An unlucky tennis watcher

Clearly an unlucky tennis watcher, my visits to Queen’s are blighted: last year it rained and no tennis was played; this year we had just about a set and a half of the men’s final before Nalbandian was defaulted out following his injuring of the line judge. Although I like good tennis and was sorry that it all ended like it did, it was an intriguing bit of theatre, as well as an illustration of how badly both a crowd and a professional sportsman can get things wrong.  So, fellow Queen’s watchers, why do you assume, when most of you haven’t actually seen the actual incident (the point being over), that you know better than the tournament supervisor, who has seen at close hand the extent of the injury and talked to the line judge? OK, we are upset that we are being short-changed because of missing out on almost half of the match, but does that really warrant boo-ing (not me, guv..), chanting PLAY ON, PLAY ON! brainlessly and shouting down the official as he started on the presentations at the end?  This then is probably partly responsible for making Nalbandian feel he can make only a half-hearted apology to the crowd before he then starts wittering on about how it is all the ATP for the heavy scheduling and their onerous rule book. If you have done something thoughtless and idiotic, say so then shut up. Finally, turning to the officials who generally handled this all well, including being generous in their response to Nalbandian’s excuses, why not show a replay of what actually happened? That would have beaten any attempt to explain why the decision had been made and would have silenced all but the most Pimm’s-sozzled.

By Keith Budge, Headmaster, Bedales Schools


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.