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Tracy Austin Made the Big Girls Cry

Tracy Austin “hit the hell out of the ball and never missed and never choked and had braces and pigtails that swung wildly around as she handed pros their asses” (David Foster Wallace). Tracy, in other words, made the big girls cry. She even made the goddesses, the legends of the sport–Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova–cry their […]

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Life Imitates Art: Paul, Fritz, and Opelka and “The Oath of the Horatii”

From left to right in the picture above: Tommy Paul, Taylor Fritz, Reilly Opelka.  French Open Junior Champion, US Open Junior Champion, Wimbledon Junior Champion. Great mover, Big serve and groundies, Bunyanesque serve. Teenage Trouble Maker, Video Games Guru, Contemporary Art Collector. When I saw this fantastic photo from @zootennis on twitter, I immediately thought […]

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Rene Lacoste: The Crocodile

Why “le croc?” “The machine” is a better nickname. That’s what Tilden called me because I sent every ball back like the ball machine I would invent in 1947. Invented the steel racquet, too, much later. From wood to steel. Another machine like those human beings in modernist paintings of Fernand Leger. I was called […]

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Helen of California

Challenge: Combine the two portraits below of Helen Wills as classic beauty and Helen Wills as tennis player into a single portrait. Recommendation: Skip this challenge. Helen Wills as Classic Beauty: Four Male Perspectives Charlie Chaplin on the most beautiful thing in the world: “the movement of Helen Wills playing tennis: it had grace and […]

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Ons Jabeur and the Arab World, Art by Colacat

Headline: Ons Jabeur Becomes the First Arab Woman to Break into the World’s Top Ten Young Arab women in 22 countries practice Ons Jabeur drop shots of outrageous height and spin. It’s about having the right feel. It’s about having soft hands. Girls in Tunisia and Algeria practice tweeners and trick shots like the one […]

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“Yes, Tennis Everyone!” Art by Brian Cowlishaw

Brian writes me that the inspiration for this piece comes from Donald Barthelme’s story, “The Palace.” In this story, the author is in line at a bank in New York City when he notices the yellow check for $84.06 that a Puerto Rican woman holds. Then he notices that there are many other black and […]