Freelance Writer

racket sports, a speciality. Otherwise, anything quirky! Former real tennis champ and tennis tournament player. London based.

More About Me
  • Real Tennis at Queen's Club

    Real Tennis at Queen's Club

  • Koh Lanta, Thailand

    Koh Lanta, Thailand

TENNIS

TENNIS

articles viewable here
Read More
LIFESTYLE

LIFESTYLE

articles viewable here
Read More
TRAVEL

TRAVEL

articles viewable here
Read More
FICTION/FACTION

FICTION/FACTION

articles viewable here
Read More

Working in Samos

The Times

When Katrina Allen left her comfortable London home to volunteer as a translator in Greece, she had no idea how life-changing it would be.

It’s on my sixth night on the Greek island of Samos that things really become tense. I’m at my apartment when the phone beeps: “Get down to the medical centre. There’s a massive fire in the camp.” It turns out that it’s the result of a fight breaking out between Syrians and Afghans over somebody jumping the food queue. Gas canisters are now exploding like bombs, echoing around the hillside. Hundreds are trying to flee the refugee camp, including terrified families with small kids, only to be tear-gassed by the police attempting to contain everyone. Later I’m told that a girl went into labour — thankfully, they managed to get her to hospital. Read More

The US Open Tennis Debacle Waiting to Unfold

The world of professional tennis is in chaos right now.

The US Open grand slam, held over two weeks, is due to start on August 31. It’s going to be a very strange affair. No player entourages, definitely no ballboys handling players’ towels and, most significantly, no spectators. Read More

A Wimbledon Lament

By Katrina Allen

Languedoc Living

So, Wimbledon tennis this year has been cancelled, for the first time since WW2. The decision came late, leaving us all on tenterhooks, but really it was inevitable. Read More

The State of Play

 

 

By Katrina Allen

On Wednesday, the French Tennis Federation announced that the French Open was to be moved to September, one week after the US Open. The tournament was due to be held from 18th May.

The Federation made a unilateral decision on this. No discussion with players or any other tennis sports bodies who were, understandably, aggrieved. Read More

Aussie Open 2020

by Katrina Allen

This article first appeared in Languedoc Living

There was some debate as to whether the tournament would actually take place this year. The air was thick with smog from the bushfires during the qualifying, causing problems with breathing and one player even withdrawing part way though her match.

Read More

Claire Fahey the Women’s Real Tennis World Champion – a profile

Have you never heard of Claire Fahey?

US Open Tennis

 

Rafael Nadal celebrates his fourth US Open victory. (Source: Twitter/@AustralianOpen)

By Katrina Allen

This article appears on LanguedocLiving.com

It was an exciting Slam this year with a lot of close matches, in particular in the women’s event.

Read More

Crying Wolf

Hunched over, barely visible in the dark room, standard lamp flickering in the opposite corner. She was wearing that saggy old stained dress which she virtually lived in.

‘I’m dying, I’m dying’ she declared breathily, eyes theatrically wide in what I assumed to be feigned terror. It was comical.

’What’s wrong with you?’ I asked flatly. We’d been there so often.

Read More

The Trans Debate in Women’s Tennis

  This article appears in Stuff.co.nz

Tennis ‘badly needs consistent policies for trans players’ in top pro events

WTA Legend Ambassador Martina Navratilova says she just wants fairness in the transgender sports issue.
CLIVE BRUNSKILL/GETTY IMAGES
WTA Legend Ambassador Martina Navratilova says she just wants fairness in the transgender sports issue.

OPINION: Earlier this year, Martina Navratilova, a much-lauded lesbian role model, caused a media storm with her remarks on transgender athletes, saying: “It’s insane and it’s cheating.”

