Arriving at Wimbledon

By Cynthia Lum

The car service picked me up at Heathrow at 12:30 PM today,  it is now  4:30 PM and I have not taken even one photo.   What I have done is the usual organization when you arrive at a tournament. Pick up my credential, find my desk get a locker, and find out what I’ve forgotten.  Yes, no matter how many lists I make there is always something that got left behind.  This time it’s my ethernet cord.  We have wifi here, but it is SSSSSLLLLLOOOWWW, and when I do finally start taking photos I want them to go with out me sitting at my computer tapping my foot and getting crazy because it’s taking so long.

The truth is, there is no one playing right now who I have the least interest in shooting, plus I’m more than a little tired after a ten-hour flight from Los Angeles.

The big thing that everyone is buzzing about here, is the rematch of John Isner and Nicolas Mahut in the first round tomorrow. What are the chances of that happening? If you recall last years match which stretched over a period of three days, set records for longest match, longest set , most aces, lasted a total of 11 hours and 5 minutes. and was finally won by Big John 70-68 in the fifth.

After seeing the draw, Isner said, ” It’s weird, almost cruel”, and Mahut commented that he hopes they aren’t scheduled for court 18 again where the history making match took place last year.  This is, however a very real possibility.  While everyone is hoping and talking about it being on Center Court, referee Andrew Jarrett was quoted as saying “There is every possibility we could schedule it for Court 18 again.”  Wow, how strange would that be .. and I’m wondering how they can even think about putting that match on a court that seats just under 800 fans.. I think it’s something like 780, plus there is only space for 10 photographers on 18.  That would be a nightmare.  I remember sitting on hat seemed to be the never-ending match last year for FIVE hours.  It was dark and my batteries were running down,  no food, no water and you couldn’t even leave to go to the loo as the match could end plus there were 50 photographers waiting outside for someone to leave.

Mahut said he was in the locker room when he heard a huge NOOOOOOOOO !! from other players as the draw came up on the TV screen,  shortly thereafter, Isner sent him a text of a sad face.

I read somewhere that the odds of two players meeting in the same event two years in a row were 10,000 to one, I wonder what the odds are that this second match will be another epic three-day battle?

It’s going to be interesting to see how this one goes down.  There will of course be a lot more pressure and attention.  Isner has the edge of course with the win last year and currently holds an ATP ranking of 31 while Mahut is 94, but I think the sentiment is going to be with the Frenchman, and that often can inspire a player and pull him through tough times.

Meanwhile, welcome to England! It’s raining hard here and they’ve just announced that all matches on the outside courts are canceled.  While some are happy that they may get out of here early, I’m not pleased with the fact that there will be a lot of matches to make up and things could get backed up if this weather continues. The forecast is not looking good,  with showers predicted for Wednesday, Thursday and hard rain on Friday.The roof is closed on Center court but there are only so many matches that can be played on one court. The worst thing that could happen is they have so many matches to make up  that there is play on Sunday.  Our precious day off.  That is too horrible to contemplate, and I’m not even going to put that thought out in the Universe.

Okay, here is the latest on the John and Nicolas show.  The schedule just came out and  are 4th match on show court 3.  Hmmmm, well this is better than court 18, but it is still one of the smaller courts with limited seating for the press. I’m going to have to go for the end of Ferrer who is third on to make sure I get a seat. See the problems of being a photographer here? There are many things to think about other than taking photos.

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