Game Set and Match

A story with a romantic twist

by Katie Hammond

The umpire looked from his vantage point at the now tired but excited crowd wilting in the December Buenos Aires sunshine and spoke.

“Quiet please, ladies and gentlemen, match point.”

The next serve would possibly be the final one of the game which had lasted just over four hours. There had been nothing to separate Rachel Hamilton and Jennifer Cook in this intense duel until the last set when the English woman, like the crowd, had suddenly started to wilt. Jennifer Cook had been the overwhelming favourite, but had become flustered and frustrated at her own errors. That left the young Argentine with the English name to pull out of both her mental and physical reserves one last ounce of effort to win this exhausting and exhilarating game.

Rachel stood silently and then served, but couldn’t hit it with the same force she did earlier. Jennifer Cook easily returned serve but, as Rachel hit the ball back, it caught Jennifer by surprise and, as she tried in vain to chase the ball, ended up running into a ball boy on the edge of the court. It was a slightly comical ending to an epic match where Rachel sunk to the ground, arms and racket raised head up, in ecstasy looking at the sky and perhaps even god.

“Game set and match, Miss Hamilton,” announced the umpire.

Rachel sucked it all in, knowing it was a moment that would stay with her forever. It also guaranteed Rachel a place at Wimbledon 1990 and went down in history as the last Argentine women’s open tournament.

A few hours earlier, nearly seven thousand miles away in suburban Hinchley Wood, Surrey, Mrs Hoskins spoke to her eighteen year old daughter Emma. “So, Emma, you want to do Wimbledon yet again?”

“Yes, Mum, just one more time, I promise,” said Emma smiling broadly.

“Well, you’ve done it since 1986. Isn’t it time you gave another girl at your school a chance, at the very least your sister,” challenged Mrs Hoskins.

“Well, Miss James said I should go, being the top ranked girl in Surrey,” replied a confident Emma.

Mrs Hoskins shrugged, saying: “I guess so,” then added: “I don’t know; surely eighteen is too old to be a ball girl,” confirming to Emma that she did know but didn’t want to argue the point with her daughter.

Emma smiled, hoping the next piece of the jigsaw would soon fall into place. Although generally a nice girl, Emma had a stubborn streak and was used to getting her own way, especially when playing the ‘daddy’s girl’ and had him wrapped around her little finger when she wanted. She was also personally insecure about her looks, despite that fact that she was quite an attractive girl. She stood at 5’6” but wanted to be taller and had a pretty face with short blonde hair and blue eyes, but wanted dark hair and dark eyes. She was also a very good tennis player, but not quite good enough to be a professional. Despite all the advantages of her rather comfortable upbringing she always felt that she was not good enough and ultimately just fell short of her goals.

In the first few months of 1990, Rachel Hamilton won a number of small tournaments in Argentina but was mainly looking forward to Wimbledon in the summer, courtesy of that win back in December which gave her the required number of qualifying points. Rachel Hamilton also took part in Wimbledon 1989 due to an extremely fortunate wild card that was very unlikely ever to be repeated. This 1990 qualification seemed equally unlikely until it happened. The qualification was confirmed by a letter received at the Hamilton family home in the upscale suburb of Martinez, Buenos Aires, addressed to Rachel.

Rachel’s father, David Hamilton, was in fact an English chartered accountant and had moved to Argentina temporarily decades ago, but stayed as he fell in love with the weather and culture of Argentina. But that wasn’t all he fell in love with, meeting his future wife, Elena, at work. Elena’s lineage was mainly Italian but there was some Armenian blood there as well, which manifested itself in Rachel more than anyone else in the living generations of the family. Rachel’s brother, Daniel, could just about pass as English, Rachel would definitely not.

The letter confirmed the invitation was awarded by sufficient tournament points, indicated the time and date of the first match, and dress code, simply described as ‘whites.’ Rachel smiled as she remembered the buzz of walking out at Wimbledon in her spotless white Sergio Tacchini tennis outfit. She decided to buy the latest outfit instead of using last year’s still hanging up in her wardrobe.

Although not ranked in the top 50, and just scraping into Wimbledon in the two years since turning pro, Rachel had earnt over $500,000 USD and had helped her extended family out generously, which typified her kind and nurturing nature. She enjoyed her success during the times when it came, but was well known for her sportsmanship and being magnanimous in defeat, something that endeared her to the local public and was somewhat a rarity, especially amongst young people in the competitive world of tennis.

The Saturday before she was due to fly out for Wimbledon, the family had Rachel’s friends and extended family over for an ‘Asado’ BBQ, the wine and beer flowed and everyone had a great time. Uncharacteristically, Rachel’s father got somewhat emotional and in a quiet moment in the back garden pulled her aside putting his arm on her shoulder. “Look Rachel, now you’re a woman you can do anything you want and I want you to be happy, but please promise me this.”

Rachel smiled and nodded wondering what was coming next.

“I don’t want you to smoke or take drugs, or get involved in any criminality, that’s all.”

Rachel laughed. “No, Dad, I’ve got no intention of doing any of those things.”

David Hamilton smiled and said: “Oh yes, one more thing, don’t ever get a tattoo. I hate them.”

Rachel laughed again. “Why on earth would I get a tattoo?”

