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Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019

Love all about Wimbledon

My one burning desire in life is to swing my head like a pendulum, gripped by a 30-shot rally on Wimbledon’s Centre Court in a thrilling gentlemen’s final — preferably while the Federers are still around, writes Tasneem Nashrulla.

india Updated: Jul 01, 2008 22:33 IST
Tasneem Nashrulla
Tasneem Nashrulla
Hindustan Times
Hindustantimes
         

I’ve never been an overly ambitious person. But my one burning desire in life is to swing my head like a pendulum, gripped by a 30-shot rally on Wimbledon’s Centre Court in a thrilling gentlemen’s final — preferably while the Federers are still around.

There are three reasons why I love tennis, and particularly Wimbledon:

1. The men: There, I said it. Tennis testosterone is perhaps the perfect antidote to a miserable monsoon. Special mention must be made of Marat Safin. He is the Adonis of tennis, with his towering 6 foot 4 frame, his exquisitely sculpted jaw and his dark, brooding eyes… okay, okay. I’ll stop. Rafael Nadal too has been endowed with admirable attributes other than his torque-loaded forehand. Many a match, I have been transfixed by ‘The Arms’ as they deliver a perfect topspin or extricate a particularly stubborn wedgie. Novak Djokovic, too, has a certain irreverent charm, especially when he cheekily mimics his contemporaries. (His Maria Sharapova imitation is to die for!) And, of course, there’s Roger — always the gentleman in his gold trimmed white vest and beatific dignity.

2. The emotions: While it may be fun watching grown men fall over each other in ecstasy (read: in football and cricket), I prefer the strong individual personalities that emerge in tennis. From Bjorn Borg’s icy façade and John McEnroe’s inimitable incorrigibility to Roger Federer’s quiet confidence and Rafael Nadal’s relentless aggression, the theatre of Wimbledon has orchestrated some of the most dramatic performances in tennis history. I wept uncontrollably along with Federer as he collapsed on Centre Court after clinching his fifth Wimbledon title in 2007. I choked with emotion as Andre Agassi blew his final kisses to four sides of the grass court in 2006. Wimbledon is my favourite soap opera of sports.

3. Wimbledon: It’s the undisputed grand-daddy of the Grand Slams. While the French, the US and the Australian Open may be equally exciting, there is something intrinsically sacred about Wimbledon. Or maybe I’m just partial to pristine white on lush green instead of riotous colours on heavy clay or synthetic blue. Or maybe it’s the mere thought of eating fresh strawberries and cream on the hallowed Henman Hill.