What a twenty-four hours! I feel like I’ve been on a roller-coaster and am now slumped and beaten on the floor. Here are the eventful developments.
If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know I hold
If a man lies with another man they should be stoned.
We just hadn't interpreted it correctly before!”
Well, you’ve got to laugh right? Go
! New Zealand
My great friend
Felice Arena releases yet another book in the Andy Roid series in
today. Nothing stops this juggernaut of
creativity from writing and imagining more terrific stories for children of all
ages. I’m so proud of him. And your children, nephews and young friends
will seriously think you are ‘bionic’ if you refer them to this interactive
This series by @fleech is available at Penguin:www.penguin.com.au/contributors/2942/felice-arena
And lots of other books at: www.felicearena.com
So despite waiting and waiting at
Queens to see Lleyton Hewitt – play
repeatedly delayed because of bad weather – I was thrilled this battler of all
battlers made it to the semi-finals.
When it comes to fight-backs Lleyton is legendary and I never think of
him or see him play without feeling inspired.
Writers seeking publication and actors fighting for auditions should remember how tough an injured sport’s star has to work to recover lost ground and we might not take our rejection so personally.
Anyway, I’m just a big fan. I enjoy all his games. They are always so eventful and entertaining, with long rallies and clever shots. His wife Bec is charming, sincere and down-to-earth (which I know first hand) and she wouldn’t have married him if he wasn’t a great guy. So I have been totally pumped for this English summer of tennis.
Apparently to reward my enthusiasm, a free-entry
Wimbledon ticket came
my way. How lucky is that without
queuing?! So into the sunshine I
strolled yesterday only to discover I needed a different ticket to see Bernard
Tomic on Court 3. Drat and double
drat. I was all ready to join the
Fanatics and cheer him on. Oh well, I’ll
just chat to this nice man on the gate and see what happens… and before I know
it I am seated in an empty seat on Court 3 cheering as loud as the best of
them. I know – awesome luck and timing for merely a smile!
Anyway, forward and back goes the tricky little yellow ball... until Tomic takes the match from Sam Querrey after five hard sets. That makes my day. Long awaited warm weather and sunshine, a Guinness later on Henman Hill, the brilliant atmosphere of
and I am truly in seventh-heaven.
So I gear up today for another great match: Lleyton Hewitt and an unknown called Dustin Brown. I am so excited about watching Lleyton take Round 2 and go on to Round 3 and the finals that I clear my diary and place a not insignificant bet on his likely victory. (Irish heritage: I like the odd flutter.)
Well, if I’m not now left blubbering…
Yes, more than a little blubber. I’m gutted. The Court 2 match was freakish to say the least – the tall Jamaican (a giant compared to Lleyton) stuck to his tactic of doing anything and everything possible to stop the Legend getting into a rhythm… and after four sets it worked. Hewitt put up a good fight, just as you’d expect, but ultimately Brown took the match and in doing so has created a name for himself for having an unpredictable style and a brutal serve.
Good luck to him of course. (I have to say that.)
But here’s the thing: Lleyton is Lleyton so, though this loss will hurt, he will no doubt take from it all that is positive about his recent performance. He will power on. He is in good physical form – against all the odds and after numerous operations and long recovery periods. He made the semis at Queens – against the odds – and he knocked out Wawrinka in the first round at
when few predicted he would. The odds
on him at betting shops have dropped drastically since that win, so clearly
even those with money to gain know he’s back in form and clearly someone to
Whatever happens, though, Lletyon Hewitt has added enormous quality and verve to the professional tennis circuit for more than a decade and he gives true resonance to the term ‘under dog’. In everything he does… in every physical injury, pain or defeat he resists to go on and try and try again… win and win again… and in doing so he wins more and more respect from the people who share his love of the game, and millions around the world who appreciate his rare breed of talent, resilience and perseverance does him and the game great credit.
I’ve been away a while so I’m not close to what’s happening in the politics of Canberra today, but Lleyton Hewitt (and lovely Bec) make me proud to stand in the audience of Wimbledon and cry:
Let’s Go Lleyton Let’s Go!
Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi!
And if it makes others cringe… providing it’s done in appropriate breaks of play… I don’t care. ‘Cause if the world could bottle Lleyton’s spirit we’d all be a lot better off.
So with that I’ll stop blubbering, post this blog, and go back to the Tsonga-Gulbis match… which, after all, is what they mean by “focus on the next ball”.
Thanks for that lesson Lleyton. May you go onward and ever upward!