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Tennis poems


Great contributions from Stella and Clifford, thanks guys! I second a separate and permanent Poet thread [on the top bar, TP?] :-)



OK, it’s all over, so, to wrap up, here is my final Wimbledon verse.
To those who liked the verses I say “Thanks” for telling me
To those who didn’t like them I say “Thanks” for not telling me.

so, as players assess how their grass court season went and look forward to the
American hard court season I will end with this.

The time has come the tennis coach said.
to talk of many things.
Of shots, and shoes and strategies.
And those Babolat RPM Blast strings.
And why England was boiling hot.
And what the hard court season brings.

that’s all folks


we used to sing “rounds ” around the caampfire as Brownies and Guides.

so this is
rafa and Tomas in roundabout way.

Wimbledon July 4th.
4th final there for Nadal.
Nadal wins in straights over Berdych.
Berdych can’t break Rafa’s serve.
Serve wide to the ad court.
Court baseline turned to dry clay.
Clay no worries for Rafa.
Rafa , second title at Wimbledon.
Wimbledon July 4th.
4th final there for Nadal ………….. and so on, and so on


today and tomorrow, and wrap up Monday. I’m getting ready for retirement.

Vera’s bad dream.

I just had a really bad nightmare.
Dreamt I was playing on famed Centre Court.
Across the net was Serena.
it was harder than I’d ever thought.

She looked so angry while playing.
Hit lots of first serves, so well placed.
So, even though I tried my hardest.
Time after time I was aced.

But today I didn’t break my racquet.
Have a tantrum or even blub out loud.
And I fought to the very last second.
My surgeon and rehab guy should be proud.

Now I’ve awakened it was no dream
Serena is champion today.
But my Wimbledon dream continues.
I’ve still the doubles final to play.

(rats I lost that too )


today’s should read a bit like the Longfellow poem– Hiawatha.

On the courts at SW19
Stood the Scot/Brit Andy Murray.
Heard the speaking of the umpire
heard the clapping of the watchers.
“15-40 ” said the umpire.
‘Come on Andy” said the mother.
Saw the game coach Miles Maclagan
Saw him urge his man on forward
Keep our hopes alive of winning.
Keep the dream alive for Britain.

But the man from Dunblane, Scotland
Could not beat the Spaniard , Rafa.
Could not make the Britons happy.
Could not break the drought since Perry
So dies the soccer/Wimby double.
And leaves the Brits to drown their troubles.

Cheers !!


again I didn’t get to watch today so will settle down with my match tapes tonight.
Today is Canada Day and I spent much of the day on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, alongside well over 100,000 others to attend a concert, a flypast by the Snowbirds and to see the Queen who arrived in a horse drawn carriage with a escort of Royal Canadian Mounted Police on their beautiful steeds ( and hopefully no tasers). I say ” to see the Queen’ but since I’m 5ft 1 inch tall I saw most of it on the big monitors by the stage, but I did get a glimpse of her hat as she walked only about 5 feet away.

Today’s verse is the “by request” one. I was asked to do Kader Nouni. Ithought “how?” — then I remembered a comment made by Tracy Austin at the Rogers cup in Montreal and the verse grew from there.

The first time I heard Kader Nouni,
I was courtside, Roger’s Cup, Montreal.
When he spoke with that voice, and en Francais,
we eagerly awaited each call.

The next day I’m watching on TV,
Tracy Austin in the commentary box
suggests that each time she hears Monsieur Nouni
it makes her shiver right down to her socks.

“The grooviest man in tennis”
His Facebook homepage does say.
The BBC calls him La Umpo.
Je pourrais ecouter sa voix toute la journee.
( translated — I could listen to his voice all day )


today was supposed to be about Nouni. That can wait till tomorrow.

We had a major event today. I don’t know much about the verse style called Haiku ( I read it is 3 lines, 5,7,5). Maybe Chieko San can tell me if I’ve got it all wrong but here is my attempt for today.

End of an era.
After seven straight finals.
Federer bows out.

and if I could speak to him I’d say:–

Go home , hug your girls.
You’re still their Number 1 Dad.
Your life is so blessed


I’ve been out all day with no chance to see the day’s play so I don’t know who won or lost. So, it’s 6pm here and I have a lot of tapes to watch. that means todays verse is the more general type and not about today’s matches.

It was inspired by a kids book I spotted in Chapters on the weekend. I’m sorry Big sam Querrey lostyesterday because he’s the subject of the verse. Imagine if you will, Sam is about 8 years old , playing by his house near supper time. A load of boys with tennis racquets hitting balls in the driveway. There’s a tinkle of glass as a ball goes through a window. Dad Querey comes out to see who broke the window and sees a load of guilty looking kids.

