lost ?) All that said though you’ve inspired me to give tennis a chance, I’ll be sat there watching with a bowl of strawberries and a glass of prosecco ?? #bloggerclubuk
Yay! Sounds like a plan 🙂 Once you get the hang of the rules and scoring, it’s great to watch.
Wimbers baby! Absolutely love Wimbledon, it’s my fave sporting tournament. I would love to go one year as Rog is a bit of a hero, but he’s not got young legs anymore so I feel I’m on borrowed time! So number 7 on your list brings back happy sad memories, it was the most incredible match but obviously he lost so I was a bit gutted. Great post. #BloggerClubUK
Yay, another fan! I’m stuck hanging around because I’m on Jury Service for 2 weeks so I am missing lots of it!!
Wow you REALLY love tennis!! I’m shockingly bad at most sports and despite trying to figure out how the whole blimmin rules/scoreing thing works annually it just does not go in! I’ve actually BEEN to centre court during the tournament but couldn’t tell you who we watched if my life depended on it – Himself despairs of me, to be fair I don’t blame him in this case 🙂 I also went to Queen’s Club Championships (?) with Stella Artois and had my boss explaining what was going on the whole time – I know – embarrassingly bad. Think I’ll stick to hula-hooping, #BloggerClubUK
Helloooo Charlie. I’m still speaking to you even though you didn’t save me any cake!!! I can’t believe you’ve been to places I’ve dreamed of going and you are all ‘face bovvered?’ Lol! Ah, well, you make me laugh so I’ll let you off.
I’ve watched Tennis on and off! Not in a few years though as we don’t have a TV! I know shock! Whenever I go round my Mums though Wimbledon is on so she gives me the highlights. Hope you enjoy your Tennis lessons, I must admit I much more enjoy playing sport than I do watching it! #bloggerclubUK
Kudos for you not having a TV. I actually tend to watch planned things on TV or sports. I’ve hardly seen any Wimbledon so far! Withdrawal symptoms
Oh I can remember all of those too! And seeing them all together just highlights what a fantastic sport it is to watch and take part in. Do you enter the ticket ballot? Being there is just amazing!
I really should enter the ballot as I would absolutely love to go there in ‘real’ life!
I recognise some names from my childhood there – from when I used to hear them being announced on the telly as a kid!! Tennis is such a fab sport! #GBTW
It is fab, Nadine. It was such a trip down memory lane writing this post. There really have been some fantastic moments.
Oh this list has made me want to go and buy tickets right now! I love tennis so much. At primary school we were told that we had to an biography on someone we admired. I decided to do 5 autobiographies (yes, teacher’s pet) on the best all time tennis players. Pat Cash was one of them I think. I remember that moment when he climbed up in the ground. It was brilliant!
I didn’t know you were a big tennis fan too! Wow, 5 biographies! You are a bigger fan than me!
I’m not a huge fan of tennis. I sometimes watch the final but that’s about it. It sounds like you have a lot of passion for it though. When you get really into something like that it’s great!
Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂
I remember many of those matches Jane, and am also watched Ilie nastase and Tracy austin and Billie Jean King. There’s a picture of me playing tennis on my latest blog post even! Such a great sport though I’m a bit of an armchair enthusiast (lazy git) Jo x #fortheloveofblog
I shied away from the LTA Mini Tennis at BML16 but chatted to Hannah from the LTA for a while because I met her at the Aegon Open in Nottingham and she is lovely. (I gave my jaw a really good workout at BritMums if nothing else 😉
Ah I love this, Wimbledon makes me love tennis too…there’s just nothing like it. I have to say my favourite moment was the Nadal-Federer match, it was unbelievable! Closely followed by Murray winning in 2013…I’m a massive fan of Federer’s even though his cool exterior bothers me a bit! I’d love to go to Wimbledon one year – that’s on my bucket list x #fortheloveofBLOG
Thanks, Bridie! Yes, I agree about Federer having a bit of a cool exterior. I like to see a bit of emotion from players. I love tears and drama 😉
Wow, you are a tennis superfan!My parents love tennis and I grew up watching Wimbledon. I used to hate it after being forced to watch it for hours as a child but in recent years I’ve fallen a bit in love with Wimbledon. I love the strawberries and cream and the whole buzz that surrounds it. I am actually enjoying watching it this year. A day of free tennis sounds fun!xx #fortheloveofblog
Good. I’m glad you are in to tennis again, Wendy! with Djokovic out, who knows what will happen this year.
Wow, these are some good moments you have listed here.
One of my best jobs ever was when I was a strawberry seller at wimbledon as a student one summer. It was brilliant. At the end of my shift the security guards would let me on to Centre Court if there was any space. I got to see loads of fantastic tennis. I haven’t been this year yet though. Pen x #KCACOLS
Oh wow! You lucky thing! That’s amazing. Jealous, much! Thanks for visiting, Pen.
