Tennis: The Runner-Up Acceptance Speech

If a second-place finisher gave an honest speech accepting the runner-up trophy at a major tennis tournament.

Thank you, I guess, for this small, silver-plated bowl that can barely hold a couple of apples. I’d like to say that I’ll cherish this runner-up trophy for years to come, but honestly it’s just going to sit on the bottom shelf of the corner hutch in my dining room. Chances are it will quickly tarnish and remain that way since I can’t envision myself taking the trouble to clean it.

Tennis Runner-Up trophy
Runner-up trophy.

Anyway, I didn’t come here to win some third-rate trinket. I’m here for the money and I do admit that I will enjoy the seven-figure runner-up’s check. However, once I dole out salaries to the various members of my team, I’ll be lucky to end up with a low six-figure take-home. Thank God for my “permanent” residence in Monaco which means the taxman won’t be able to take another big bite out of my winnings.

I’d like to acknowledge my opponent who won the tournament. Frankly, I’m as surprised as you folks are that he managed to win. Given his spotty record in previous majors, one has to think that luck had a great deal to do with his victory today. I’d like to say that no one deserves the championship trophy more than him but I can’t because clearly I do.

If I had to lose today, I wish it had been to anyone else. It’s hard to be a gracious loser when the guy who beat you is a two-timing, womanizing weasel. Let’s face it; the guy’s a bum and doesn’t deserve to be on the same court as me.

I won’t obsess about the many unfair breaks that went my way today. What with all of my opponent’s net cords, his fluky aces and the dozens of questionable calls by today’s referee, it’s a miracle that I was able to take the one set that I did.

It should be no secret that I am not a big fan of today’s officials. The referee has been out to get me ever since I took out one of his teeth with an errant backhand two years ago. As for the linesmen, I don’t think they had any particular animus toward me; rather, I think it was simply the fact that they are all old, blind and overweight that explains the wealth of poor line calls.

As for the event itself, if truth be told, it’s not my favorite. Playing on anything other than a hard court surface is not my idea of fun, especially when the cheapskates at this tournament have yet to see fit to cover at least one of the stadiums. Remember; grass is for sheep, clay is for pigs, carpet is for living rooms and acrylic is for real tennis players.

And don’t get me started on the organizers. Between rain delays, wind delays and scheduling snafus, it’s a minor miracle that the event wound up on the final day. These jokers couldn’t organize a birthday party for two-year-olds much less a major tennis tournament.

I mustn’t forget to thank the tournament sponsors without whom we’d never see a penny of prize money. I’m loath to endorse any of your products but I hope more naïve consumers buy them in order to allow me to get paid.

I’m being reminded to show you what a great guy I am by thanking the ball boys and ball girls. Frankly, I don’t see why since I assume that they get paid and, if they don’t, they’re obviously too stupid to care.

Finally, as for next year, count me out. I wouldn’t return to this hellhole of a tennis venue even if you paid me the winner’s prize. Life’s too short for that.

David Martin
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