As someone approached them, they embraced before returning to the party. Rachel knew her Dad as a fun loving man but he did have a serious side and she remembered another chat in the back garden when she was about 14 when Dad had tried to communicate his decade’s experience of life to his daughter. Of course, she didn’t take it all in but he thought if she just took some of it in he would be happy. She did.

The next day, Rachel and her mother went shopping specifically for the tennis top and skirt, and Rachel found the one she wanted immediately. There was also a gorgeous tennis dress not suitable for Wimbledon, but she had to have it anyway. She already had the trainers, socks and bras for the tournament so it was just the knickers she needed to get. Rachel felt the pair she wore last year were rather low cut and a little ‘frumpy’ and wanted something a bit sportier. She soon found some Sloggi 3 pack basic Tai briefs in white. They were functional but feminine and high cut. Perfect, she thought.

“They are quite small,” mused Rachel’s mum.

“Yes, Mum, but I am wearing them under a skirt. All the girls wear these,” replied Rachel, suggesting to her Mum that her choice of underwear style for her daughter’s last Wimbledon appearance was somewhat dated.

Little did Rachel know that one of these pairs of briefs would become famous, or infamous, as she put them on the counter and smiled at the young shop assistant. Delighted with her purchases, Rachel stopped for a coffee with her mum before heading home.

In Surrey, England, Emma Hoskins whooped with delight when she opened up her Wimbledon ball girl schedule. Miss Samantha Atkins (USA) vs Miss Rachel Hamilton (ARG), Centre Court, 25th June 1990; her first match and the only one she really cared about.

Her somewhat nefarious plan relied to a degree on luck, and Emma had been very lucky so far. This match on centre court on the first day was the plum draw with the defending champion and superstar, Samantha Atkins, in action, but it wasn’t Samantha Atkins that Emma was interested in. Last year, Emma had been the ball girl in a match with the little known Argentinian girl, Rachel Hamilton. At once, she was struck by this tall dark mysterious girl. Emma couldn’t believe she had a girl crush, but she admitted to herself that she did. Rachel’s black straight shoulder length hair, her black eyebrows, those dark eyes, contrasted magically with her light skin and that pretty face and lovely smile that Emma was lucky enough to receive when she threw a ball to Rachel.

That night last year, when Emma got home from Wimbledon, she played Madonna’s track ‘Who’s that girl’ on her cassette player and vowed to find out more about this lovely girl. She had opened her ‘Tennis Handbook 1989’ and searched down the list of female players. She found the entry,

HAMILTON, Rachel Isabella D.O.B. 11th December 1969. Buenos Aires, Argentina. Height 5’11. Weight 11 St. Age 19. Left handed. Hamilton rose through the ranks in Argentina, turning pro in 1988, and achieved a top 10 ranking in her native country. Some further success has been achieved, notably in South American tournaments, and is a Wimbledon wild card entry this year. Despite her obvious talent, it is not clear if she will break into the elite. Her kit is supplied by Sergio Tacchini. Career Earnings to date $207,000 USD.

In the last year, Emma had come back to this entry many times and smiled. She didn’t know why this girl had affected her so much, but she did, and didn’t even know if she would see her again. That thought brought her close to tears.

‘You always get what you want, Emma,’ the young girl told herself. ‘You will see her again.’

And, of course, Emma was right. This year, she would see her again. She had made sure of that. ‘But why would she be interested in me?’ mused Emma, ‘She’s loaded, probably very popular with a nice rich boyfriend. To her, I’m nothing and it will always be this way, but at least I tried,’ she smiled as a tear trickled down her cheek.

British Airways flight 244 touched down at Heathrow Airport just after midday on Thursday 21st June 1990 after a thirteen hour direct flight from the Argentine capital. Among the passengers were businessmen, tourists, people visiting family and one young professional tennis player hoping to make her mark at Wimbledon.

Of course, Rachel Hamilton knew the task ahead of her was massive. Samantha Atkins was world number one and reigning Wimbledon champion. She made her way through passport and customs anonymously, not knowing how much life would change for her within the next week. She hailed a taxi and, after twenty minutes of winding through the metropolis of south west London, arrived at one of the homes of the father of her fellow Argentinian professional tennis player, Alejandro Fortezza, who happened to be her ex-boyfriend. The split had been amicable and, in truth, Rachel regretted the breakup. Unbeknown to Rachel, Alejandro felt exact the same, although neither of them knew the feelings that still remained between them.

Alejandro’s wealthy investment fund manager father, Mauricio, adored Rachel and thought his son was lucky to meet such a nice girl. Naturally, he was extremely disappointed when the pair broke up, but still generously offered his UK property in Esher rent free to Rachel for however long she needed it, Alejandro having failed to qualify for Wimbledon this year.

The large property had a gym and sauna and a tennis court but Rachel decided she had trained enough and would just rest and mentally prepare herself for the match on Monday.

The day soon came around and Emma Hoskins bounded down the stairs and asked: “How do I look, mum?”

Mrs Hoskins smiled and said: “Yes, very smart, love, as always.”

Emma glanced at the small TV in the kitchen which was tuned to ‘TV-am’. The presenter turned to the weather girl and said: “And how’s the weather looking for the first day of Wimbledon?”

“Well Mike, it’s going to be a nice day, warm with plenty of sunshine with perhaps just a few scattered clouds, but quite breezy at times for some of us, especially in the south.”

