I was in a bar last night with some friends, and one of them tapped me on the shoulder and said, 'hey Jodi! Look, tennis is on!'
This is not an irregular occurrence - it is no secret that I love tennis, obviously - but I was still surprised, because, hello, this is not tennis season, and I spent all of yesterday whinging about that fact. But lo and behold! still! still there is tennis going on. The tennis we ended up watching (well, glancing at occasionally) in this bar was World Team Tennis.
I'd vaguely heard of the concept of league tennis via Venus and Serena - they bought a team, didn't they? They, like, own it or something? - but I'd never given much thought to how it worked or who played it. I suppose if I sat down and thought about it, I probably would have assumed that it was a whole bunch of people from the satellite tours trying to get some matches in, even though it obviously doesn't count for points or anything. And yes, it was largely people from the satellite tours - with some notable exceptions - but not total randoms. I knew every single player on the bizarrely multicoloured court.
Angela Haynes and Coco Vandeweghe were down there, American up and comers, which I thought was pretty cool - young guns getting matches. Then there was Sam Warburg, and, to my immense surprise, Australian Lleyton Hewitt lookalike Nathan Healey, who I have not seen around the courts these many moons. I'm glad to know he's still playing tennis and presumably still making money out of it - because that has to be one of the main functions of league tennis, surely, the ability for people to make a quick buck. If you're not top tier, then your income from tennis is necessarily limited, so league tennis in this respect must be a good good thing.
And then, to my surprise, Venus Williams walked out on court! And later, Mark Knowles! These aren't two bit hack players - these are players of serious goodness. So maybe league tennis does have some weight to it after all, some serious cojones. It must be pretty fun to watch.
That said, Venus really shouldn't be out there. She's always injured and her off season is short enough as it is, and she needs to rest, damn it!
I don't think I will ever start following league tennis seriously. I'm not that into sitting in bars antisocially, for one thing. But it looked kinda fun, and I'm certainly going to keep an eye out for it a bit more.
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago