For those who are into tennis, I just have to relate a funny story from this morning. As I said in my introductory blog, I am a huge tennis fan, thus have been following the Australian summer of tennis with great interest. That included going to the new ATP cup in Brisbane, where I saw the Aussies in action against Greece. I was a little disappointed as Australia's number one player, Alex De Minaur, withdrew from the match and was replaced by local boy John Millman. It was still a great match to watch, our Johnny defeating his Greek opponent in three sets. John Millman is best known for taking out Roger Federer in the US Open a couple of years ago, on a very hot, humid, Brisbanesque day.
Fast forward a couple of weeks and it's the Australian Open 3rd round. Millman is pitted against Federer again, this time in much more kind conditions for Fed. However, what everyone thought would be a routine match for Fed turned into an epic, 5 set encounter. The AO introduced a 10 point tie break in the 5th set quite recently and it was the first time it went this far on Rod Laver Arena. Picture it; these highly professional, super-fit players have been slugging it out for four hours on centre court. It is 12.45am (yes AM, not PM). The score is 8 - 4 Millman's way in the tiebreaker, a score that in a conventional 7 point tiebreak would have meant the match was done and dusted. The upset is looming large once again, much to the disappointment of Federer fans, of which I'm definitely one (even against an Aussie). Yet, somehow, Federer wins 6 points in a row to win not only the tiebreak but the match! Yes!
Fast forward another week or so to today. I'm walking past the super-packed New Farm Deli in my Saturday morning walking gear, including Roger Federer signature cap. Out of the corner of my eye I notice someone who looks incredibly familiar. Our eyes connect for a moment and then he takes a second look. I realise it is our John Millman! The RF on my cap is surely what made him take a second glance, the great nemesis of his demise, a reminder of what could have been. As I was slightly past his table, I couldn't help but take another quick look back and, involuntarily, the words 'bad luck Johnny' came out of my mouth!
Inside, the unexpected encounter made me explode with laughter and a slight bit of anxiety as I hurried off to the supermarket. I was just hoping I wasn't going to 'unexpectedly' see him again that morning. Fortunately for me and my ego, I didn't. Better luck next time Johnny!
P.S. For those wondering, Federer went on to win his next two matches, including defending seven match points against Tennys Sandgren in the quarter-finals whilst carrying an injury. He lost in the semi-final to his nemesis, Novak Djokovic. Don't worry Fed, you're still my tennis hero!