Emma didn’t know it yet but that last sentence would help to change her life. She said goodbye to her mum and sister and got in her dad’s car.

Rachel had pre-booked the cab and the unmarked Mercedes arrived exactly on time. Dressed in jeans and a track suit top, Rachel had decided to use the changing facilities at Wimbledon. As the Mercedes weaved its way across Surbiton and New Malden to SW19, Rachel remained very relaxed.

‘I was lucky to qualify and now I’m playing the world No 1, so nobody is going to expect me to do anything,’ she thought, ‘There is no pressure.’

Emma, however, was feeling the pressure, having just arrived at the tennis court and been briefed with the other ball girls and boys on what was expected. She didn’t really listen to anything the tennis official was saying. Luckily, having done it so many times before, she didn’t need to. Her thoughts were exclusively on Rachel. How do I get to say anything to her? Shall I deliberately miss throw a ball back to her? Shall I just smile sweetly at her like I did last year and hope something happens? Or shall I just be really brave and try and mutter something to her like, ‘I really love you, Rachel’.

‘No, that’s ridiculous,’ thought Emma. ‘That would be the most embarrassing thing, ever. Where could I go to meet her? As soon as the match is over they wave at the crowd and then go off to do press interviews, then perhaps an after match party or drinks, but they are all for VIP’s. How do I get in to them? I don’t, do I?’ thought Emma. ‘I haven’t got a chance with her. I’m such a looser.’

“OK, boys and girls, take your positions,” and with that Emma knew the big moment was nearly here.

Rachel was just finishing her hot shower when the bell went off. She had ten minutes to dry and change. She reached down and put her bra and socks on, she then looked at the knickers and panicked. ‘I haven’t even tried these on. What if they don’t fit, or are really uncomfortable?’

She quickly reached down and pulled them on. Thankfully, they fitted perfectly and were really comfortable. As she looked in the mirror, she liked what she saw.

‘In fact, they are so comfortable you could forget you had put them on,’ she thought.’

She put her top and skirt on, followed by her trainers, left the cubicle and picked up her bag as she walked to the entrance where Samantha Atkins and the officials were waiting. They all shook hands in the tunnel before walking out onto Centre Court in together.

Emma Hoskins breathed in heavily, thinking: ‘Wow! There she is,’ as the memory of this tall dark haired girl became reality again. Emma watched Rachel intently as she sat down and got her racquet from her bag and then stood walking towards her. Emma lifted her arm and threw the first two balls to Rachel, who faintly smiled to Emma. This was enough for Emma to think she might faint, but then pulled herself together as she knew she did not want to let Wimbledon down.

On the court, Rachel was elated when, after just over an hour, she won the first set 6-7. She narrowly lost the second set 7-6, and the game was in the balance. Rachel was performing exceptionally, but then events conspired against her. The wind had picked and Samantha Atkins was able to deal with the conditions on court slightly better. Another problem was that the wind had caused Rachel’s skirt to billow up several times, causing Rachel to have to put her arm down to rectify the situation and interrupt her concentration.

Unfortunately for Rachel, the wind picked up still further and putting her hand down on her skirt became a losing battle, especially as it drew more attention to the situation. She decided not to make a futile attempt at stopping the skirt rise up and just let it happen. Walking back from the tennis court net, the wind picked up and again blew her skirt up. She just kept walking, trying to look unfazed.

Emma couldn’t believe how well Rachel had composed herself and still looked as dignified as ever. Rachel walked towards Emma again to take another two balls and smiled at her as if to say: ‘I can’t believe this is happening to me.’

Emma returned the smile, blown away Rachel had smiled at her so intently. As Rachel turned to face the court, yet another strong gust of wind blew her skirt up again. Emma was mesmerized.

‘What a fantastic arse that girl has.’ thought Emma, as she stared at Rachel’s bottom, desperately trying to peer through the white cotton briefs to try and make out her intergluteal cleft.

The gust continued as Rachel prepared to take the serve. One man in the crowd then shouted: “Take it off,” in reference to her now redundant skirt wrapped around her waist.

The crowd laughed and Rachel smiled. That moment was captured on TV, of course. This third set was tight, but Atkins was edging it. Thankfully, the gusts of wind subsided and Rachel continued to surprise people with her consistently high level of performance.

Samantha Atkins was forging ahead in the third set and Rachel decided she needed to be more aggressive in her approach to the game. She ran to the net to try and hit a short shot, which she did. However, Atkins had managed to get to it and lobbed the ball. Rachel turned and chased the ball. Turning her head over her right shoulder, she swung at the ball and completely missed, but by now was running so fast she couldn’t stop and slammed into Emma Hoskins, who didn’t have enough time to react. It was all over in a short painful few seconds.

Rachel ended up lying on top of Emma, who was, by now, battered and bruised. Again, Rachel’s dignity was slightly dented when officials pulled her off Emma with her skirt not fully covering her knickers. The game was paused for five minutes as Rachel and Emma received medical assistance. Rachel could see Emma getting up apparently unhurt but walked over and put her hand on Emma’s shoulder and apologised.

Emma was struggling not to break into a huge smile. She couldn’t believe the girl she had been thinking about all year had been lying on top of her, albeit by accident, and she had put her hand on her shoulder and said sorry. Emma’s wrist was by now painful but she didn’t want to say anything about it.

