Tennis lends itself especially well for great stories. While it is fun to watch the giants of the sport play amazing tennis, I often prefer to see someone come from nowhere and beat those demigods. It makes for great entertainment. Today, I want to tell you a fairy tale about one man, a nobody, who was suddenly about to play against one of the biggest names of tennis. Want to know who it was, and what happened? Read on!
In 2016, British player Marcus Willis was the talk of the town. He he had a proper British face, was rather fat (we soon gave him his nickname Chubs), and clearly didn’t look like a professional tennis player. Prior to Wimbledon, he had decided to retire, but his girlfriend convinced him to try one more time. So he showed up at the qualifiers. He won the first match, he won the second – won another four, and suddenly, mostly to his own surprise, found himself at the main draw at Wimbledon. The first round he had to play Ričardas Berankis, a Lithuanian player ranked over 700 places above him. He was playing at a small court, with very few spectators – that is, until people started to realise he was playing rather well, and he already had six wins under his belt, and he was British. And he was winning. In three sets, he beat his opponent and moved on to the next round. The audience, who love a good story as much as I do, suddenly hailed this chubby qualifier as their new hero.
When it comes to sports, there are two types of heroes: those who have been at the top for ages, who are famous, and whom everyone is cheering for, and those who seem to have come from nowhere but are suddenly challenging the all-time favourites. Marcus Willis clearly belongs to the latter category.
In round two, however, he was facing probably the greatest hero the world of tennis had ever seen: Roger Federer, who had already won the hearts of millions as well as seven Wimbledon titles. At Centre Court, the biggest stage in tennis, bigger than anything Willis had ever been at. When entering the stage, Federer allowed Willis to walk in front of him, allowing him to bask in the glory of an earth-shattering round of applause. It was bound to be an amazing match…
Three sets later, Federer had wiped him off the court (6-0, 6-3, 6-4), crushing the hopes of the nation, and ending the fairy tale as soon as it had started. The audience, however, took Marcus Willis in their hearts, and he stayed on court after his loss to enjoy the cheers and applause. And when the audience could vote for their favourite point of the Championship, they decided it was Marcus Willis’s forehand lob. Against Roger Federer.
Did you see this match? What’s your favourite Wimbledon fairy tale? Please let me know in the comments! Also make sure to follow me if you want to stay updated about more tennis and book related posts!