Ever since I used to watch tennis with my dad sat in front of the TV WAY back in the early ’80s, I’ve wanted to see John McEnroe play tennis live. A few years ago I discovered, again thanks to dad, Seniors Tennis matches were shown on ITV4 and featured lots of my favourite players from that era. “I want to go” I thought, but really it was just a passing thought and I never anticipated going to see them, but this year we have!
It was basically the line up on Thursday 4th December, when it was finally announced, which made me decide we should go and do it. McEnroe was playing Pat Cash – hard to say no to that one! Whats more, this was being followed by an exhibition match featuring the amazing tennis player Mansour Bahrami. If you’ve never seen him play you are missing a real treat. He is a fun loving, trick shot playing, 58 year old tennis dynamo who will have you laughing one second and “oooh-ing” at his amazing play the next second. Honestly, if you ever see that he’s playing do tune in.
On the strength of this we decided that we would go, getting seats right near the top of the Royal Albert Hall which were a snip at just over £20 each, and which afforded us a slightly restricted (thanks to the people in front who insisted on sitting forwards to do their crossword puzzle once they’d had enough of watching the tennis!) but altogether wonderful view of the whole court. The absolute icing on the cake, so far as I was concerned was when the other players for the doubles match were announced – Andrew Castle, Peter McNamara and…..another of my favourites from back in the day….. Henri Leconte. I was in tennis heaven! Henri had been listed as playing the following day but the temptation of Mac and Cash had been too strong and I’d decided that I’d have to forgo ever seeing Henri play, and yet here he was – hurray for Henri!!!
Amazing players, a wonderful evening and a thoroughly recommended pre-Christmas treat to yourself if you’re in any way tennis inclined.