The match continued for another twenty-eight minutes before the umpire said: “Game, set and match, Miss Atkins, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4,” after 3 hours and 31 minutes of tennis. No one believed Rachel would have been able to put up such a good fight. Rachel embraced Samantha and shook hands with the umpire and clapped the crowd, but then, instead of walking off, she ran over to Emma.

“I’m so sorry about what happened,” offered Rachel.

Emma, who couldn’t stop beaming, said: “It’s absolutely no problem. I’m fine,” despite the fact she was in a lot of pain.

“What school do you go to?” asked Rachel.

“Hinchley Wood, I’m just about to take A levels in a few weeks.”

“Oh, good luck with those,” said Rachel sincerely before kissing Emma on the cheek.

“Thank you very much,” replied Emma, who was by now on cloud nine.

Rachel walked off the court to do her media commitments. No doubt the questions would be as much, if not more, about her underwear and collision than the actual game.

Emma’s elation had masked the pain which was gradually returning. By the time of the day’s debrief, Emma had decided to ask her dad to take her to hospital rather than going home. The debriefing took only a couple of minutes. The official in charge said he was happy with the performance of the ball boys and girls for this match and said the collision was just one of those things and enquired if Emma was ok. She lied and said she was.

“Despite the overall good performance from the team,” the tall, slim, very English gentlemen said. “Please, please do not get into the habit of being star struck or staring at the competitors, especially at their bottoms. The TV cameras just love to pick that up.”

Everybody turned and looked at Emma, who turned bright red. Emma then told the official that she didn’t want to continue her ball girl duties any longer. The well-spoken official said he was disappointed, but could understand the decision.

In fact, he wasn’t disappointed. He was pleased to see the back of her. Emma’s dad picked her up five minutes later and they drove to Kingston hospital. A fractured wrist was diagnosed and Emma had a plaster cast on for the next two months.

Rachel was examined after the game, but found to have suffered no broken bones. As Rachel herself predicted, there was some innuendo in the interviews after the game, but she skillfully deflected these and praised Samantha Atkins in victory. Rachel also stated that she hoped she would qualify for Wimbledon again next year and get the chance to compete against top players. She also said she had been over to the ball girl to apologise and wish her well.

Despite losing, Rachel enjoyed the after match social function and was aware of her now increased profile and the number of men trying to chat her up. As she watched the highlights, she was aware of how much the cameramen concentrated on the height of the skirt, and then had a field day as the wind picked up. She also noticed how much that girl who she later ran into was looking at her and in particular at her bottom. Rachel laughed. She had no idea this girl was staring at her so intently.

‘What a kinky bitch,’ thought Rachel, very flattered that an attractive girl would look at her this way.

Rachel called another taxi at 2.00am to take her back to Esher, and she took the newly printed next day ‘Daily Mail’ complimentary copy offered to those fortunate enough to have players lounge passes. She would read it tomorrow.

The Daily Mail landed on the doormat of the Hoskins household in Southwood Gardens just before half past seven in the morning. Mrs Hoskins rushed to peruse her newspaper of choice, turning immediately to the back page.

Daily Mail  London, Tuesday 26th June 1990.

Sport – Tennis. Defending champion, Samantha Atkins, won a thrilling match against little know Argentine, Rachel Hamilton, over three sets in the longest women’s game at Wimbledon for three years, lasting just over three and a half hours. Hamilton started strongly, winning the first set and only just lost the second 7-6. During the third set, the wind rose and caused a wardrobe malfunction, no doubt delighting some of the male members of the crowd with one shouting, ‘take it off’ to much laughter. Another incident soon followed when Hamilton crashed into a ball girl whilst chasing an overhead return ball. The girl seemed transfixed by Hamilton and was caught staring at her for a large part of the match. Hamilton confirmed she was uninjured by the clash and it is believed the ball girl suffered no injuries either. Samantha Atkins now faces another Argentine, Gabrielle Sabatini, in the next round.

Mrs Hoskins then turned on the TV, not having to wait long for the Wimbledon highlights with gleeful talk of the breeze and the skirt and the accident, followed by talk of Emma and her staring.

‘Oh god, Emma, you stupid girl,’ thought her mum. ‘What on earth is she doing staring at a woman’s bottom anyway?’

Mrs Hoskins was soon joined by her younger daughter, Sophie, and husband before Emma came down to the breakfast table in her new plaster cast.

“I guess you know about all the fuss now, Emma,” said Mrs Hoskins disapprovingly.

“Yes, mum, I do,” replied a sullen Emma.

“You really lost concentration, didn’t you? It looked for all its worth that you were staring at that girl’s bottom half the time. What on earth do I tell Mrs Pavie next door, and everyone else we know?”

Emma cleared her throat and said: “Well, since we are all here, yes, I was staring at her bum and I’ve fancied her ever since I saw her last year at Wimbledon. I guess that makes me gay. You can tell Mrs Pavie and everyone you know that.”

Emma stormed off.

Mr Hoskins said: “I’m late for work, see you tonight.”

Sophie started laughing. Mrs Hoskins started crying.

Rachel phoned her ex-boyfriend’s father to see if she could extend her stay at the house for a couple of weeks, which was fine. He said she played well and commiserated with her on the defeat, but of course didn’t mention the things that everyone was talking about. Rachel then phoned her parents and said she was delaying her return because her wrist and arm were slightly sore and would be not be training, so wanted the opportunity to visit her cousins in Bedfordshire and relax for a bit.

