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Confessions of a former Oz Open tennis TV tragic — I’m ‘ova’ it

There was a time – admittedly, quite a few moons ago – when Australian Open tennis action was compulsive television viewing for me. But, with all due respect to our east European friends, I think I’m pretty much “ova” it.

What ensured my sustained interest back then – indeed, compelled me to spend countless hours in front of the TV — was the fact that I was more than familiar with 90 per cent of the players going round.

Sadly, I can’t say the same today. Truth is, most notably on the women’s side – and without putting too fine a point on it — I simply can’t relate to many of the game’s “big names”.

On reflection, what also helped sustain my interest back then was the fact that I was still active in the game myself – playing regular fixtures after reviving a ‘‘career’’ in which I’d scaled dizzy heights by winning a club junior singles title in my native NZ before weekend newspaper work effectively killed any other modest sporting ambitions I might have had.

[A confession: For quite some years, I dined out on the fact that I’d beaten a subsequent Australian Open men’s singles finalist (lanky Kiwi Onny Parun, who bowed to John Newcombe in four sets in 1973) … before conceding I’d actually achieved the feat on a golf course.]

I digress.

Diminished interest notwithstanding, I, like any self-respecting sports lover, will be firmly glued to the “box” when the big guns are battling it out at the business end. But I certainly don’t intend to be riding almost every point for the next fortnight. Those days are long gone.

 — Peter Thomson






2 Responses to Confessions of a former Oz Open tennis TV tragic — I’m ‘ova’ it

  • John Wagner says:


    And I thought you were just a KIwi RUGBY tragic! Congrats on your past tennis prowess!!

    With the poor form of the Roar and the fact that it is still a mathematical possibility for them to reach the play-offs, it might be time to examine what qualifications are required in each of the 4 footy codes to make the Playoffs/Semis:-

    I can’t believe, that in the 10-team A-League Soccer comp, a team can qualify for the Semis by coming 6th — i.e. in the bottom half of the points table!
    AFL and NRL are not much better with a requirement to finish 8th in a 16-team comp.
    Super Rugby is better — a 5th place being required from a 15-team comp. — although it suffers from the fact that each province meets only 4 of the 5 teams in the overseas provinces.
    The QRU Finals are perhaps the toughest of all—- must finish 4th in a 10-team comp.
    (I THINK Q’d Rugby League might be similar).

    As a respected journo, you might like to investigate the Play-off requirements in sports OTHER than football?

    Happy New Year, Thommo!!


  • Leo says:

    Well, Pete, I usually regard these tennis players with disdain – overpaid brats.
    But this year, my wife and I are ensconced in this holiday home north of Auckland, and it sort of fits in to sit down with a cold drink and blob watching the tennis.
    Nonetheless, I haven’t watched a lot.
    I watched an over-awed Ashleigh Barty win her first set, then go to pieces at the thought of winning the match.
    I watched a bloke called Baghdatis win, and I thought he looked quite skilled.
    I watched a girl called Ivanovic win her match, and she looked real good.
    I watched Azarenka (apparently ranked world number 1) beat Niculescu, and neither of them looked like they’d beat you, Pete. Incidentally, I was a club junior champion, too, playing in my jeans.
    How did Azarenka get to be number 1 ?
    I’ll keep watching to see how far Ivanovic and Baghdatis can go. That’s if I can find time between circulating e-mails.

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