The players sat around the lone table in the dark and dreary room. There were no card games being played today. The beer bottles however, were thriving. They took up one third of the table. Despite chugging down so much alcohol, fear prevented each and everyone of them from being inebriated.
“Four.” The deposed king started. “Four on the trot. He rubbed his recently grown wispy beard and shot the bull sitting across from him a deathly glance, before continuing.
“And what happened to you? If that were me going for my fourth straight major, you’d bite the ear off your opponents if that would get you in the final, just so you’d beat me.”
The bull pursed his lips, and arched an eyebrow up inquisitively as was his nature, before responding.
“No… not like that. I injure my wrist… and too bad no? Better luck for me next time. But I enter the tournament at least. You? I didn’t see you there.”
There was a chuckle around the room.
“Silence!” The deposed king bellowed. A hush went about the room, save for a few snickers.
“But you could have played on and stopped him. This was your turf and everybody knows it.” The Shaggy Scot continued the assault on the bull. His adam’s apple oscillated a few times and then stopped. For some reason, he wasn’t as nervous as before.
The bull shrugged and smiled.
“You could have stopped him too no? Australia? France? You only manage to win two sets.”
Again the snickers went around the room, and even the deposed king forced back a smile.
“This is just… mega. Hahahaha.”
Everyone’s eyes turned towards the Austrian boy who sat casually with his legs crossed and a chewing gum in his mouth. He looked about him with a wide grin.
“You certainly had a mega beat down from him in the semis, didn’t you?” The Shaggy Scot shot at him.
“Hua! Eeeeeeeeeehhhh!” The Austrian boy shot out of his seat with his racket.
“Why… does he do that?” The tower of Tandil asked. Ever a gentle giant, he had been quiet, the whole time.
“He does it in his sleep too.” The impostor replied.
“Oh hush. Your ex girlfriend’s a druggie.” The Shaggy Scot fired back.
“If he does that one more time, I’ll feed him to the Balkan boy’s rabid fans outside.” The deposed king threatened.
Everyone inside jumped out of fear.
Shhhhhhhhhhhhh. Everyone hushed the Austrian boy.
“He… he believes he is the next chosen one.” The impostor continued. “Thinks he’ll beat our persecutor very soon.”
“Weren’t you ordered to hush?” The deposed king asked.
“Y…yeah but everybody’s talking. Why shouldn’t I?”
“Cos you are a copy cat. My arch-nemesis once told me I had as much talent as he had in one finger and I still won eight slams. You? You try to hit the forehand like your idol. You try to hit the backhand like your idol. You try to serve like your idol and while you clumsily slip and fall around the court, you still try to move as gracefully as your idol can. Yet you can’t win like your idol. You are inconsequential.”
Everyone turned to the man who had spoken. ‘Coach’ he was called. Even after his diatribe, his face was as plain as an A4 sheet of printing paper.
“Well of course that’s where Shaggy’s newfound confidence has come from. He re-united with coach.” The deposed king stated. “Do you think he can win Wimbledon again ‘Coach’? Or will it be in another 160 years?”
“It’s possible.” Came the witty reply.
“What about me?” The deposed king asked.
“Well… um… I think once I can get my movement back, I can be dangerous. I can beat the balkan boy again.”
“I’m nice and popular around the world. My back is good and I’m ready to go. Stuttgart? Halle? They were just tests.”
“Do you realize you haven’t won a title all year?” Coach asked.
“My student will prevent the Ragnarok that Balkan boy threatens to bring. You just… rest your back.”
The coach got up to leave and the deposed king fumed in anger.
“I’m still the G.O.A.T! Don’t forget that. 17! 17!”
The coach turned around slowly.
“It’s been four years. Get over it.” The coach said and pointed to the Austrian boy. “Back then, the kid couldn’t vote. Right kid?”