I made a thrilling discovery this morning. I get the tennis channel. Who knew? I rarely stray into the numbers above 80 or so.
The French Open started yesterday. I've been watching tennis since the days of Johnny Mac and Connors, Martina and Steffi, when I was a little kid sitting on the floor keeping my dad company. I was hooked by Capriati when she came on the scene, only one month older than me. I discovered Sampras before he was big, before he'd won any majors, when he was still a goofy kid with his tongue sticking out. From the first match I saw him play, I cheered for only him. I wasn't a fan of Andre's until he shaved his head and started wearing white.
I never played much tennis. That takes too much effort and requires a hitting partner. I prefer activities I can do alone, like walking, rollerblading, or biking.
I am not as dedicated a watcher as I used to be. I don't like that the players are so much younger than me. I don't like that the game has become a slugfest. I miss the beauty and finesse of serve and volley. But when one of the grandslams rolls around I still like to watch as much as I can. And one day I hope to sit in the stands at Roland-Garros or the All England Lawn Tennis Club to cheer for the latest teenager to sweep the sport.