01 Ready? Play!

The sun, the court surface, the water disappearing in the sink – everything on this continent went into the wrong direction. Quite literally, Robyn Laurenson saw her prospects of having a grand Hopman Cup going down the drain. He had brought his girlfriend. Since when did he have a girlfriend? And why was she so beautiful and sweet? And funny. And nice.
Robyn looked at herself in the mirror frowning. Why must there be a terribly red dimple on her nose? And did she even have to mention the horrible dress she had to wear for the party to days ago. If at some point she had been thrilled about the event, as soon as she had landed in Oz things had gone awfully wrong. And not a Top Shop to be seen in miles to save the day. This really was the outback.

Now she had to endure a whole press conference next to Teddy. She had been really happy to learn that she was invited to the prestigious mixed doubles tournament. Moreover, she was delighted to know it was Teddy who she would partner. Not only because he was the fourth-ranked player of the ATP tour. More important for Robyn was the fact, that he possessed masterful dancing skills as he had proven at last year’s Winners Ball at Wimbledon, when she was the Junior Champion and was granted a dance with the dashing British runner up. Their lucky pairing at the Hopman Cup promised a replay at one of the special event in the evening. But most of all she really looked forward to the time spend with him away from the Tennis events. He had quite a reputation. And Australia seemed to bring out the worst in him. She hoped he would take her along and introduce her to the Aussie night life. Let’s face it, he knew it all. From the hottest clubs to the hottest…

“Hurry up, they are waiting for you and they are not as polite as in Great Britain!”
Cathy, her blond-ish Aussie watchdog, stuck her nose into the bathroom. Apparently this twenty-something was getting paid by the WTA to spoil her party while constantly sporting a big sunny smile. How Robyn hated sunny, smiling twenty-something girls from Australia. Ted’s new girl was from Melbourne, that she knew. So she’d probably be around for the whole Australian Open. Great. Fantastic. Nothing she could do about it, Robyn concluded. There was just one way to live through the pain, as her good friend Gemma Heffington once wisely said: Keep calm and party on.
Reluctantly, Robyn followed Cathy through the hallway into the media center.

“Is Teddy already there?”
“Ted Curry. My partner.” Robyn snapped. Cathy just gave her a broad grin and pushed her through a door. Robyn stepped into the press room but stopped right away. It was empty. Not a single journalist around. Not even some amateur-blogger sneaking in. What was happening? She turned around but Cathy had disappeared.
“Oh, for fuck’s sake.” She muttered.[]
“You called, darling?”
Robyn whirled around. Nonchalantly, Teddy leaned against the table where two bottles of water had been disposed. Forgetting all about Cathy, the watchdog, Robyn made a few steps towards Teddy, subconsciously passing her tongue over her lips.