She did of course want to visit her cousins; that had already been arranged, but there was another reason for the extended stay.

Emma’s return to school was an eventful day for the pupils with smiling, laughing, and numerous innuendo laden questions which she managed to cope with. In fact, Emma secretly enjoyed the notoriety. She now wondered how she could concentrate on obtaining her A level passes with all this going on.

At about quarter past one, the sixth form common room phone rang. It was an outside call.

“Emma, someone called Rachel wants to speak to you,” said a friend holding the phone up for her.

“Rachel? I don’t know anyone called Rachel,” Emma told her.

The girl shrugged her shoulders and said: “I don’t know, she sounds a bit foreign to me.”

“Hello, Emma Hoskins speaking,” spoke Emma, clearly thinking it was probably a call from the hospital, or a local paper even.

There was a pause before the reply came. “Hello, Emma, it’s Rachel.” After a pause with no response, the voice continued. “Rachel Hamilton, you know, I ran into you yesterday, literally.”

“Oh god, Rachel, yes, sorry, oh god, how are you?” asked Emma, flustered at using Rachel’s first name for the first time.

“I’m fine, thanks. Are you ok, Emma?” replied Rachel.

“Yes, I’ve got a plaster cast, that’s all,” assured Emma.

“Oh god, sorry, I do hope you’re ok. You are, aren’t you?” Rachel almost pleaded.

“Yes, yes, I am, promise,” Emma assured her before adding: “I should really being saying sorry to you. You have seen me on the TV looking at you, haven’t you?”

Rachel laughed. “Yes, I have. There’s absolutely nothing to be sorry about at all. I’m over here for a couple of weeks now. I know you have A levels and stuff coming up but I would like to meet you to say sorry about hurting you yesterday. I’m meeting up with a friend in Esher on Saturday afternoon and I would love for you to join us. Later, I want to try out a restaurant there that has been recommended to me and I would love you to join me,” offered Rachel.

“Just the three of us?” asked Emma.

“Erm, no, Sophia is going home. It will just be you and me,” replied Rachel.

“Oh god, for real?” Emma couldn’t believe it.

“Yes for real, but only if you want to,” said Rachel.

“Yes, I really do,” said Emma, hardly believing this was happening.

They made arrangements to meet and said goodbye. For the duration of that call, which lasted only a few minutes, the whole world didn’t exist, much less the sixth form common room. Emma looked at her timetable for today. PM, English Lit, revision room 41.

She said to her friend: “I’m going home to revise. See you tomorrow.”

Emma walked out of school, but not to go home. Instead, she walked to Station Approach and sat in the coffee shop thinking about love, life, the universe and Rachel Hamilton.

Rachel stayed over at her cousin’s during the week in a small market town in Bedfordshire, and enjoyed their company and catching up, but the time soon came to return to Surrey. As she got up on Saturday morning, she felt quite nervous. She didn’t really know herself whether this was a friend thing, a fan thing on Emma’s part, or something more. She guessed it was the latter.

‘Why else would she be staring at my bottom?’ she asked herself.

She put on her jumper and selected another pair of the white Sloggi’s that Emma seemed to like so much. Rachel couldn’t believe that she was selecting underwear in order to thrill or seduce another woman she hardly knew. It was crazy. However, it wasn’t that crazy, she told herself. She had girl crushes before and never done anything about them. This time, she would at least see what happened.

Sophia had to go earlier than expected so, after agreeing to do Rachel a little favour tomorrow, they bad farewell and Rachel decided to walk up to ‘The Bear’ pub on the high street and wait outside for Emma.

She came a few minutes late and rushed over to Rachel and said: “I’m so sorry I’m late.”

“It’s fine, don’t worry,” replied Rachel, explaining that Sophia had to go home, hoping that Emma wouldn’t keep acting so star struck around her for the rest of the day.

They went into the pub and had a drink. Thankfully, they got along well and Rachel did manage to get Emma to accept that she was just like anyone else, but just better at tennis than most people. The chat and laughter was light and the skirt, knickers and collision incidents were not mentioned, although Emma was certain most of the establishment’s clientele were doing double takes at them.

“Hungry?” asked Rachel.

“Yes, I am for sure,” replied Emma, looking forward to a nice meal.

“Good,” replied Rachel, and they left the pub walking for less than two minutes to the ‘Sherpa Kitchen’.

The décor and ambience was superb, and the relaxing Asian love music put them in a good mood. They ordered their meal and drank red wine while waiting. There was lots of eye contact and smiles, but neither of them had the confidence to broach the subject of skirts, knickers, bottoms or their growing mutual attraction. The Nepalese cuisine was exquisite and Rachel ordered a bottle of champagne, the girls clicking their glasses together.

After the wine and champagne and great food, their inhibitions were lowered enough for Emma to tell Rachel everything that had happened over the past year, and how much she admired her talent, looks and bottom.

Rachel also complimented Emma on her looks and said being blond suited her and that often she wished wasn’t as dark haired. As they got around to ice cream, Emma was sufficiently relaxed to ask: “So, Rachel, what’s your favourite fantasy, and don’t say you haven’t got one; everyone has.”

Rachel smiled. Emma was right, so she had to tell her.

