Greek Tragedy #1: That something within everyone like Achilles’ heel is fated and waiting to fail. For Lew Hoad it was his back. Greek Tragedy #2: What being born a decade too soon might mean: his homeland (Australia) would exile him, history forget him.* (slightly overstated but not much) In Medias Res: Pills swallowed, shots taken, […]
The gift he was given was tennis. Segregation was the law in this lawless land, so the color of his skin meant many things: 1) he was not able to play tournaments and compete against his peers 2) he would change the world through the gift of tennis one player at a time. Thousands and […]
Solve this problem: Your daughter’s playing with a doll, a gift she just received from a friend. The doll is white. 1968: John Carlos’ black power salute Arthur Ashe wins the first US Open. 1970: Toni Morrison The Bluest Eye the problem of “whiteness” as a standard of beauty Arthur Ashe wins The Australian Open. […]
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Innocence and hats and quiet revolutions. That was before the war. Max Decugis won a record 8 French Championships ending in 1914. Francois Flameng painted Max’s crisply parted black hair and elegant white pants on a tennis court teeming with prewar pastoral: “the men leaving the gardens tidy, The thousands of marriages, / Lasting a […]
A woman hits an overhead smash, her racquet a guitar in a cubist painting by Braque or Picasso. Her larger than life limbs travel across countries and centuries of time: ancient, modern, eastern, western. My tennis friends tell me she’s not hitting an overhead. She is hitting the ultimate trick shot, swinging and purposefully missing […]