See No Ivo; Hear No Ivo: A Humorous Tennis Bedtime Story

Robert OrzechowskiAnalyst IJuly 2, 2009

WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND - JULY 01:  Ivo Karlovic of Croatia serves during the men's singles quarter final match against Roger Federer of Switzerland on Day Nine of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 1, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

As read to a five-year old at bedtime.

Once upon a time, in the kingdom of Croatia, the great magician Merlinic was casting a spell to make the world's greatest tennis player.  

Make him tall, make him strong.

Make him ace against everyone.

Give him courage and nerves of ice.

Give him the fastest of second serves.

Let him be ruthless, he won't be an emo.

All the world shall know him as: Lil' Ivo.

The magician cast his spell and "Lil' Ivo" grew to be 6'10" tall. He also could beat many people and soon became the best in his land.

One day Ivo entered into the well-known Wimbledon tennis tournament. Tennis players from all countries came to compete and see who could be the best. Ivo played and beat quite a few players.

Then, one day, Ivo had to play one of the greatest tennis players—Roger Federer.

While everyone was scared of how strong Ivo was, Roger wasn't. Roger let Ivo serve his aces. He waited until the time was right and pounced on Ivo's serve, stealing two of Ivo's service games from him.

Ivo went to put his sunglasses on but it was too late. He was crushed and beaten by Roger.

There was great crying and anger in the kingdom of Croatia. When Ivo returned, one night, to his homeland, a large crowd of villagers with torches were waiting to meet him.

Ivo ran from the people. The blood-thirsty crowd followed him up to Merlinic's castle. Ivo bolted the huge door which the mob tried to break down.   

Ivo shouted at the magician, "Why? Why? Why?"

Merlinic looked at his creation with a huge amount of compassion and pity and said, "My son, did you train at all? Did you work on your volley? Your backhand? Your ground strokes? What, you expected to win the tournament on just your serve alone? Now there is a crowd out there that wants your blood. Here, take this large pile of tennis balls and defend yourself."

Ivo went out to the castle window and looked down to the angry mob before. He started smashing 150-mph balls down on the crowd. Many fell and the rest were stunned and ran away. 

Ivo tried to train to be a tennis player, but he was already too old and elected to stay as a recluse in the castle. No one ever saw or heard from him again.

Some in the nearby village can still hear tennis balls being swatted through the night.

The moral of the story: Nothing good ever comes from townsfolk hanging around at night with torches.