Offside Memories : Tennis

Offside Memories : Wimbledon 1988

Team USA is playing today in the soccer World Cup in Brazil. Do you have any funny/harrowing/interesting memories from a sporting event you attended, participated in, or watched?

I am not a great football fan.  But when I was young,  I used to watch a lot of tennis.  My favorite tennis player at the time was Boris Becker.  Well,  I started watching tennis when Boris had burst upon the scene by winning the 1985 Wimbledon title.   I was around 11 at the time and was crazy about Boris.  In those days, in India,  we could watch very limited sports as there were  only 2 television channels.   They used to telecast only the semi-finals and finals of the ladies and men’s events.

This was during the 1988 final between Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg, the great rivals of grasscourt tennis at the time.   Boris had won the titles in 1985, 86.  He had lost in the second round in 1987.  In 1988, he was back in the final and expected to win the title.   He also, won the first set of the final.  The second set he lost to a tie-breaker 6-7.  And the third set was also lost to Stefan Edberg.  By this time, there was nobody I hated more than Stefan Edberg.   And finally, the fourth set also Becker lost to Edberg and the championship belonged to Edberg.   By this time, I was on the verge of tears with my favorite Becker having lost to a better player.

And then during the trophy distribution ceremony,  Becker asked Edberg to let him touch the trophy.  Edberg allowed Becker to touch the trophy and that was it.  I just could not control my tears.  I cried a lot that day.  I felt so bad then for Boris for having lost the trophy which at that time I felt was rightfully his.


Boris,  I have never felt so sad in my life after watching a sporting event.

The next year in 1989, it was again Boris Becker v/s Stefan Edberg.  But this time Boris won and I was the happiest person in the world.

Now, when I see the matches online,  I am amazed at the beautiful tennis these two have played.  I stopped hating Stefan Edberg long time ago and now he is also a favorite.