Here at LoveTennisBlog, it would be remiss of us not to acknowledge St Valentine’s Day. We all share a passion for the great game whether we play, watch, wii play, read, listen and/or even dream about it.
But of course, love is a big thing in tennis – it’s declared in every single match that is played professionally or otherwise! How I hear some of you ask? By the scoring system of course. It is a well known saying that ‘love means nothing to a tennis player’ because love always refers to a blank score. ‘Love-forty’ is not a good place to be when you are serving. When your opponent ‘leads one set to love and 5 games to love’, it’s even worse and almost time to pack your bags.
I remember playing club doubles one evening as the brass band practised ‘Love is in the air’ in the nearby church hall. I didn’t realise the irony until I got home after losing the set. It could have been a scene straight out of the movies.
So how did ‘love’ get into tennis?
According to Wikipedia:
The origin of the use of “love” for zero is disputed; it is possible that it derives from the French word for the egg (l’œuf) because an egg looks like the number zero. “Love” is also said to derive from “l’heure” or “the hour” (more likely to be translated as “the time”) in French. Another possibility of the origin comes from the Dutch expression “iets voor lof doen,” which means to do something for praise, implying no other reward (so monetary gain would be zero). The word ‘lof’ has changed over time to ‘love’.
Thank goodness for that. The umpires have enough trouble having to pronounce some surnames not to have to struggle with saying ‘loef’ or ‘lof’ a hundred times every match.
As we approach Valentine’s Day and the shops bombard us with cards, chocolates and flowers, we thought we would explore and pull together a list of things to buy your Valentine, with tennis in mind. In honour of the scoring system, we will list them in cost order with an option to suit every budget:
Love – 0 A tube of tennis balls. So there is a recession on and you are choosing the low cost option. Well, they are a very practical gift and who can honestly say, hand on heart, that they ever have enough tennis balls?
Love – 15 Check out www.biscuiteers.com for a tennis racket shaped biscuit card as pictured below, gift wrapped and posted out for your convenience. There is also a function when ordering to leave a personal message – soppy or otherwise – meaning your Valentine can tell, only if you want them to know, who sent you the tennis treat. They are such a novelty, you might not want to eat them at all! But when you do decide to sample just perhaps the racket, you will enjoy the delicious crunchy biscuit, preferably washed down with a nice big cup of tea.
Love – 30 A tennis book – not very romantic I hear you ask? I haven’t finished…scribe a little love note in the front covers to act as an endless reminder of the special occasion. There is lots of tennis books out there, just make sure you know what’s already in their collection before you buy. The Tennis Gallery at Wimbledon offer a great selection of books and deliver your books for free!
Love – 40 If you/your partner owns a Ninendo Wii, buy your loved one the Grand Slam tennis game by EA Sports. A fantastic selection of courts at each of the 4 Slams and plenty of pro’s at your discretion with great graphics and Pat Cash as your personal commentator. If you don’t have access to a Wii, then why not go the whole hog and buy one!
Love – Game A Wimbledon branded duvet. I know, I didn’t think the All England Club would have this on their merchandise list either but they do. Your partner can snuggle up in bed in this crispy white duvet set and dream of holding up the trophy as they sleep. Available online from the Wimbledon Shop.
Love – Set Surprise your loved one with a weekend to the most romantic city in the world, Paris! It’s advisable to book flights anytime between 24th May and 6th June so as to catch the French Open, earning you double brownie points. You might not get up the Eiffel Tower for fear of losing a game at Roland Garros, but there is a good view of it from the top of the Philippe Chatrier Court as seen in the pic to the left, just to the top right of the TV screen. Oh la la!
Love – Match This present really is the pièce de résistance – build them a tennis court! Yes, it is far fetched but what did you expect as the most romantic thing to buy your tennis loving partner? Outdoor or indoor, this present is guaranteed to be a hit, year after year, if you can afford it that is!
If you wish to receive any of the above on 14th February, I suggest you print of this blog entry and leave copies strategically placed around your pad to ensure maximum exposure. If you prefer to be direct and don’t beat about the bush, forward the link by email so they know exactly what to get you.
And never fear if you as a single person, if the prospect of Valentine’s Day is filling you with dread, it doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate as being LoveTennisBlog fans, raise a glass of the bubbly to the game itself. Watch the live tennis this week in Argentina, Doha Rotterdam or Memphis, cosy up with a box of chocolates and indulge in the fact that ‘love means nothing to a tennis player’.
Happy Valentines Day!