“Ok, I know this is weird, but,” Rachel paused, then summoned the courage. “Ok, I’m standing in the centre of an English town on a Friday or Saturday night in my tennis kit and I’ve made some anti-English comments in the media. There’s loads of people around and about ten drunk English girls who recognise me, set on me pulling at my clothes and I’m lying on the pavement in my underwear. Just as they are about to take my undies, off an English girl comes to my aid and takes me away to safety and she then looks after me.”

“Aww, that’s sweet, I think,” laughed Emma. “Come to think of it, have another bottle or two of champagne and we can go back to the ‘Bear’ later, shout out something about the Falklands war and it will probably happen,” continued Emma.

“Oh god, no. It’s just a fantasy, Emma,” laughed Rachel. “And besides, my dad’s English. I like you guys, although I did get into an altercation with a bunch of English girls in Manchester last year.”

Emma laughed and said: “So, they managed to rip your skirt off then, did they?”

“No, I was wearing jeans, and I can give as good as I can get,” affirmed Rachel before continuing. “So, what’s your fantasy then, Emma?”

She thought for a moment and then said: “I’m standing in a town centre at night, there’s a commotion and I can see a beautiful, tall, exotic girl lying on the pavement just about to get ravished. I rescue the girl and we live happily ever after.”

Rachel laughed and stood up. “Come on, let’s go.”

Rachel paid the bill and the pair got into a taxi and arrived at Rachel’s temporary home. Rachel explained the arrangement and felt that Emma felt a bit threatened when she had mentioned her ex-boyfriend. Emma had never had one. But Emma was overawed with Rachel’s financial and social status and the life she led compared to hers. Rachel asked Emma to cuddle her and invited her to stay the night.

They started kissing before Rachel remembered: “Oh Emma, I’ve got a local exhibition match tomorrow. Please would you come along and support me?”

Emma wrapped her arms around Rachel’s shoulders and said: “Only if I get to chance to take a peek at your knickers.”

Rachel laughed. “Don’t worry, Emma, you will. I promise.”

They kissed and cuddled for another hour, falling asleep on the sofa in each other’s arms.

The following morning, Rachel got up from the sofa with no regrets. She liked this girl and knew that she liked her back. She quickly showered and put on her tennis uniform. She felt clean, fresh, and, admittedly, a bit sexy. Emma woke and immediately smiled at the sight of Rachel at the other end of the large open plan house. Rachel opened the patio doors and started to stretch her legs when Emma joined her, giving Rachel a peck on the cheek.

Emma said: “Thank you for dinner last night, Rach, I loved it,” using a nickname for the first time.

Rachel reciprocated.  “My pleasure, Em.”

“I’d love to play you one day,” said Emma, admiring Rachel’s lovely legs from her ankles up to the cut off where they met her skirt and the delights above.

“You will,” Rachel stated matter-of-factly. “Oh shit,” said Rachel out of the blue. “I must have spilt some coffee on this skirt. Look!” showing Emma the dark coffee stain. “We’ve got enough time,” said Rachel as she reached down to her waist and took her skirt off and walked to the washing machine, putting the skirt in it and turning it on.

Rachel had also turned something else on. Emma, now struggled to remain calm as her dream girl now stood in front of her in her pants. They smiled as they took a step closer to each other. Just as they were going to embrace, the phone rang and Rachel asked Emma to pick up.

“Hello?” said Emma.

“Oh Hi, I guess that’s Emma,” said the unknown caller.

“Yes, it is,” Emma responded, wondering who knew she would be here.

“It’s Sophia, Rachel’s friend. Sorry I didn’t get chance to meet you yesterday. Can you please tell her that, unfortunately, they have had to cancel the tennis match today so she doesn’t have to come now.”

“That’s handy really, because Rachel has just had to put her skirt in the washing machine and I don’t think she’s got another one,” replied Emma.

On the other end of the line, Sophia smiled knowingly and said: “That’s unfortunate. Give her my regards, please Emma.”

“I will,” promised Emma as she made her way back to Rachel to tell her the news.

Rachel grinned. “Ok, I can put my jeans on then.”

“Don’t,” said Emma commandingly.

“Yes, ma’am,” responded Rachel jokingly, but secretly loving being told what to do. Somehow, the next ten minutes on the sofa changed from cuddles to a play fight resulting in them standing up and locking arms until Rachel broke free and ran with Emma chasing her even with her plaster cast on. With screams and laughter, Emma let Rachel just avoid capture as she ran through the house and garden, occasionally turning to face Emma with a ‘come and get me’ look.

Emma was now getting more and more aroused at the sight of Rachel’s lovely bottom trying to avoid punishment in front of her. Eventually, after more than ten minutes, Rachel ran up the stairs to her room and jumped face first onto her bed. Emma followed seconds later and stared down at Rachel’s bottom.

Emma looked down at Rachel’s slightly frilly knickers and admired at how good they looked on her close up. She couldn’t believe that, within a week of being star struck at Wimbledon, she was now doing this. She sucked in this moment as much as she could.

