Sports Poetry posted December 26, 2013

This work has reached the exceptional level
A sport for the ages and all ages.

Tennis is Love

by maggieadams

On King Henry's court the "real" tennis was born.
A raquet was introduced and played outside at Hampton.
On a court with serve boxes, alleys and lines.
The upper crust of Europe dressed in whites created
A competition and a passion that begins with love.
The French word l'oeuf means egg, the shape of a zero.
Odd-scoring based on the quarters of a clock
Quinze, trente, quarante or fifteen, thirty, and forty (simplified).
And Deuce, a tie at 40-40, but the game begins with love.

For centuries tennis was played by high society and amateurs
Until the Open Era in 1968 where players could take money
Above the table and earn a living playing their passion.
The four major slams begin in January,
The middle of summer at Melbourne Park.
From the hardcourts and heat, the slam shifts to clay
Where pros play in Paris at Roland Garros.
Tennis has a code and language of its own:
Backhand, backspin, bagel, but the game begins with love.

At Wimbledon the grass tourney at the All England Club
Brings pros from world-wide for a Fortnight in July.
Pros take to the grass in traditional whites and pray
For sunshine as the fans queue-up and sit hooting on Henman Hill.
Now, a hill where Englanders can finally cheer
For one of their own Champions, Andy Murray, a Scotsman
Who is claimed by all Britain now.
Strawberries and Devonshire cream, the minty Pim's cup
Poaching, groundies and grunting, but the game begins with love.

The final slam of the year brings foes and fans to Flushing
A subway ride to the meadow secured from NYC.
The red, white and blue flying from flags and dress alike.
The Open Era created many memories and rivalries
Chrissie and Martina, Johnny Mac and Jimmy Connors to name a few.
Agassie and Sampras and the Williams sisters too.
Many Russian blondes whose last names end in "ova".
Steffi Graf stands alone, an Olympic gold, a calendar Grand Slam.
Slices, serves and aces, but the game begins with love.

Game, Set, Match, but the game begins with LOVE.

Calling All Sports contest entry


Tennis is a game that is played all over the world and all ages have a league to compete, including a league for ninety-year olds. Whether youth, juniors, seniors or golden seniors, there is a league for you. I plan to drop dead on the court at 95, fingers crossed!
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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