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Wimbledon Update • Middle Sunday • BALLY Press Tourney • ITF Has A Sunday Meeting?

Photo credit unknown. Permission from Ricky.



Sleep is for the weak at Wimbledon, even on Middle Sunday


By Ricky Dimon


I thought about sleeping in and having a relaxing Middle Sunday. For most people, that’s what Middle Sunday is for. The first weeks of Grand Slams are always so hectic that any kind of break is welcome. The players get one (except in 2016, when they had to play on the traditional day of rest due to a deluge of rain). So if they get one, shouldn’t the journalists?


We do get a break from work, for the most part. But I decided against sleeping all day–despite not getting a whole lot earlier in the week.


And it was a good decision.


For me, Middle Sunday started at 9:00 a.m. with the 25th Annual Media Tennis Tournament at the All-England Club Community Sports Ground, which is basically in the middle of nowhere. Fortunately they had tournament drivers available to take us from Raynes Park train station to the location.


It was a great event and for a great cause, honoring Elena Baltacha–who passed away at 30 years old in 2015 from cancer. The only downside is that it was raining, so instead of playing on five outdoor grass courts we were limited to three hard courts under a bubble. But I’ve played on grass before, during a previous trip to Wimbledon, so I wasn’t too upset! And with only three courts, the participants got to sit out and rest after every few round-robin rotations (that was good for some, although obviously I would have preferred to play nonstop!).


I played more tennis right after lunch, too, with media friends Ben Rothenberg and David Ivakian. David is very good, and Ben…well…I’ll just say he did actually beat me in our first five-point baseline game!


At 4:00, five of us went to Stamford Bridge (the home of Chelsea) and watched the USA vs. Netherlands World Cup final. It was an entertaining enough match even though we (USA) were heavy favorites. The Netherlands had us tied 0-0 at halftime before we pulled away for a 2-0 victory.


We continued to hang out at the bar/restaurant playing cards, when none other than Billie Jean King walked by following the conclusion of a nearby ITF • please make note what he says here… ITF meeting? •  meeting. Courtney Nguyen was with us, but not playing in the card game, so she thought about going to take a picture with Billie while we continued to play cards. But then Billie saw us and came over to our table, as she knows Ben and Courtney. Unsurprisingly, she was super nice and introduced herself to the other three of us (as if we didn’t know her!) before chatting and taking a picture that has naturally been making the rounds on Twitter.


Finally it was back home for a little bit of work (not enough!) and a little bit of sleep (also not enough!). Despite being exhausted, Middle Sunday an the rest of the first week has me energized for the home stretch.


Bring on week two!


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.


Editor’s Note: Elena “BALLY” Baltacha was the first player that 10sBalls signed to wear our patch. We were blessed. She was the number one British player in 2010 and always one of our favorites. In every way. As a player and as a person. She was a fine athlete. But a finer human being. 

We will never forget her. RALLY FOR BALLY • so thrilled to hear the Wimbledon Press tourney has been organized in her name and memory. 

British Ladies tennis jumped miles because of Judy Murray and her STAR named Elena. We credit the players that came after her and the depth and growth of tennis in the U.K. to Judy, Elena, Andy, Jamie, Louis, etc, all especially driven because of the spirit of BALLY.

Okay. What’s with ITF having a middle Sunday meeting? 

And Ricky that’s a great story to share with that Phil guy. (LJ)

The husband of BALLY • Nino Severino

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