“Pull them off! Pull them off! Pull them off!” Rachel started pleading while Emma’s hand reached up and slowly pulled them down, Rachel wriggling her legs to get them over her trainers. If Rachel’s knickers were fantastic, her denuded bottom was even more heavenly. Two perfectly rounded and shaped buttocks with tiny dark hairs on each cheek. Emma placed her right hand on Rachel’s right buttock and started squeezing, pushing and pulling, so frustrated she couldn’t use her left hand also. She crossed onto Rachel’s left buttock and did the same, Rachel feeling so aroused by her bottom being exposed and Emma touching it.

By now Emma couldn’t stop and just had to do it. Without a word to Rachel, she raised her arm and her hand landed on with a SMACK in the middle of her buttocks, hitting both cheeks.

“Argghh!” cried Rachel, far more in surprise than in pain.

Emma raised her hand again and SMACKED her hand hard again against both buttocks.

“Yes!” cried Rachel, then added: “Harder!”

Emma raised her hand again and WHACKED  Rachel’s right buttock with a much force as she could manage.

“AAAgrrhhh! Ouch, my bum,” came Rachel’s response. Without knowing that Emma couldn’t offer any more force, Rachel pleaded: “Please, not any harder than that.”

Emma smiled and this time raised her arm and WHACKED Rachel’s left buttock.

“Oh god! Oh god!”

Emma then SLAPPED lightly each cheek in sequence, building up a rhythm; left SLAP right SLAP left SLAP right SLAP. Rachel buryed her head in the pillow as this continued for around ten minutes.

During this period, Emma’s natural dominance kicked in and she couldn’t resist telling Rachel off. “You done that deliberately, didn’t you Hamilton?”

“What?” Enquired Rachel.

Emma raised her hand and CRASHED it down in the middle of Rachel’s now slightly red derriere. Again, Rachel was caught by surprise and let out: “Oouuucchhhh!” but then quickly realised what Emma wanted.

Rachel wondered if this was a good idea, but she really wanted to say it. “Sorry Mistress, what did I do deliberately?”

Emma grinned. That was exactly what she wanted to hear and said: “Let your skirt flap up like that at Wimbledon.”

“Yes mistress, of course, I wanted to act like the little tease I am,” replied Rachel.

Emma’s arm rose again, this time CRASHING down on Rachel’s right buttock with as much force as she could muster.

“AAAAAAAArrrggghh! Oh god no, Mistress, please Mistress.”

Emma knew that Rachel had probably taken as much as she could comfortably take and Emma’s left arm was aching with the cast on. She decided that this would be the last spank as she raised her hand and WHACKED it against Rachel’s right buttock, slightly lighter than the previous spank.

“Agghh! Arrgghh! Ouch!” said Rachel, relieved.

Emma couldn’t resist one final SMACK across both of Rachel’s cheeks as she buried her head in the pillow again. Rachel continued to bury her head into the pillow knowing it was all over, while Emma just looked down Rachel’s bottom hoping now that it was her girlfriend’s bottom.

“Erm, I’ve got some Arnica cream in my tennis bag over there. Would you please use it on me, Mistress?”

Emma lent over and gave Rachel a kiss before getting the cream from the bag. Applying the cream was nearly as good as the spanking itself for both of them, with Emma getting a massive kick gently applying the cream to Rachel’s rose coloured orbs, while Rachel loved the feeling of Emma’s hands over her exposed bottom. After another half hour or so of gentle rubbing punctuated by Emma kissing Rachel’s buttocks, the session was over but the aftercare would continue and Emma asked Rachel to get up.

Rachel responded by turning over and then, totally on erotic impulse, lifting her legs into the air and exposing herself to Emma, who smiled broadly to Rachel in appreciation.

Emma got the duvet and pillows and carried them downstairs to the sofa. During the spanking, it had rained and, despite this Sunday being the first of July, there was a chill in the air as late afternoon gave way to early evening. Emma lit the log fire and undressed, to be joined by Rachel who removed her trainers, socks, top and bra and joined her under the duvet on the sofa. It was nice and cosy, and they cuddled. Rachel said “I’ve got a confession” Emma looked at her as she continued.

“There wasn’t really a tennis match on today. I just wanted to get dressed in my tennis outfit for you and then take my skirt off. I asked Sophia yesterday to ring and pretend it had been cancelled.”

“That’s why you asked me to take the call then?” Emma asked the rather obvious question.

“Yes, sorry Mistress,” replied Rachel, wondering how Emma would respond to the word ‘Mistress’.

“Mmmmm, you will be hun,” said Emma. “I’ve a confession of my own in fact,” stated Emma.

Rachel stared at her as she continued.

“You remember your match against Jennifer Cook?”

Rachel nodded. “Yes, of course.”

Emma hesitated, then said: “I paid her to throw the match so you would qualify for Wimbledon.”

“Jesus Christ, Emma! That’s bad, really bad, you could go to prison for that,” responded Rachel in almost disbelief.

“I know, sorry,” replied a contrite Emma, but then added: “If I go down I’m taking you with me.”

“Taking Jennifer Cook down with you, more likely,” said Rachel, smiling, having recovered from the shock. “How much did you pay her?”

“Ten grand,” stated Emma.

Rachel didn’t really understand why Jennifer Cook would do this for, in tennis terms, a relatively small sum. “You’re a naughty girl, Emma,” Rachel said.

“Yes, I am,” replied Emma, gently grabbing Rachel’s posterior. “But that’s how I get my girl.”

The following week, Rachel and Emma announced themselves as a couple to the world. Given Rachel’s now fairly high profile, it was to the world.

