Tag Archives: tennis

Sky Sports tennis coverage – brilliant

On my Facebook information page I have listed ‘tennis on sky sports’ as one of my favourite TV shows.

At university my house mates and I often found ourselves glued to the tv screen watching an epic ATP tour match.

We were very much involved in the tennis gambling scene and there were some very entertaining moments when bets were going well or badly.

For instance I particularly remember when fellow Tennis Centre writer Andrew Johnson lumped £50 on Rafael Nadal when he was a set down to David Nalbandian.

I however had identified this match as a potential banana skin for Nadal and had backed Nalbandian at a massive starting price of 7/1.

Nadal was simply awful throughtout the contest and Andrew was furious with the Spaniard’s lackluster performance.

Items went flying around the room as he shouted at the TV that he would never bet on tennis again while I performed a ‘slide on knees’ celebration across the wooden flooring as the Argentine cruised to a 61 62 victory.

Although we have had many disagreements about who is going to win a match we both agree on one thing; the Sky Sports studio and commentary team are first class.

Presenter Marcus Buckland along with Mark Petchey, Barry Cowan, Barry Millns and Leif Sharas always provide lively commentary and insight with their tongue in cheek humour often making me chuckle.

Mark Petchey in particular is a truely gifted commentator who makes it look easy when it’s not. 

One of my favourite quotes during commentary is Petchey’s decription of Igor Andreev in a recent match. He said: “When his A game isn’t working that’s where his alphabet stops.” What a comment!

Another stand out moment for me was when Buckland and Petchey were discussing an upcoming match between Nadal and Del Potro.

A graphic came up on the screen listing a number of attributes and Petchey had to decide who was better in each department e.g forehand, backhand, serve, speed etc.

My friends and I cracked up as he said Nadal was better at everything and that it would be a very one sided match.

However Petchey didn’t write off Del Potro completely. He cheekily gave him one thing in his favour –  the ‘underdogs advantage’!

Thankfully for Petchey, his pre match analysis was proved right as Nadal comfortably defeated the Argentine in two sets.

Holiday tennis causes arguments

On a recent family holiday to Egypt I decided to come out of retirement and play against my brother.

My elbow tendonitis still continues to hamper me however I have now adopted a Roddick style of serving which doesn’t hurt as much – although a second serve is all I can manage.

On arrival to the Tropicana Grand Azure complex I noticed the tennis court which appeared to be clay and I got a little bit excited as I hadn’t played on ‘dirt’ for a while.

A couple of days later my brother and I headed to the court to find an old man sweeping and preparing the surface – excellent.

However there was a slight problem. While everything appeared to look in order, on closer inspection the court had a number of craters which guaranteed that we would have many dodgy bounces.

I lost the first set we played 6-2 but I was happy with my performance and with only a second serve to play with I can’t expect too much. I managed to drum up the support of the old court sweeper by looking at him and celebrating my good shots. After doing this a few times he began clapping my winners without a prompt!

We played our second set of tennis later on in the week and this time I was able to serve a bit better and took a 4-0 lead. My brother then claimed that his side (the side in which he had won 6-2 two days before) was in worse condition than my side.

I was obviously thought this was ridiculous and changed sides to shut him up. Similarly to  a rain break or an injury break my concentration was unsettled and I lost the next three games but managed to break to go 5-3 up.

Unfortunately I failed to close out the set despite serving for it a second time at 6-5 up. With the ‘my side of the court is worse’ statement echoing in my head I entered the tie break determined to not let it be a factor.

I failed to convert two set points and ended up losing the breaker 11-9.

Naturally I then accused my brother of cheating and intentionally trying to put me off. How dare he blame the court and not my brilliant play for his failure in the early to mid stages of the set!