Now, from Dr Seuss, Green Eggs and Ham , here is Sam I Am

I would not hit balls at a house.
I would not hit balls with a mouse.
I would not hit them with a fox.
No, I’m not standing on a box.
I would not hit them here or there.
I would not hit them anywhere.
I would not eat frogs legs or spam.
I do not like them, Sam I am.
I did not do it , sam I am..

PS tomorrows verse, by request is about Kader Nouni !!


so I got the message that some of you want more verses so ………….
Today was Magic Monday. The US Open has Super Saturday but I’ve always thought that Wimbledon’s Magic Monday beats it hands down. All 32 players left in the singles draw are on court, none of this top half and bottom half of the draw stuff.

So for Magic Monday and its events you get a BOGO. Buy one , get one free

Of all the days to watch tennis,
Second Monday at Wimbledon’s best.
Round of 16 all men and women
and today we were certainly blessed.

I switched from one court to another,
many matches I wanted to see.
For as well as the marquee players,
there were many who were quite new to me.

I’ve spent countless hours watching tennis,
on TV and from the stands.
But I’ve never seen Zakopalova,
Pironkova,Groth,Lu or Brands.

and now the free one……….

A player from Taipei name of Lu.
Drew Roddick on Graveyard Court 2.
They said “Roddick in 3″
It wasn’t to be.
9-7 in the 5th, Lu goes through


Suunday 27th a day of rest. I think this will be my last verse. I think people are getting tired of them so unless I find fans waving placards and protesting in the streets maybe I should stop.Let me know . I don’t want to outstay my welcome.

So this is to celebrate Federer . The greatest , the magic of his play , and the fact he made it to week two. This verse is with apologies to William Blake. As you read it ( or sing it) it is to the music of Sir Hubert Parry. All anglos or anglophiles will recognise this as the “hymn” Jerusalem
for those of you who do not know “Jerusalem I have included a you tube link to the song.

And did those feet in modern time,
Dance over England’s grass courts green.
And was the grestest of all time,
On England’s pleasant pastures seen.
He will not cease from mental fight,
nor shall his racquet sleep in his hand,
Till he has won another Slam.
In England’s green and pleasant land.


Umpires get a lot of criticism. They oveerrule too much, or not enough. They enforce the time rule, or not. They enforce the coaching rule, or not. you get the idea.
One thing they have to do is umpire for an amazing United Nations of players and I am always amazed at how they handle the names.
So that is the theme for today.

A smart young man did aspire,
To be a tennis umpire.
He said “I won’t worry”
“If I get Henin or Murray”
“But I don’t think I can say Krasnoroutskaya.
or Razafimahatratra
or Kudryavtseva
or Pryzsienzy
or Lertcheewakarn
or Pavlyuchenkova
or Amanmuradova
or Bogomolov
or Cervantes-HHuegun
or Chakhnashvili
or Dzehalevic
or Lapusshenkova
or Zahlavova Strycova
( especially if they play together in doubles)

All names taken from Wimbledon 2010 players list


after the first 4 days I really felt “tennissed out” today so here’s the latest.

I needed a break from just watching,
So I went out to play tennis instead.
But I did watch the straight sets from J J ,
and the same from my other fave, Fed.

Lleyton took on Gael on Centre.
“come on” defeated “allez”
The Djoker looked very impressive.
They’ll play each other Monday.

Isner went out with a whimper.
As we all expected he might.
Justine, Venus and Kim won their matches.
That’s it , so to all a good night.


well that was a historic day so I’ve changed from the comic style of the Limeric to a more “appropriate for the occasion” narrative verse style as used in epic poems and Norse sagas.
It’s longer , so , take a bathroom break, make a coffee, and here goes…………….

The Queen visited Wimbledon Thursday,
77 was the last time she came.
She met and lunched with some players.
Then sat in a box bearing her name.

At lunch she saw Fed and Martina,
Novak, A Rod,Ginny Wade and Billie Jean.
They ate salmon and chicken and salad,
and of course Kent strawberries and cream.

Andy and Jarkko were first on.
Walk, turn,put bags down,and then bow.
They must have been feeling quite nervous.
But got loud applause from the crowd.

When they finally started playing,
I’m sure it’s a fairly safe bet,
That neither man wanted their scoreboard,
To read 59 all, final set.

Then when the first match was over,
She met the players up on the roof.
Tim Phillipps then showed her the trophies,
She got in her car and was gone–”poof”

When she got back to the Palace,
She wispered in Prince Phillip’s ear,
They gave me lunch and a great seat , dear ,
But I don’t think I’ll go back next year.

