THE WIMBLEDON COMMENTATOR
The commentator is of the ‘Old School’ - an old fuddy-duddy type with a public school accent. Think Dan Maskell.
COMMENTATOR: And so as Jock McTavish prepares to serve in this deciding game, the hopes of British tennis rest squarely on his young shoulders… He bounces the ball… once… twice… He serves… [pause …Thwack noise - roaring from the crowd]
COMMENTATOR: [Shouts - excited] ACE! It’s an ace! A fantastic start for the young Briton. His opponent barely moved as that absolute beauty whistled past his ears…. McTavish adjusts his racquet… Prepares to serve again… Mops a bead of sweat from his brow… Serves…[Pause …Thwack noise - more roaring from the crowd]
COMMENTATOR: [Shouts - excited] ACE! It’s another ace. This is absolutely unbelievable! Two services - Two aces! Are we finally going to see a British men’s finalist here at Wimbledon - the home of English tennis? Now come on John - let’s make it a hat trick! [Pause] The crowd are quite literally on the edge of their seats. All of England is on the edge of their seats I should imagine! Himmelstoss fidgets nervously at the far end of the court. He must be wondering where this young Englishman has found the energy, after three gruelling hours on centre court, to step up his game like this…. [Pause …Thwack noise - Even more roaring from the crowd]
COMMENTATOR: [Shouts - almost delirious] ACE NUMBER THREE! - It’s another ace. Three match points to take young John Tavistock through to become the first Englishman to reach a Wimbledon final since Fred Perry in 1852. And just look at the crowd. Centre court an absolute sea of English Union Jacks… an unbelievable scene! [Sounds of individual voices from the crowd shouting encouragement such as ‘…Come on Jock’ and being hushed by the umpire]
COMMENTATOR: The umpire just asking for quiet, but it’s oh so hard to keep a lid on this pressure-cooker atmosphere. [Mock incredulous] Surely he couldn’t serve another one?!… If this next serve is as good as the first three I think the roof will quite literally lift off Centre Court in a few seconds! England expects! [Pause] John Tavistock serves… This time the German gets it back… But Tavistock reaches it and charges to the net…. Drop shot from Himmelstoss…. Tavistock…. [Groans from the crowd - disappointed] Puts his volley into the net! Forty -Fifteen.
COMMENTATOR: John Tavistock looks to the sky in supplication, but he’s still got two match points…. Meanwhile Himmelstoss pumps his fist and mutters a Teutonic imprecation. He’s come back from the brink once, but he’s a long way from safety yet… [Pause] Tavistock prepares to serve for a second match point… [Pause] The service is good… But so is the return… Tavistock backhand from the baseline… Forehand from Himmelstoss…. Great return from the Englishman…. [Groans from the crowd - despair] Oh! - Oh no! It’s been adjudged out! [Murmurs of discontent from the crowd] Well, the crowd don’t like that [Shout of ‘…Yer aff yer bluidy heid, man!’ in a broad Glaswegian accent] and neither does young John Tavistock - and I can’t say I blame him. That ball looked good to me!
COMMENTATOR: Tavistock shaking his head, looking absolute daggers at the umpire, who remains impassive… Now come on John - ‘Stiff Upper Lip’ and all that. This isn’t the time to lose concentration! Forty-thirty. Still one match point remaining. Tavistock licks his lips. His mouth must be feeling terribly dry at this moment…. Stares across the net at his opponent… What thoughts must be going through his square head at the moment?….Tavistock bounces the ball…. Once… Twice… [Pause …thwack noise] Great service!… [Groans from the crowd - disappointment] But the return from Himmelstoss is even better! Gave McTavish no chance whatsoever as played that cross-court forehand at an impossible angle…
COMMENTATOR: So from three match points to the good, the young Briton now finds himself at deuce. And now it’s his German opponent who bobs up and down on the balls of his feet on the baseline - almost as if he were breaking in a new pair of jackboots. He knows he’s been let off the hook here! [Pause - Call for silence from umpire]
COMMENTATOR: McTavish…[…Thwack noise] The serve is in… backhand return from Himmelstoss…. McTavish goes long and charges to the net… Himmelstoss throws up a long looping lob… Overhead smash from McTavish… [More groans from crowd - disappointment] into the net!
COMMENTATOR: Well… Well… Well… Would you believe it? Young Jock McTavish who was three match points up only a few seconds ago now finds himself quite literally staring down the barrel of a German gun! What must be going through his mind… and the minds of this marvellously enthusiastic British crowd. He needs a jolly good serve now to really send his opponent scurrying back to his bunker. McTavish… Bounces the ball… Once… Twice… […Thwack noise - groans of disbelief from crowd] Oooh! he’s put it long. The young Scot has put that ball a good two inches long. And what a situation we find ourselves in now. From being literally home and dry, young Jock McTavish has second service to save match point.
COMMENTATOR: Some of the Scots in the crowd can’t bear to look! Here goes. Can he literally pull his eggs out of the frying pan at the eleventh hour?… [Pause - …Thwack noise - Cries of anguish from the crowd] NO! - Oh No! No! No! - He’s put his second serve straight into the net. Himmelstoss practically goose-stepping with delight as ‘wee’ Jock McTavish from Glasgow sinks to his knees in despair. The Scottish lion roared, but the German eagle roared back louder and I’m afraid, at the end of the day, the young Scottish lad, try hard though he patently did, was just not good enough! Victory for Germany. disappointment and humiliation for Scotland.
COMMENTATOR: [Pause] And I think we can go across to Number One Court now, where Sergei Bulanov, whose mother once holidayed in Scarborough… [Chuckles] ..and if that doesn’t make him an honorary Brit, I don’t know what does! …. will be keeping English hopes alive in the other semi-final.