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Tony Grist

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A Life In (And Out) Of Sport [Jul. 5th, 2019|12:43 pm]
Tony Grist
Neither of my parents took any interest in team sports and I hated playing them so I was always on the outside when the other kids were talking about "their" teams.

At boarding school I learned the art of making myself invisible to the people who picked teams and after my first year I never had to don a football shirt or cricket whites ever again.

Very rarely, out of cowardice and a wish to stay on the right side of an interlocutor, I have said I supported Manchester United. I thought this was a fairly safe choice- because they are an international brand and even I had heard of Bobby Charlton and George Best. It was always a lie.

In the 1970s I developed an interest in top end cricket because Ian Botham was all over the news and I thought he was cool. My interest began to die away when BBC TV stopped carrying test matches and is now almost but not quite defunct.

My mother liked the big sporting events that are also part of the social calendar- so Ascot, The Grand National, the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race (we supported Cambridge because my uncle went there) and Wimbledon. I was never one for the gee-gees- and even less so when my parents got into owning racehorses and throwing money away, the Boat Race has lost whatever interest it ever had for me and only Wimbledon remains on my radar. If anything my interest in tennis has grown- because aren't we lucky to be living in the era of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic?- and now I also follow (if not as closely)- the French Open.

[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2019-07-05 02:45 pm (UTC)
Sports would be dead last on any list of interests I have but Nadal being Spanish does make tennis a lot more interesting.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-07-05 02:58 pm (UTC)
Tennis is in its golden age- and one might as well make the most of it. It's weird how there doesn't seem to be anyone capable of challenging the ascendancy of the big three. In the normal run of things you expect a young pretender to come in and kill the king and snatch the golden bough- but it doesn't look as though that's going to happen. The old masters will retire full of glory and the generation that succeeds them will be a lesser generation. Kyrgios could be a contender but doesn't have the temperament.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2019-07-05 06:02 pm (UTC)
Keep an eye on the kid from Canada.Raonic. and the other Spaniard, Thiem. I have always been a BIG Rafa fan, and I adore Juan Martin del Potro. I do not like Mr. Djokovic because he is yes, an excellent tennis player but he's also a very poor sport. He's had to learn to lose these last few years. And I began paying attention to tennis in the days of Bjorn Born who will ALWAYS be my ultimate. And I'm sorry Tony, I didn't mean to take over.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-07-05 07:49 pm (UTC)
You're not taking over :)

I just got through watching Coco Gauff get through her third round match- nail-biting stuff from a kid who promises to be a superstar of the future.

Yeah, I go back to Borg too; he was quite something. I guess I was watching before he came along but he and Connors- and Billie Jean- that generation- were the ones who turned me on to tennis.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2019-07-05 08:29 pm (UTC)
'They' say Borg is dumber than a box of rocks. He's made and lost 2 fortunes, at least. And I admit I was always partial to Andre Agassi. I read his autobiography and believe me, he clawed his way up. Coco Gauff is so young to be so good, earlier today (at the gym) I was watching the finish of the match with Venus Williams AGAIN, and Venus' almost affectionate handshaking while the person who had beaten her was thanking her "For everything you've done. I wouldn't be here without you." I think my favorite female tennis players are the Williams sisters...
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[User Picture]From: davesmusictank
2019-07-05 04:34 pm (UTC)
Not a tennis fan but more football or cricket for me.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-07-05 07:55 pm (UTC)
Never cared for football- but then I've never been much of a team player.
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[User Picture]From: idahoswede
2019-07-06 02:24 pm (UTC)
Ray has never cared for sports either, which is funny when here, everytime he runs into an English speaking guy, they always, ALWAYS start on English football. His family is footie mad as well, supporting Tottenham Hotspurs, so for fun, Ray always declares his allegience for West Ham. He wouldn't know a single football player if his life depended on it.
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