Thursday, 24 June 2010

Playing The Game

Anyone For Tennis?

Wimbledon fortnight, white lines on green
where players bat balls,and let loose their spleen
as they battle each other, testing unseen
reserve stores of energy...Know what I mean?

The 'Thwock' of each stroke: the rise and the fall
of the crowds approbation (they applaud one and all!):
the umpire's voice as he makes a good call
to dispel any doubt, "That's a good ball!"

These are the sounds that fly through the air,
chasing the aces. They lead to despair
in the soul of the player who, tearing his hair,
misses a shot for not being there

in quite the position to return a serve
with all the aplomb that he keeps in reserve
for just such a moment.Though he doesn't loose nerve
but bounces right back with vigour and verve.

When I wrote these words yesterday I had no idea how apt the last two lines would be as an epitaph at the end of a day in which records were broken in the most dramatic manner. Isner and Mahut, who began playing at two o'clock on Tuesday, had to resume play on Wednesday after nightfall had stopped  their game at two sets each. But exactly the same thing happened again Thursday, and , after a ten hour epic battle, they finally reached a score of  59 - 59 in the fifth set before waining light  once more halted the game... I can't wait for them to resume play this afternoon.

You can watch the video here, if you have the time and the patience! 

Post Script: Isner has finally won at 70 games to 68 in the fifth set, after playing a game which lasted 11 hours 5 minutes, and the Tennis Association present the players and the umpire with special awards in recognition of their achievements.


  1. I know you needed it for the rhyme, and very well done, Jinksy,


    the crowds cheering one and all? at Wimbledon?

  2. jinksy i was wondering when i would next hear the thwock of tennis balls. for the last little while 'round here it's been the buzz of the vuvusela's. good thing there's a spare tv downstairs !! steven

  3. What the DEUCE will they do to get the match finished? Are they just COURTing publicity... is it some kind of RAQUET to NET a profit? When will normal SERVICE be resumed?

  4. I enjoyed your poem, Jinksy and adore that word 'thwock'.

    Thank you for popping in to my blog yesterday.

  5. Please count me as another lover of thwock. In fact, I'm thinking of renaming my cat Thwocksy.

  6. I watched part of THE match yesterday. I felt so bad for both of those guys -- evenly matched and they will be soooo tired and sore ...

  7. It's an amazing match, but it irks me that it is allowed to happen like that. It would be amazing if the winner could advance much further after that ordeal. what if it occurred in the semis? Would it be allowed to go on for three days, and would the winner have to play a rested opponent on the next day? Ridiculous, I say! But good telly regardless.

  8. Now I know I want to watch the match, just to hear the thwock back and forth. Love!

  9. Such a great match, Jinksy, and I'm watching them again now! 61-60 at the moment to Isner. "Thwock" is such a great word, isn't it?!

  10. Did you make up a new word here? This is going to be a wonder when one finally wins, only to have to go on to play someone who wasn't playing for days straight. Hmmm.

  11. Wow! That's an amazing match!

    I've always enjoyed playing tennis, but never have found much joy in watching it. My Dad loved to go to the U. S. Open - the airline he worked for was one of the sponsors - and he always said that the reason I didn't enjoy it as much was because I had never seen the professionals live and in person. He said it was a totally different experience from watching it on TV. Maybe.

  12. Great poem! Thwock describes the sound exactly. Poor guys. They will be forever remembered for this game however. Every disadvantage has it's advantage.

  13. I love the word Thwock! You got it spot on!
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  14. OMG jinsky I sat my alarm for 4:30 am so I wouldn't miss the end of this match. It was like they were just on automatic pilot, I enjoyed it so much. I loved seeing the Queen there as she looks good for her age doesn't she.

    Great poem jinsky, your fantastic....:-) Hugs

  15. It was truly amazing!!!! What a boon for tennis lovers EVERYWHERE!!! Loved it! And love that your words became prophetic! And I'm with Maggie, "Thwock" rocks!!! ;-) Love you!! Janine XO

  16. "Thwock' how perfect! :)Enjoyed reading this.
    How about one on football, now that is the season too. :)

  17. Jinksy . . . Tell us what they got their awards for. Go on. You know you can. It was for services to tennis, wasn't it?

  18. Both players will probably be knighted for "endurance on a field of trial." I'm not a tennis follower, but it might have been worth watching some of it just to hear "thwock." Perfect onomotopoeia!

    Loved the poem in its entirety. The results make me glad you are a tennis fan.

  19. his toes had no skin on them this morning and he lost to a dutchman, oh well, it guess he was so hammered>>i played tennis my whole life and went to one state tourney where we played to 12 14 in the fifth set and i was winded and lost to a 7 foot player from bingham high>>>love all this tennis watching henin right now, got to go

  20. I follow Wimbleton every year. I was so glad the see each participant in the marathon record-breaking match received recognition. It is too bad no ties. It will be interesting in following Isner through the rest of the rounds. If he makes to quarterfinals he will be a bionic player for sure.

  21. Isn't it amazing what can inspire us. Every and any little thing :). I wish I understood tennis better!

  22. Great poem and wasn't that just a marathon match?

  23. Just checking ;-)) Love you! Janine XO


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