On the sofa and down with the players
As a home-worker, the arrival of Wimbledon provides a jolt to my already unstable work/life balance. At no other point in the year do I use my time so poorly.
I’m not even a particular tennis fan; it’s just that the tournament provides live, office-hours distraction. Each morning I plan my day around deadlines, admin and emails. Then I turn on the TV. I feel like the New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, stretched out on a closed state beach, alone and inert, enjoying a privilege I don’t deserve.
Imagine my opening-day disappointment when, instead of being sprawled on the sofa, I found myself on a train, heading for an appointment. This is not how it’s supposed to go. I’m a freelance writer – I’m not supposed to have to be anywhere.
I was trying to keep tabs on Andy Murray, not easy on the tube, where the phone only connects to wifi when the train is in a station. Once the third set was under way, the score remained unchanged. Why is this happening? Why to me? I should have guessed why: It was raining.
Another dispiriting feature, according to the players, is the Wimbledon groan: the sigh the crowd emits after a double fault, just to show how let down they feel. Not angry, just disappointed. It can be life-sapping. It can be so debilitating to morale that Pat Cash had to consult a sports psychologist. While the groan that follows an easy mistake is not unique to Wimbledon, it’s apparently easier to hear on Centre Court because everyone is so quiet. I have long borne witness to the destructive power of British courtesy. I will watch the most disappointing performances with renewed admiration.