Tennis fans will be glued to the box throughout Wimbledon fortnight, but one Boston man actually got the chance to get up close and personal with the women’s world number one Serena Williams... and win.
Adam Shergold went head-to-head with the defending SW19 champion last week - over a game of table tennis.
And the meeting ended in a rare defeat for Williams.
“It was a fantastic experience and not one you can say you get to do every day - taking on the world number one and five-time Wimbledon champion at ping pong,” said the 24-year-old, who picked up the paddle as part of his job as a journalist.
Adam got to meet Williams over a table at Heathrow airport, as the court queen took part in some pre-tournament publicity.
“Initially, I was a little disappointed when my editor told me I was going to Heathrow and not getting on a plane,” Adam added.
“But the prospect of meeting, interviewing and playing against Serena softened the blow.
“She was great company, charming, thoughtful in her answers and really down to earth - probably the opposite of some people’s perceptions of her.”
Williams may be a sweetheart off the court, but on the grass of the All England club she can be a terrifying prospect.
However, our Boston lad showed the lass from the mean streets of Compton, California, a thing or two.
“Unofficially, it was a win for me,” boasted the former Boston Grammar School head boy.
“I hadn’t played table tennis since school so can’t claim to be too good.
“For me, it was always the sport we’d have to play in the school hall on a wet Thursday afternoon when all we wanted to do was run around in the mud and play football.
“But perhaps I’ve discovered a secret talent.
“Serena said she wasn’t able to get to grips with my ‘weird serve’ - probably something to do with my height - so that’s a good example of being so awful at something you’ve actually got an element of surprise.”
Adam, who works for the Daily Mail, was wearing a suit when he tangled with his opponent, who can claim to have 16 Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold in her trophy cabinet.
In his gym kit, surely he would have won by a greater margin?
Adam told The Standard: “In her defence, she had flown in overnight from New York and so was probably a little bit jet-lagged.
“She was also wearing heels and had clearly just had her nails and hair done.
“In my defence, I was wearing a suit and tie and pretty nervous.
“I’d like to invite Serena to a re-match after Wimbledon in the proper sports kit... preferably not next to a check-in queue at Heathrow terminal 4.”