My name is Rishe, and I’m a tennis addict.
Those of you who frequent the tennis universe might be familiar with our type. We haunt the interwebz at the craziest hours, searching for livestreams that quench our thirst for the sight of two genetically-gifted gods/esses hitting yellow fuzz across a net. We know the faceless few by name –officials, coaches and family members who flit across TV screens briefly. Our Twitter accounts, blogs readers and forums are our only lifeblood connecting us to others who harbour the same obsession.
Once a year, we get the opportunity to leave our vampire-like caves and watch our beloved sport in the open. When a tournament comes our way, we beg off work and roadtrip for miles to clap our eyes on tennis in the flesh.
For lucky Northern Hemisphereans, this might come more frequently. March hard court swings in the US are followed by a summer series; cities hosting May’s European clay are revisited with a year-ending indoor bash. Aussie-ans, however, have often been a deprived bunch. The bright blue of the Australian Open Series dazzles us through January, we grab a bit of local Fed or Davis Cup if we’re lucky, then starve our way through a live-tennis-less year until the summer returns with the December Showdown.
This year, I was lucky enough to attempt a Grand Slam in tennis viewing, and I’m proud to say, nearly succeeded. Starting with our exhilarating race for the best seats at Hit for Haiti, my sisters and I had Melbourne Park covered all January long. Instead of weeping when tennis farewelled my town (well, I did weep…) it was time to hightail it to Thailand and Israel, where the sports bartenders of the world rejoiced as they kept me in cocktails and screenings of the clay swing. Finally, it was time to move from TV land and onto the gorgeous squishy courts of Roland Garros.
From sweet-talking a security guard into Roland Garros in Paris to view Rafa’s first slam in over a year, Wimbledon proved more challenging when a World-Cup-obsessed Spain refused to show a single match on live TV during the Quarterfinals. Next was time for the US Open, where greeting guests and watching kids play Dance Dance Revolution at Smashzone was a small price to pay for watching epic matches from the Grandstand. Blogging was a little slow, but that’s cos seven am embarkments to two am arrivals don’t give much time for Internetting.
A near Grand Slam complete, and soon it’ll be time to return to my home. Or, to be more precise, that little spot on the Sandringham line where the summer really starts.
Welcome to Melbourne Park, ladies and gents.
The season ain’t over. It’s only just begun.