Then Isner and Mahut’s epic followed,
the match that just wouldn’t end.
70-68 Treetops wins it.
We won’t see something like it again.

After that it seemed anticlimactic,
though we had lots of great players play.
Serena, TP’s Anna and Rafa,
Rounded out this most memorable day,



So, with apologies to however wrote this limerick first, this is the best I can come up with today—
There once was a man from Japan
Whose verses never would scan
When told “but the thing”
“should go with a swing”
He replied ” but I really want to get the most games in the last set as I possibly can”


OK, it’s raining here so I can’t get out in my garden .
So, rather than wait for tomorrow, here’s today , Day 2, in a nutshell.

for Serena, Rafa and Murray.
easy, straight set wins in a hurry.
Though Stosur’s not happy
to lose to Kanepi
they’ve now time to golf with Henman in Surrey


I promised no more verses but yesterday inspired me.
So here, from the poet in non residence at the Planet is Day 1 in a nutshell

The tennis from France was a yawn.
But what a day one on the lawn
Djoker, Davy and Fed
We gave up for dead
But they all won in 5 and moved on


there once was a lady called Jenny,
who said “players from spain there are many’
because they’re from Spain
they can play in the rain
but it’s grass and not clay , bring your wellies.

OK, that’s my last.


there once was a fellow called Murray,
who said to the Brits “don’t you worry’
I’ll beat Querrey and Rafa
cos its Roger I’m after
and i’ll be the first British champ since Fred Perry

such verse — and it’s free— I’m not in residence

22 Responses to “Tennis poems”

  1. Jenny said

    Wow, TP! Thank you 🙂 Stella, Clifford, everyone – A permanent poem thread!

  2. Love the poems – here’s my offering

    The British Dream

    Every June and July, we watched someone try
    To fulfil his life-long dream
    We shouted “C’mon Tim, you can beat him”
    As we tucked into strawberries and cream

    At Wimbledon each year, it was Tim we would cheer
    All of Britain hoped he would win it
    But he couldn’t beat Federer, He’s that much betterer
    And so the final …..Tim never got in it

    In 2002, it was Hewitt who got through
    In the semi’s, Tim played him and blew it
    He tried to attack, but was forced to stay back
    He got to the net, too “ late and knew it” !!
    (Leighton Hewitt Get it?)

    He excited the nation, but lost to a Croatian
    As Ivanisovitch won a match in the rain
    Though Tim we admired, he has now retired
    And he won’t be playing Wimbledon again

    He played well every year, gave us plenty to cheer
    As we roared on this British star
    We had such a thrill, out on Henman Hill
    He got so near, but alas so far

    And what other Brits have thrilled us ?

    Andrew Castle and Neil Broad, we used to applaud
    John Lloyd, Mark Petchy, Mark Cox
    I expect they are threatenin’ …. to play as a veteran
    They’re best sticking to their jobs on the Box

    Roger Taylor, Nick Brown, Chris Wilkison, Barry Cowan
    There was Chris Bailey and Jeremy Bates
    Rusedski and Dowdeswell, entertained the crowds well
    But they fell to some of the greats

    Like McEnroe or Ashe, Boris Becker, Pat Cash
    I wish Borg had been bjorn in Leeds
    Aussie Wally Masur, was born in Britain I’m sure
    He could have been one of “our” seeds

    So Tim’s now a panellist, and a studio analyst
    He’ll sit alongside John Inverdale or Sue
    To debate with Mac or Boris, what chance there is for us
    Of seeing our British dream coming true

    So if it couldn’t be Tim, there’s a guy who can win
    He comes from Dunblane – is that in Grampian?
    This Scot Andrew Murray, is in such a hurry
    As he aims to be Wimbledon Champion

    Whose standing in Murray’s way?

    Well Nadal can play, he is at home on the clay
    He has won at Queens on the grass
    But he must sort out his pants, that he wore when in France
    And stop them from riding up his …….bottom

    (sorry I couldn’t get it to rhyme)

    And there’s Djokovic the Serb, who’s been playing superb
    He plays with a smile and seems jolly
    But Murray can go through, he knows what to do
    He must lob the Serb…. and volley

    If the umpire calls out and there’s an element of doubt
    Here ‘s what Andy Murray should do
    In his best Scottish voice, tell the umpire he’s no choice
    He must turn off Hawk Eye the noo

    Well this young Scot, with the talent he’s got
    He’s the one on whom we are all countin’
    If he wins then we will, have to replace Henman Hill
    We’ll call it instead Murray’s Mountain

    Alistair Speirs, Winchester

  3. Here’s a funny poem but it has to be read whilst Andy Murray is still in the competition

  4. Stella said

    Next week there’s tennis in Toronto.
    I wish I could go see them play.
    But the next week I’ll go watch the ladies.
    Even if it’s just for a day.

    the USO is getting closer.
    Rafa is doing all he can so he’ll win.
    Murray has fired miles Mc Laghan
    But Fed will team up with Annacone

    • M said


      We’ll be seeing how Rog likes his new coach
      And what tournaments Rafa’s knees bear
      And just how the sweep treats Andy Murray
      (though we’re not sure, right now, he’s “all there”).

