Charlotte O’Sullivan: Venus Williams – my part in her downfall

The thing is...
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The Independent Online

The thing is, in a world dominated by superheroes, I, too, have a secret power. And my secret power is... tennis telekinesis. When watching Wimbledon, I invariably take against a player (most recently, Venus Williams, but it was nothing personal.

Her dress looked like she'd left the coat hanger in, but frankly I could have swung either way). Having selected my victim, I watch their matches with an eye to changing the course of history – double faults are my speciality – and when they lose, I feel a surge of triumph.

It may have looked as though a lean, mean, 23-year-old Bulgarian beat Williams. But, actually, it was an unfit, short-sighted 40-year-old. Me! Call it armchair tennis. Call it the kind of psychotic behaviour that warrants a dose of lithium. But it feels good.

Most people have this gift. They just have less of it than me. And they tend to use it more positively. When I watch football with my dad he refuses to go to the toilet when his team are ahead. Just in case they sense his absence and crash and burn. Is this unnecessary strain on his bladder proof of his loyalty or egomania? Isn't the answer obvious?

Anyway, back to me.

Right now, my thoughts are with Andy Murray. As far as I'm concerned, he's a marked man. I like his style of play, I like his tortuous relationship with his mother, but I'm sorry, he's got to go. He was meant to lose against Ljubicic but I got distracted on Friday evening and tuned in too late (negative energy, I find, is like an old-fashioned TV – it takes a while to warm up).

What of Murray's win against Lopez? Ah, I'm glad you ask. I reserve the right to turn down impossible cases. No way would Murray succumb to Lopez (no 44 in the world). So I didn't even bother. I just sat on the sofa and enjoyed the tennis. Phew. It was like a holiday.

But come Friday, I'll be back on duty. And should Murray somehow emerge victorious, it'll be because the phone rang. Or because, seeing his opponent, I decided that Murray was the lesser of two evils and suddenly switched sides (bookies note: I'm fickle like that). But there's no way I'll let Murray win the whole thing. No way.

In last month's X-Men, Professor X used his powers to avert nuclear meltdown. I'm just trying to keep a lid on conversations that begin or end "Makes you proud to be British, doesn't it?". Hey, don't thank me. It's just what I do.