© Ella Ling

Maria Sharapova backhand

100 Tennis Things To Do Before You Die - part two


100 Tennis Things To Do Before You Die – Part two of four. 

Experience a riot in Garden Square at Melbourne Park (watch out for flying insults, fists and chairs).

Read David Foster Wallace’s essay, ‘Roger Federer as religious experience’. 

Know how to string your own racket.

Watch Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train (this features, as the Guardian put it, “a nice guy tennis player who becomes embroiled in a reciprocal murder scheme”). 

Have the speed of your serve measured – see how close you get to Samuel Groth’s 163mph delivery.

Eat a bowl of strawberries and cream at Wimbledon without discussing the price.

Drink a glass of Pimm’s at Wimbledon without discussing the price.

Accept that equal prize-money is here to stay. 

Go to the top of the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows – not so great for getting a ‘feel’ for the tennis, but the finest way to experience the atmosphere at the US Open. Best to go at night, when the crowd are emboldened – not that it takes much to embolden New Yorkers – by the darkness, the music, and the paper cups of beer.

Try the ‘Australian doubles formation’. 

Lose to someone more than 30 years older than you.

Lose to someone more than 30 years younger than you. 

Form an opinion on whether Andre Agassi’s ‘Open’ was an honest book – was it Agassi, or Agassi’s ghost writer, saying that the Las Vegan hated tennis.

Go to a Davis Cup final as a neutral. 

Watch the Andy Murray spoof on ITV’s Headcases’ show.

Serve a whole game of aces.

Watch the qualifying for a grand slam.

Take a morning stroll along the banks of Melbourne’s River Yarra as you walk towards the Australian Open. 

Hiss at the man in the seat in front who shouts “C’mon Tim” when Andy Murray is playing on Centre Court.

Know the official name for Henman Hill. 

Streak on an outside court at the grand slams.

Sit in the Royal Box at Wimbledon. 

Play in a pro-am.

Embrace your inner-McEnroe, argue with an umpire and afterwards feel embarrassed at your behaviour. 

Watch the Monty Python sketch about a tennis-playing blancmange from Scotland