Thursday, 17 September 2009

Another Thrashing

Still ruminating on the nature of my participation in sport. Or maybe that should just be tournament tennis. Eric and I got taken apart in the doubles at the journalists' tournament at Roland Garros.

I suppose if the world was a fair place we would not have been on the same court as the other pair.

But we were. But we weren't on the court with them for very long.

Eric and I had a knock up afterwards and we left suitably sweaty after playing at our level for a while.

I gave him the Lady Grey teabags I'd purchased in London and he bought me a coffee at Porte D'Auteuil.

I went back to radio station to talk to a contact at Tennis Magazine in New York all about Kim Clijsters and her victory at the US Open last weekend.

Thar worked well as did the chat earlier with a sport science professor at John Moores University in Liverpool. Greg Whyte was a former Olympic competitor and happy to give me 10 minutes of his time on the subject of a woman coming back and winning a top tournament.

The upshot of it was quite simple. She was pretty good before she went off the circuit to get married and have a baby. She's pretty good now she has come back after a baby.

Debunks the notion of continued intensity but as Whyte said you have to have done the years of maniacal intensity before you can jump off the bandwagon to give yourself a chance at returning to the ride with perspective.

Fascinating stuff.

I went out with another mate called Eric this evening and told him of my singles debacle. The bloke who beat me used to play in tournaments 20 years ago or so before getting bored with the whole thing.

Twenty years ago I was getting my first shifts at the Guardian and trying to freelance my way on Fleet Street. Not a time for playing tennis tournaments.

The fact that I'm here in Paris, my favourite city, playing at Roland Garros in the journalists' tournament is, strangely enough, the real victory.