At the arcade or behind your Dreamcast, you were thrilled when you were playing with Patrick Rafter or Cedric Pioline. Versatile player, you could dive on any surface and get up without flinching. You, you were an arcade tennis fan.
…You like to kill the ball in the net.
…You won every Grand Slam but nobody talks about you.
...You hang out in a grotty little pub which opens its doors at 9am, just because there’s a Tennis arcade, with a Soccer right beside it.
…You realize that when your coach was selling you the merits of the "windscreen wiper" it probably was because he spent quite a few hours on his game console.
...The owner of the pub owes you a number of pound coins. Well, you had to to finish your game, didn't you?
...You know the World Tour.
...You’ve been ranked 300th in the World, then first. All in a week (and many nights).
...You already served to knock down bowling pins. And you think it's absolutely normal.
...You already tried to shoot down a green and a red tank by hitting smashes. That, too, is perfectly normal.
…The character you create, it's all about the style. And of course, the one-handed backhand is part of it.
...You already told a friend who just beat you, "It's normal, I played an extra game up."
...You're disgusted when your service bar is not red and it doesn’t say "max."
...You grew up with Yonex, Bridgestone, Evian and Opel.
...You were amazed to be able to choose between eight players on tour. Yes, eight; because you never dared pick a girl.
...You would choose your court by wandering on a giant world map.
...As such, you played in Melbourne, Australia and Paris, France, but also on strange courts with a green and blue draughtboard.
...You laugh when people take the piss of Tim Henman’s track record. With him, you won everything. Even Roland Garros.
- It really annoys you that people keep talking about Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. The best player in history, it's you. Yeah, you won absolutely everything. And several times, actually.
...You already hit forehands into a kind of weird treadmill were there were trays, big plastic stuff and tennis bags
...You worked your footwork dodging giant tennis balls.
...You once had to fight off an army of ball-throwing robots
...In the summer, at the beach, you put two lines of sunscreen on your cheekbones. Just like Patrick Rafter, the best player in the game at the time.
...You always wondered what was Cedric Pioline doing in the game
...Kohlschreiber? Wawrinka? Federer? No, your favourite backhand player is Thomas Enqvist.
...You never understood why your best friend would choose Carlos Moya. On the other hand, you were very pleased to beat him every time in the "whoever loses eats a spoonful of mustard" challenge.
...You already played Magnus Norman vs. Yevgeny Kafelnikov.
...You also played the King vs. the Queen, two hidden characters in the game.
...Powersmash 2 or Tennis 2k2, these mean something to you
...You're an ace at flat-footing your opponent. Because yes, there are only three buttons in the game, so it's the only way to make points.
...You never missed a volley.
...You dive on every surface without ever getting hurt.
...You already thought you had saved an unlikely smash, but a little "out" eventually popped up on the screen.
- Your tennis game is like your raquet: it is nice and warm on a shelf and you get it out every time there's a Grand Slam.
By Swann Borsellino