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His run might be over by the time you are reading this. I am kinda a Grand Slam jinx. If I really, really pull for you to win, you tend to lose. Roger Federer, Wimbledon 2014. Novak Djokovic, French Open 2015. Richard Gasquet, US Open 2013. Sorry guys!
But at Wimbledon this year, I am pulling for adorable Englishman Marcus Willis.
So fingers crossed that my favourite story out of the 2016 Championships is still happening when this story goes live. Wait. WHAT? Marcus is playing Roger Federer in the second round?! I feel like tennis Solomon! Whom do I choose?
Andy Murray, second-most popular Brit at Wimbledon behind Marcus Willis, walks onto Centre Court for his first match.
— Tom Perrotta (@TomPerrotta) June 28, 2016
Why yes, I took a picture of my own TV. I wasn’t crying. YOU were crying.
Ranked 775 in the world, Marcus was given a wild card entry into a Wimbledon pre-qualifying draw. Then he won that event to get into the qualifying draw at Wimbledon. He had to win the draw to get into the draw to get into the main Wimbledon draw. Uhhhh. This makes my brain hurt. But six matches later, Marcus was into the first round at the All England Club. For some perspective, if Novak hoists the trophy at the end of Wimbledon, he will have won 7 matches to do so. If Marcus hoists the trophy, he will have won 13 matches to do so. Dang.
Some stats on Marcus:
Once nicknamed ‘Cartman’ after the overweight cartoon character in South Park, Willis says he is now in the “best shape of his life” and his performance at SW19 proves he is a rising star in British tennis.
Willis admitted he was an “overweight loser” and was “seeing off pints” three years ago.
He said: “I was just a loser. I don’t know. I just looked myself in the mirror, I said, You’re better than this.”
During his post-match interview with ESPN, Marcus kept looking behind him at the grass, as if he couldn’t quite believe he had made it this far. It was precious.
Marcus was going to give up playing on the tour and move to Philly to teach tennis. But a good woman told him he was being daft.
You know us ladies here at That’s Normal love a good love story.
“I was adamant I was going to go to America to coach,” Willis said. “I had called up someone about the visa – and then I met a girl. She basically told me I was an idiot and that I should keep going, and I’m very grateful for that.”
Shortly before he had planned to leave in February, Willis met Jennifer Bate, a dentist and a mother of two.
After experiencing what she called “love at first sight,” Bate rushed home to tell her mother she had met “the one,” and Willis postponed his plans to leave England.
With Bate’s encouragement, Willis rededicated himself to tennis, despite having endured injuries and financial hardships in recent years. In 2014, struggling with touring expenses, Willis had started a crowdfunding campaign seeking support in getting to his “childhood dream” tournament.
Jennifer reminds us to always listen to your dentist. And single moms are the best! We know stuff, y’all.
You are gonna need it. Roger plays okay on grass…sometimes. But momentum is on Marcus’s side. Dude had to win 6 matches just to get into the main draw! I’m exhausted thinking about it. lt’s chant for him in our best accents English, not Boston).
If you need any post-match hugs, the gals from That’s Normal are here for you.