Oh wow lots of fab tennis fact here! I can’t believe number 8 – the longest tennis match – they must have been exhausted! I love watching Tennis – it always makes me think of summer. I am not very good at playing it though #KCACOLS
Yes, what happened to the summer though?!! I am definitely more of a watcher than a player myself 😉
I won’ lie; I am not sporty and have no interest. However, if David Beckham wants me to join him to Wimbledon while we are drinking champagne, I will have to accept…
Ha Ha! Fair enough 😉
Oh I’ve always loved tennis for as long as I can remember. My most memorable final was in 1992 as a huge Andre Agassi fan I sat with baited breath and watched him beat Goran Ivanisevic. It was an amazing final and I was sad for Goran too so I was secretly pleased when be finally won a few years later!
Last year saw my new favourite burst onto the scene when he beat Nadal very early on – with his amazing dreadlocks and fab personality Dustin Brown is now my one to watch. Yesterday’s match with Kyrgios was brilliant – did you see it? I was gutted he lost. That drop shot was fantastic!
I’m now looking forward to seeing what the next week lies in store. I’m always sad when it ends but there’s always the US Open next month! 🙂 #fortheloveofBLOG
Hi Jaki. Wow! You really are a tennis fan. I hope you enjoy the rest of Wimbledon 😉
Tennis is one of the few sports i quite like watching. My favourite moments have to be the 1980s with Boris Becker and John McEnroe #KCACOLS
Wow you really do have a love for tennis, and that’s fantastic because thanks to your love for tennis I have now learnt so many wonderful things about it! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday. Xx
I’ve never really watched much tennis – but I do love trivia, so this post has actually got me quite enthused about it all! 🙂 I think my best tennis memories are probably watching it on TV at my grandparents’ as a kid, with sandwiches and squash. #KCACOLS
Ah I love your enthusiasm! I enjoy Wimbledon a lot…probably can’t say I absolutely love it but I do enjoy the occasion…I’d love to go one day and sit on Henman Hill! Ah I remember the marathon match – so fun when things like that happen and of course the Murray win you list, hurray! #KCACOLS
I get so emotional remembering his epic win! Love it. Thanks for stopping by, Lucy.
I have to admit I’m not a tennis fan. .. or sport fan really to be honest! I have a friend who’s been going to Wimbledon for a week for the last 10 years and he loves it, I can see why he goes, the atmosphere is supposed to be great and the tennis well I suppose that speaks for itself #KCACOLS
It took me some time to get into it when I was younger as I didn’t understand the scoring. I admit that some of the other grand slams aren’t as exciting as there is a lot of standing on the baseline and I much prefer the excitement of them coming up to the net and diving for balls like Boris used to do! You have loads of interests, including our shared love of Scifi and conventions, though so tennis would be hard to fit in!
I like to bat the ball around with the kids. I used to play as a teen but it has been a long time. Thank you for sharing your love of tennis with us 🙂 #KCACOLS
I love watching the tennis and remember the same ones as you mentioned, in particular the jana novotna crying one, bless her. One of my biggest memories associated with tennis is when I was a young manager and my senior manager organised a TV at work for me and a couple of junior managers in our office along with strawberries, cream and some sort of drink and we sat down to watch the final. I was amazed that we could actually do that. I learnt alot from her management style and it’s always stuck with me.
mainy – myrealfairy
Wow! What an amazing experience! That really is a wonderful memory and even better that you has a great manager to learn from.
Wow you really love tennis and Wimbledon Jane, and it’s so lovely you have a passion for it. It must be really lovely being able to go to Wimbledon to watch your favourite sport in real-life rather than watching it on the TV. I’m not a huge tennis fan, but I remember watching Andy Murray win again Novak Djokovic, and feeling emotional overwhelmed for him. I think it was because his Mum and girlfriend (or was it fiance) at the time were in the audience. Thanks so much for linking up a second post with us this week at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x
Thanks, Claire! YEs, it’s often the ‘human’ and ’emotional’ side of tennis that gets to me! I cry at anything!!
Love it! Haven’t watched any of it this year. Must rectify!! #KCACOLS
Fab list of wonderful moments from Wimbledon! It’s just a really big part of the British summertime isn’t it! x #KCACOLS
Oh I love Wimbledon too, it’s always on in our house. I too remover the Henmen semi final so well and loved watching Murray win gold at the olympics. Fingers crossed for this – Wimbledon and the olympics eh xx #KCACOLS
I’m ashamed to admit I don’t even understand the rules of tennis…I just don’t get it! ##KCACOLS
I absolutely love tennis! I played all through my school years although I was never very good. I have watched many hours of Wimbledon in my life time and also hope to some day be able to go in person. AND yes I remember Nadal vs. Federer #KCACOLS
Yay, Sarah! Another fan! Oh, I hope Andy can make it to the final!
Thank goodness for Euro2016! My husband actually gave in and let me watch the Murray match last night because I pointed out he’d been subjecting me to football for the last two weeks! #KCACOLS
I hate sports in general & tennis is my one exception. I enjoy tennis. My mum religiously watched Wimbledon when I was a kid, so I got used to it & started following it. In recent years I haven’t got around to watching & have lost track of it, so my era of tennis knowledge is from mid 1980s to around 2008 probably. I remember Jana Novotna’s 93 final. Was pleased when Ivanisevic finally won too. #KCACOLS
I can’t say I really have any strong feelings for Tennis, I haven’t attempted to play it since school – I was rubbish anyway, and the only time I’ve had it on my TV was when Andy Murray won…I guess a good time to have it on! #kcacols