The French Open has reminded me that I need to keep working on this series of sporting posts, so let's go ahead and do tennis while the subject is on everyone's mind. I knew pretty much zero about tennis before I started working for this non-profit company in Boston, despite a few feeble attempts to pick up a racket (a shiny aluminum garage sale racket, in my case) and play with my dad as a child, and a deep and abiding love for badminton (which I will save for another post). But when you're working for an organization whose motto ("Game. Set. LIFE.") speaks earnestly to the transformative power of tennis, it helps to know something about the game.
So I started to watch tennis on television, and ask my more knowledgeable partner questions about the scoring, and (as frequently happens with me) I started to actually like it. I'm not saying that I wanted to go out and play for fun or anything, but I started to enjoy picking out the skills involved, getting to know the key players and some of the history, and the fact that "love" (score of zero) possibly originated from the French for egg, or "oeuf," since it looks like a zero. That's a disputed word origin, but that doesn't stop me from thinking it every time I watch a match.
I like the different surfaces at the majors (in fact, I just read an awesome article about the layer of brick on the French Open courts), and the fact that rain plays havoc with scheduling, and the way that some players dress so provocatively and some are so covered with corporate sponsors. Or their own personal logo (cough) Roger Federer. I think it's interesting that players aren't allowed to communicate with your coaches during play.
There is little evidence of my enduring love for tennis, other than the fact that I still care enough to watch it, even though I am not required to think about it every day in my new occupation as librarian. And that I occasionally watch it on the computer if I'm stuck at work and can't see a match I want to watch. Trust me, watching tennis on the computer is a desperate measure that only love could prompt.