Aileen, can I recommend Steve Tignor's book, "High Strung"? It's mainly about the Borg- Mac- Connors rivalry, but contains lots of other info. as well. I rarely read non-fiction but I loved it. Tignor writes very poetically.
Thanks for the recommendation BBH. Will certainly treat myself to this. It was a truly amazing era in tennis.
The thing is, London is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. When you go to Wimbledon you realise that the leafy SW19 courts are not entirely inhabited by the cucumber-sandwich brigade. Tennis enthusiasts from every part of the globe find their way there, same with the O2. This is what makes London-based tennis so thrilling, all the players get amazing support.
Our Andy is perceived as the golden boy with the home-grown media going bananas over his every word, action and deed and yet he finds himself playing in packed arenas with the crowd very often leaning towards his opponent. It was the same when Tim Henman played at Wimbledon. I was there for his semi-final against Ivanisavic and was amazed, and disappointed, to find so many of the centre-court crowd were there primarily to support Agassi in the other semi with Rafter.
Andy is very highly thought of by real tennis fans, be they English or any other nationality. But in London we get a diverse mix cheering on their faves against the apparent home-grown favoured son... even the other players appear to relish his precious scalp on his own turf, making victory over him that much sweeter. His Surrey home is a little too far away from the centre of London for him to even be able to sleep in his own bed, so he has to stay at the same hotel as the other guys.
The irony is that playing in London is not as advantageous as it might seem for Andy. For all of that I get the distinct impression that he absolutely loves it.
That is very interesting, Clementine - particularly what you say about that greatly protracted Henman/Ivanesivic match. Just shows how we may have actually got it a little wrong about Henman's popularity at SW19.