Fiona Duff: Don’t get court out by tennis ‘experts’

Picture: Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images
Picture: Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images
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IT’S funny how at this time of year everyone seems to become an expert on tennis.

Him Outdoors, who has not touched a racket in living memory, has been glued to the French Open. Shouts of “great shot!” and “for goodness sake, Murray” reverberate around our home. I’m not sure he actually knows any of the rules, but that doesn’t stop him swearing at the umpire as much as some of the players.

Earlier this week I went to visit a friend who isn’t very well. I thought that he’d want tea, biscuits and witty banter. But not at all. It was 11am and there he was sitting in front of the TV watching the women’s quarter-finals.

Mind you, I think it might have had something to do with the fact that one of the players was not only very pretty but wearing a pink mini ra-ra skirt (remember those fans of Bananarama?).

He wasn’t looking forward to more sunshine or even a Jammie Dodger. He was, he told me, getting geared up for Queen’s tournament followed swiftly by a fortnight of Wimbledon.

Years ago I went to the most famous of all tennis tournaments in south-west London. My boss and I were invited by a client who was laying on the full hospitality. There was a delicious lunch in a marquee.

Unfortunately the chap I worked for had more interest in the free wine than the match on Centre Court so I didn’t see much live tennis at all. He thought it was perfectly acceptable to watch it on the screens in the tent. I imagine this happens quite a lot.

However, as a nation I suppose it’s only natural for us to watch more tennis. I mean, a decade ago who would have thought that one of our own would be the second best player in the world. An actual Scotsman lifting the winner’s cup at Wimbledon.

Now, where are those strawberries and save me a space on the sofa.