And thus begins my fortnight of watching people dressed in white hitting balls across a net. It's going to be a strange Wimbledon in more ways than one.
Obviously there are the Covid restrictions themselves that have an impact not only on the number of spectators but on what players and ball kids and officials can and cannot do. Although in many ways I've got used to those things at other tournaments. The one change brought about by Covid that I think would be worth keeping, is that players have to get their own towels from the back/sides of the court and not have the ball kids bring them to them.
Another strangeness is that Rafa won't be at Wimbledon. He announced a week or so ago that he was withdrawing from both Wimbledon and the Olympics. There's no specific injury, it seems partly down to the moving of the French Open which cut down the length of time between it and Wimbledon, plus his desire to carry on playing for as long as possible. It's good that he does want to carry on playing, but it's sad that it's Wimbledon he's missing as it's the tournament that I can watch more easily than any other - being in the same time zone.
Andy Murray plays today for the first time at Wimbledon in four years (I believe it is) and there was speculation in the paper this morning that it might possibly be his last match at Wimbledon (assuming he doesn't win). From what I've read, it's not a case of him being tired of tennis, just that his ongoing hip and groin issues just keep resurfacing and stopping him from playing at the level he wants to.
Our female number one has been forced to pull out due to a 'close contact' (one of her bubble members) testing positive for Covid. Poor Jo, a horrid thing to happen at the eleventh hour.
Today a young British chap who did pretty well at Queen's and who is being talked about as being 'the best new chap for some time' has the dubious honour of playing on Centre Court in the opening match against Novak Djokovic - the tournament favourite by some way.
I think he will win Wimbledon (I honestly can't see who can stop him) and thus join Rafa and Roger Federer on 20 slams each - which in itself is quite mind blowing. For three men, all still playing the game, to have won (potentially) 60 slams between them is just amazing. They really are three of the greatest players of all time.
I shall wander off and see if play has started or if the British weather is getting involved - at least we do have two roofed courts.
*And yes, the weather has indeed got involved: play hasn't started. That's the UK for you. *Wry grin*