09
Jun
09

Scoring the perfect gift

TENNIS-FRA-OPEN-ROLAND-GARROSA perfect gift / Photo from AFP

When Roger Federer won Roland Garros, I felt like I won it too from the deluge of text messages I received from my friends. His win couldn’t have come at a better time than on my birthday.

Speaking in French during the awarding ceremony, he might have greeted me as he raised the silver cup in victory. “This is my birthday gift to you because you have been an ardent fan. I cannot believe  you had your own score sheet of this championship match. Not even my lovely wife ever did that. And so, happy birthday and you can now shower,” I believed was what he said.

If anyone disputes my interpretation, speak up and retrieve your head from Robin Soderling’s silver plate.

I indeed kept score of the championship match.

Writing on the clean side of a subscription form for PLDT Landline Plus 2nd Line, I tallied each player’s winners, aces, unforced errors and double faults per game and per set. If I could have gauged the speed of their balls, I would have noted it down too. But a non-tennis player could only accomplish so much with her manual tally.

scorecardBy doing my own scoring, I was not as tense watching Federer play a GS championship match as I was in previous ones when I felt like I was being starched to stiffness.  This time, I took note of ball trajectories and landings but got sidetracked by my emotions when RF and Soderling tied at 3-3 in the third set.

When the statistics were flashed at the end of the first set, I checked my score card and was pleased to see I had the same numbers except for the percentages in the serves and net approaches, which I left to genuine tennis statisticians. I had enough digit concerns for one night.

The second set statistics (the one done by real statisticians) showed that I missed an ace from Soderling and my count of the unforced errors was a few more than the official stats had. At one point in the second set, I got a shared call from three Nadal fans who assured me of an RF win in this year’s French Open. Those guys know about my Federer moments.

I couldn’t compare my third set stats with the official one because I was already beside myself with jubilation when a misfired shot from Soderling ended Federer’s chase for the Roland Garros Cup and 14th GS title.

I couldn’t have gotten a more perfect birthday gift than a Roland Garros Cup for Federer. I wonder if he’d like my score sheet for his birthday.

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2 Responses to “Scoring the perfect gift”


  1. 1 aag
    June 9, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Wow! When I was still gaga over tennis, I didn’t do the tallying.
    But I do remember staying on the phone with Pubs in the 2001 finals (or was it 2000?) while we watched our girl Jennifer Capriati claw her way back to glory.


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