      Faves like Feña return – even though we
      won’t see Polito back till DC –
      But the best part of the USO sweep?
      That Stella gives us more poems! Wheee!


      Is this the Warmup with Assonance, Stella?
      In honor of the American portion of the tour?

      • Stella said

        no !!!

      • Stella said

        actually I was suffering a little discomfort from pent up creative juices so I just let it out and am feeling much better now.

        It seems to me you could do it quite admirably

      • M said

        LOL. You inspired us all to flights of fancy last time. Even some epics.

        I feel confident everyone will return with the same bursts of sparkling creativity.

        (Except me. I think I just spent mine. 😛 )

      • chieko said

        Wow how wonderful !!

  5. Stella said

    I switched on the TV this morning.
    To watch Peer and Kanepi play.
    and there in the chair was my man Nouni.
    Now this really has been a good day

    • clifford said

      Aww, Stella, that’s cute.

      I saw this morning that on the US Open website there is a guy who wrote up a bunch of poems….only had the chance to skim, but some of them were very witty.

    • chieko said

      Si si un bel di !! Yes indeed a beautiful day. I love your poem.

  6. Stella said

    I hoped M would make verses.
    About the USO play.
    I guess she’s just been too hot.
    But it’s a lot cooler today.

    • M said

      As Sir V said, this year’s been strange so far
      With its bombard of imagery,
      And Stella, I’m a shadow of your star –
      You’re a *lot* better at this than me.


      But the chaos has mellowed a lil’ bit,
      Got some hopes of a FEDAL final peak (*hopes hopes hopes*)
      So perhaps other Planeteers’ll join in
      And we’ll see what we can do this week!


  7. Stella said

    well done M.
    I had some free time today and came up with this version of “Sea Fever” by John Masefield.
    Called Tennis Fever,

    I must go back to the court again,
    To the court and the crowded stands.
    and all I ask is a good serve,
    and the cheers of all those fans.
    And the balls kick,
    and the wind’s calm,
    and the opponents knees shaking,
    and a winning drive on a match point,
    as it’s his serve I am a breaking.

    • M said

      Thanks for this, Stella – it’s just how I feel!

      (Also, are you going to share with the rest of us one of these days your gift for creating out of thin air those new versions of our old favorite songs? 🙂 )

  8. M said

    The Ballad of Roger’s Fourth Round

    I’m no photographer as Sir V is,
    And Stella’s poetry is much more nice,
    But if your tolerance be generous,
    Then I will try to entertain you twice.

    For I was there as Roger did advance
    Though more than once we thought he might not win it –
    Watched breathless as his elegant court dance
    Banished spectre of final with no Roger in it.

    And many times you called it, Planeteers,
    Your commentary validated fears
    How little did we know the match with Meltzer
    Might leave Rog fans with need for Alka Seltzer!

    But Roger fought the weather and his man
    Through shanking and through second set tiebreak
    And rose again like phoenix in the third
    Whip, counterpunch, all shots, for his fans’ sake.

    Friends, fans were legion! Gavin, Gwen too,
    They came to marvel at our hero’s range
    (But management *must* toss that kiss-cam, though –
    distracted, I missed a Roger shirt change).

    But pictures, they say, better tell a tale,
    And, as you can imagine, my brain’s toast,
    So since I knew my oratory’d fail,
    I’ve left TP the link in Wanna Post.

    P.S. They’re not brilliant like Bluechyll’s from the Australian and Sir V’s from Wimbledon – please see disclaimer in first line, and I know I need a new camera –but I hope you enjoy them. 🙂

  9. Stella said

    lovely. you were so lucky to be there.
    Now I’m off to see your photos

  10. Stella said

    went to Wanna Post and could not find the link to your photos M

    • M said

      Sorry, Stella – it must still be in moderation.
      Let’s try this

      http: // s953. photobucket. com/ albums/ ae16/ roolz1/
      (push spaces together to get link)

      Guest Password: TennisPlanet

    • M said

      Stella, also – for some reason, photobucket seems to have put them in in reverse order. So you may want to scroll down and click on “View All” so you can start from 001 (hopefully then the pics will make better chronological sense).

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