Read More

Equal Prize Money Question in Tennis

This Article appears in Stuff.co.nz

Women’s tennis would benefit from five-set thrillers

When it comes to the slams, the women haven't even been offered the opportunity to play best-of-five. Simona Halep holds the trophy after being too good for Serena Williams in the Wimbledon women's final.
BEN CURTIS/AP
When it comes to the slams, the women haven’t even been offered the opportunity to play best-of-five. Simona Halep holds the trophy after being too good for Serena Williams in the Wimbledon women’s final.

OPINION: At this year’s Wimbledon, the women’s final between Simona Halep and Serena Williams lasted under one hour, ending in a 6-2 6-2 whitewash.

The men’s final between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer lasted just under five hours in a five set thriller.

Read More

Wimbledon Qualifying

Wimbledon Qualifying

Fever Tree Champinships, Queens 2019

Federer and Murray Win Wimbledon Warm-Up Titles

 

Roland Garros 2019

LanguedocLiving. com

 

It was a reasonably good French Open this year, and although there were some great matches, I wouldn’t call it a hugely memorable one.

Read More

 A Night to Remember

We played that game, two truths and a lie. We were drunk of course. Red wine rings on what had been a spotless white linen tablecloth, ash strewn where ashtrays had been missed. Someone had stabbed their fag into the butter. Lesley’s eyes flashed. No-one admitted to it. Not so funny now was it.

Read More

Endless suffering of Andy Murray.

This was published in Stuff.co.nz

Endless suffering of Andy Murray raises questions around player welfare

 

OPINION: Exactly one year ago former world No 1 Andy Murray pulled out of Aussie Open citing a hip injury.

Shortly after, he made a major decision – to have surgery on that hip.

He seemed very positive after the operation, fairly certain that he would make a full recovery and get back to business.

Andy Murray clutches his hip at Queen's in 2018, it has hampered him ever since and hastened his retirement.
KATRINA ALLEN
Andy Murray clutches his hip at Queen’s in 2018, it has hampered him ever since and hastened his retirement.

Read More

Australian Open, 2019. Languedoc Living.

The Australian Open, 2019

by Katrina Allen 

Andy Murray at Queen’s Club

 

 

The big news of the fortnight was Andy Murray tearfully announcing his retirement. Exactly one year ago, he had surgery on his hip and never really recovered. He came back at Queen’s last June but was clearly not in great shape, pulling out of Wimbledon a couple of weeks later and hadn’t won any major tournaments since.

He lost in a tight five-setter against Bautista-Agut and didn’t appear to be hampered but who knows how he felt the next day. He’s hoping to make his farewell at Wimbledon but isn’t sure if he’ll be able to play without too much pain in the months prior. So this may have been his finale . Read More

Andy Murray’s Last Tournament? Aussie Open 2019

Alexander Zverev – the New Face of Tennis???

This article appeared in Stuff.co.nz and The Dominion Post

Is Alexander Zverev changing the guard, from Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic?

Alexander Zverev of Germany celebrates victory with the trophy following the singles final against Novak Djokovic at the ATP Finals in London.
CLIVE BRUNSKILL/GETTY
Alexander Zverev of Germany celebrates victory with the trophy following the singles final against Novak Djokovic at the ATP Finals in London.

OPINION: So, the 21-year-old German, Alexander Zverev, won the end of season ATP championships in London, a highly-coveted title, played out by the top eight men’s tennis players in the world.

Read More

Reader’s Comment

On Stuff.co.nz article:
Well written. She should have been banned from at least one Grand Slam if not all of 2019 Slams.
The paltry fine imposed was simply pathetic. She could pay that from change in her purse. But, of course, she would never be banned because she is the darling of the predominantly Yank tennis world and she is seen as a drawcard for more money.

 

From Down Under

This article appeared in Stuff.co.nz

Did Serena Williams really expect to get away with calling Carlos Ramos a ‘liar and a thief’ in front of millions?

OPINION: A huge number of fans, (in particular, Americans, since she is, of course virtually royalty there), seem to agree with Serena Williams that the game docked from her in the US Open Final was about sexism.

Read More