For starters, I would like to clarify that this isn’t a shameless, self-promoting article about myself nor is it a crazed, fan-obsessed article about Maria. (yes, you may all breathe a sigh of relief)

How did it all start?

Well, I first decided to create a Twitter nearly a year and a half ago in the first week of the US Open in 2011. I don’t know what really drove me to finally get one. Maybe it was the hype, maybe it was the fact that I knew if I kept my flurry of unstable emotions to myself for the rest of the season, I would probably be insane come the new year. After all, 2011 was the year Li Na won the French Open and the Chinese would thereafter constantly use the term “the first ever Chinese to (insert appropriate achievement)” after every slightest accomplishment. It was the year Azarenka cracked the top 10, Zvonareva was still in the top 10, and Wozniacki the world number 1.

I came onto the Twitter-verse kind of like a Sharapova post-2004 vs. Serena – I knew how it worked and what to expect, but I just couldn’t see myself actually doing much.

What do I say? What do other people say? Who should I follow? I remember being timid and unsure of myself until that semi-final match where Djokovic took on Federer. I began to get edgy when Novak took the third, and even more so through the fourth. When it was 5-5 in the final set, I hyperventilated. I took to Twitter to read through the tweets on my timeline, and remember laughing to myself at some of the remarks and comments made. I remember my mother staring at me as if I were mad. Little did she know that that would be a scene she would be getting used to for a while.

The exchanges made on Twitter that day during the match opened up that part of me that was always to shy to express on social networking sites. I began to get comfortable with Twitter, with my followers, and, unfortunately for my followers today, with my freedom of expression. A year and a half down the road, creating that account on that fine September day has been one of the best decisions of my life.

I mean, I haven’t written many tennis articles in the past, and I wouldn’t really classify this as one - but nonetheless I’d like to use this piece of blank space to thank each and every one of you for making tennis that much more entertaining.

 

Thank you for your random outbursts at your faves when they’re playing badly and your hates when they’re playing well.

Thank you for understanding what each other has to go through on bad tennis days.

Thank you for celebrating the joy together on good tennis days.

Thank you for your long, heartfelt tweets when you feel like being sentimental.

Thank you even for the short tweets of things like #oh and #um and other one-worded terms that non-tennis tweeps who haven’t been following wouldn’t otherwise understand.

Thank you, Pete Bodo – for making me realise that anyone can make it in sports journalism. #oh

Thank you, Petkovic. Your tweets about Bloc Party and Nadal have been a breath of fresh air.

(No, Maria. I am not thanking you yet because your Twitter has been weird.)

Thank you Chris Evert, for without you our lives would be that much less interesting.

Thank you to the person who created #shitchrissiesays . If all of us were to collectively write a book, this would be it.

Thank you, Boris. Just… thank you.

Thank you all for your emotionally unstable tweets in caps lock when the drama and tension is just too high.

Thank you, quality tennis journalists who deliver time and time again.

Thank you everyone for finally getting over the “get your ear buds out, you’ll need them!” phase for whenever Vika and Maria play against one another.

Thank you for not getting over the we-love-Eva and we-hate-Janko phases. Those have been enjoyable.

Thank you guys for teaching me how to say “Come on” in about twenty different languages.

Thank you for phrases like “extremely injured” and “so disrespectful”.

Thank you for random, self-constructed, Maria-based hashtags like #acepova #doublefaultpova #runpova #volleypova etc. etc.

Thank you to the pseudos.

Thank you for the constant drama, WTA.

Thank you Gilles and Sergiy for opening up debates about equal prize money. These have been the most intellectual discussions on my timeline besides the whole grunting issue, which in the end always turns into a men-are-divas conclusion.

Thank you Nike for your weirdly constructed motivational tweets. Thank you also for teaching us how to #count

Thank you for all the hilarious jibes at players we love to hate.

Thank you for always being there for each other when we need the mental and emotional support. (We know just how much we need it)

Thank you guys for creating tweets so hilarious that it would put any commentator out of a job.

Thank you for letting the left side convenience key on my BlackBerry be fully utilised whenever I want to open Twitter.

Thank you for delivering all the latest tennis scoop.

Thank you for your sarcasm.

Thank you all for staying up together when the time zones are awful and enduring it together.

Thank you for making me believe that tennis has some of the best, most witty fans around.

Thank you for all the write-ups pre-tournaments, post-tournaments, and throughout tournaments.

Thank you for the friendly banter we have  every now and then and how we throw around the “well, can YOUR fave?” question time and time again.

Thank you for all coming together despite who we support to just enjoy the tennis.

Thank you for backing each other up against certain crazed LMFAO fans.

Thank you for everything.

 

Truth is, I was never able to fully discuss and appreciate tennis like this before. My friends didn’t get it, my family only paid attention to the later rounds, and I was this nervous wreck whenever tennis season started and I could only celebrate or be in despair by myself. 

Sentimental moment here, but without you guys, tennis wouldn’t be the same. It really wouldn’t.

So, here’s to a many more years together.

But first we need to get through this Friday’s WTA matches.