It's that time of the year again, of course, when we all become not only avid tennis fans but even tennis players and I am no exception.
The only difference between me and most others is that in my line of business you get the opportunity, from time to time, to pit your dubious skills against the best and you always, without fail, accept, no matter how limited your game may be.
Against Greg Rusedski I stuck my racquet out and, to my surprise and his, returned his ferocious first serve to produce a clean, if unwitting winner. From there on end Greg took no prisoners, crashing down howitzer after howitzer of services, or slicing them viciously away from my flaying arms.
Peter Fleming, the other half of the famous McEnroe-Fleming double act, warmed up with me before I took on Bjorn Borg. "You have to go for out and out winners," the Anerican informed me. "That way you may win a point. If you just hit it back over the net you've got no chance."
I took his advice and, amazingly, hit three, successive winners against the five-times Wimbledon champ, but that was as good as it got. Borg, by then into his early 40's, stepped up a gear after disputing a line call which to this day I am sure was out which would have won me the game, and beat me 6-0.
Murray recorded the same score against me even if, again, I managed to win the first point. It would prove to be one of three won all set at the Queen's Club against the Scot. The only aspect about my game he was impressed with was my commitment, at one point diving fully forward to retrieve a drop shot and cutting both knees.
"Now that's commitment," he said, as he surveyed my grazed knees like a school boy.
Finally there was Ken Rosewall, who found himself partnering me at the Hurlingham Club. Rosewall was famous for being a multiple Grand Slam winner, but he never lifted the Wimbledon men's singles trophy.
My opening gambit leaves me shuddering to this day. "Do ya play tennis, pardner," the affable Rosewall asked me at the start of the match. "Yes I do, Ken," I replied. "In fact we share something in tennis." What's that?" he asked, looking inquisitive. "Well Ken, neither of us have ever won Wimbledon!" We went on to lose the match.