the centre court buzz

two person playing tennis
Photo by Mudassir Ali on

Kate and Meghan lead the way

In tailored suits and shades worth more

Than all the clothes I own.

But all are rich, sitting eating cream

And strawberries like rubies in the bowl,

Evian on tap unless the Champagne’s popped

And when the players walk out onto court

That crowd erupts in cheers so tempered by

The English sensibilities. The dreams

Of tennis girls go up in flames

And unknowns win a flurry of top games.

This is the place where dreams are made,

This is our Centre Court – our stage.

So, Wimbledon Tennis Tournament started yesterday and we’ve already been treated to some great tennis, especially if you are a Brit and you were rooting for Emma or Andy. Both of our tennis superstars won on Centre Court and it just reminds us how special the place is.

Emma Raducanu had never actually played on Centre Court before and it was lovely to see her enjoying the experience. She seems to be the type of player who thrives on pressure and so that atmosphere probably served her well.

And then there’s the magic of seeing royalty and celebrities gracing the spectator area. Nobody will forget the 2018 championship when Kate and Meghan turned up together and everyone was whispering, wondering if they actually even liked each other.

My own personal anecdote comes courtesy of a friend I used to work with. A couple of years ago, her brother won a wild card ticket into the main championship and then he got through the first two rounds. Nobody had heard of him before and he ended up playing Federer on Centre Court.

For an hour or so we watched him on the telly, and we yelped every time the camera panned up to my friend in the royal box. He got hammered by Federer, but what an experience. It was like watching something out of a Hollywood movie.

Much Love

Rachel xx

exceeding expectations

two silver chess pieces on white surface
Photo by Sebastian Voortman on

It doesn’t happen often,

When you clear the bar with space,

You finish with an age to spare,

You pretend that you don’t care

But secretly, inside you’re cheering,

Giving the air a little thump

And just for one day

You’re the hero of the tale.

I think that as humans, one of the best feelings in the world is to know that you have exceeded expectations. We all set ourselves goals and very often, we will probably set them a little bit out of reach because it’s not really a goal unless it’s going to be a challenge to meet.

However, there are sometimes occasions when even these outlandish goals are met and exceeded and you can’t help but look around in disbelief thinking, did I really just do that?

When I was a teenager, I was a swimmer and my parents would always offer up presents if I achieved certain times. I remember sitting with my mum before a race and she said she would get me a DVD of my choice if I achieved a 3 minute 200 metre breaststroke.

It seemed like a goal that would take me a couple of months to achieve as I would have to knock off about 10 seconds to get there. I don’t know what happened in that race but I somehow managed to do a 2:54 and I remember touching the wall and looking up at my mum in the stands. She looked like she was in total shock – and I suddenly felt addicted to that feeling of shocking people with my achievements.

Of course, trying to blow people’s minds with everything you do is not going to be a particularly successful approach to life and I did have to learn to give myself a break every now and then. Now I just get a kick out of beating my own little goals. Today I aimed to run 6km and I ended on 10km and that made me smile and I rewarded myself with ice cream. That seemed like a win to me.

One of the wonderful things about exceeding expectations is that you don’t just get joy from your own wins. Everyone loves an underdog and I absolutely adore watching people battle their way to the top when the odds were stacked against them.

Think back to September when Emma Raducanu won the US Open and every Brit felt positively proud and astounded in equal measures. It wasn’t that Emma won, it was the fact that she didn’t really have a chance in hell that made it so wonderful to watch.

So, I think what I’m trying to say is just push it a little further than you planned and who knows what will happen or where it will take take you…

Much Love

Rachel xx

too nervous to watch

Those girls with nerves of steel,

I wonder how their hearts don’t jump

Right out from ribs that cage their love

For sport that most us mortals can

Just dream of reaching in our sleep,

But sitting on our sofas here,

We cover eyes and whisper prayers

That she will win the game

And win the set and win the match!

I have the tennis on in the background, but I can barely lift my eyes to watch it. This is the first time in a very long time that a British woman has made it to a Grand Slam final and we all want Emma to win so badly.

But how they are both holding their nerve, I have no idea. They are both such young women and they are more composed than I am sitting here on the sofa. What a pair of legends they are both going to be over the coming years.

Go Emma!

Much Love,

Rachel xx