That Sunday, ‘The Sunday Mail’ arrived on Mrs Hoskins’ door mat.

The Sunday Mail London Sunday 9th July 1990

Sport Tennis – It’s Game, Set and Match as Wimbledon Tennis Player Comes Out as Gay.

Rachel Hamilton, the twenty year old from Argentina who played in this year’s most memorable match, has announced she is in a relationship with Emma Hoskins, an eighteen year old ball girl who she collided with during the match with Samantha Atkins, which left Miss Hoskins with a broken wrist. TV cameras picked up the ball girl constantly staring at Hamilton especially during one of the numerous wardrobe failures caused by the gusty winds that day. It now appears the attraction was returned. A spokesman for the player said the couple were currently living in a rented property in South West London but refused to give any further details.

Mrs Hoskins picked up the paper and cried all day. Emma already hadn’t turned out the way she had hoped and this made it so, so much worse. Rachel decided to base herself in London and, over the next few years, Mrs Hoskins got to know and like Rachel immensely. She thought Rachel was kind, respectful, polite but fun and good looking and actually admitted that Emma had fantastically good taste in selecting a partner, albeit another women.

But life moves on and, after four years, Rachel and Emma had grown apart, Rachel particularly wanting to return to a heterosexual relationship with Alejandro if he would have again.

Rachel and Emma split in 1994 and didn’t keep in touch, both going their separate ways. Rachel started dating Alejandro again in 1996, much to the delight of their respective parents, whilst Emma had numerous lesbian relationships. In 1998 Rachel and Alejandro got engaged and in 1999 Rachel qualified for Wimbledon for the first time since 1990 and against all odds won the women’s title with her mother, father, brother and fiancé looking on.

Just after that game, an official handed Rachel a hand written note on a rather crumpled piece of paper. Still standing on court, she opened it up and read: ‘Well done, my darling Rachel. I have never forgotten our time together and never will. I always knew you would win one day and without any help from me. From your number one fan, always, Emma xxx.’

Rachel struggled not to cry and, as she looked at the crowd, she saw Emma and her mother file out with the crowd. As they reached the top of the stairs they stopped and turned round, looking at Rachel staring back at them with the piece of paper in her hands. Emma blew a kiss and Rachel kissed her hand and waved back at Emma and her mother, who was crying. They turned and left, the two of them merging into the crowd, and then they were gone perhaps this time forever.

Rachel greeted her family and hugged her father. Later, in a quiet moment, she said to him: “Thank you for keeping your word, Dad.”

He looked puzzled and Rachel continued. “That night in the garden before I left for Wimbledon 1990 you told me not to take drugs, smoke, become a criminal or get a tattoo, and if I did that you would support me no matter what, and that’s exactly what you did through all the embarrassment you must have faced over my skirt incident that year and my relationship with Emma.”

“Well, I meant it, Rachel. You did nothing to be ashamed of,” replied her father.

“Well, I did get called the ‘knicker girl’ in the media over there for a while, didn’t I?” asked Rachel.

“Yes, you did, but it didn’t affect me. I remember Daniel being slightly embarrassed about it, but he had loads of guys coming up to him at school asking if they could meet his elder sister.”

“Anyway, Dad, this trophy is for all the family, but especially for you,” said Rachel as they hugged and later had the party of a lifetime.

In the following year, 2000, Rachel married Alejandro and become Mrs Fortezza which is the way she wanted to be addressed formally, including during tennis matches. Rachel qualified for Wimbledon only once more in 2001 and retired in 2005. By that time, long cycle type shorts were being worn by elite female tennis players. Rachel stuck to her, by now trademark, white briefs which had done so much to increase her profile a decade and a half previously.

With the advent of the internet and social media, communication spread across the world in real time. On boxing day 2018, having contacted each other through a social media site some months earlier, Rachel and Emma spoke for the first time in nearly a quarter of a century. After some tears and lots of laughter, the talk turned to the future when Emma spoke: “Rachel, I’ve got a pair of VIP tickets for the women’s final on Saturday 13th July next year and would love for you to join me. After, we can dine at the ‘Sherpa Kitchen’ and…” Emma tailed off before speaking again, “and I will book a superior room at The Bear for us as an early 50th birthday present for you.”

Emma closed her eyes and wondered if she had said the right thing. After a couple of seconds, Rachel burst out laughing. “Yes. Wow! That sounds great, glad to hear those places are still going, but I will only come on the one condition that I can meet your lovely mother again. I think about her often,” stated Rachel.

“Yes, of course, like me she has never forgotten you and has missed you all these years. It will mean the world to her to see you again,” said Emma.

“I’m at a family wedding in Italy the previous week, so I will fly from there and the family will return home,” explained Rachel.

“Perfect. Looking forward to it already,” said Emma, and Rachel agreed.

After they hung up, Emma immediately phoned her mum and said Rachel would be visiting in July. Mrs Hoskins cried with joy.

That night, Emma made a reservation at both ‘The Bear’ and the ‘Sherpa Kitchen’. She then went online and ordered a white tennis top and skirt and some high cut white knickers. She then went on another website and ordered a blindfold and a jar of after-spanking cream.

Emma smiled and said aloud: “This is it. Game, Set and Match. Rachel, I’m going to give you a 50th birthday present you will never forget!”

The End

© Katie Hammond 2018