Gotta Pay to Learn…

Part of the price you must pay for all knowledge is to discover it for yourself. You must learn your own lessons… you must make your own mistakes… you pay your own prices. You must create your own life’s story.

Two weeks ago, landing in Paris would have been tantamount to finding the holy grail of “perfect live tennis experience” for me. As the quote above suggests, there’s nothing like living your life to knock some sense, eh, knowledge into your head. Fantasies are wonderful things. They give you a lift, a jumping off point from which to find inspiration, but they tell you nothing about the lived experience.  Throughout April and early May, I imagined myself watching live tennis in Europe. With the help of family, I was able to book a ticket for London and arrange to be at the French Open for four days.

Hmm, how do I put this? The French Open will not go down as a great tennis experience.  Watching clay court tennis on the outside courts is tantamount to watching a really bad Merchant Ivory film; I’m talking “Remains of the Day” bad. The points are long and tedious, particularly among the male players. I’ve heard commentators say that players need to demonstrate patience with clay court tennis, but they should have warned fans as well. I think watching US hard court tennis has spoiled me for the plodding grace of the red clay. After an hour of play without finishing a set, I was itching for some serve and volley games just to break up the monotony of these long points baseline points. Alas, jetlag and French Open tennis do not mix. Get me to a bed!

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