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Simona Halep: Three Easy-but-Difficult, Safe-but-Risky, Calculated-but-Mindless Backhands

Situation: Having lost the first set, Simona is serving at 4-4 (15-15) in the second set against Sloane Stephens in the 2018 French Open Final. Sloane floats a weak return just past the service line, so Simona steps in and smacks an 88 mph sharply angled backhand cross-court within a foot of the sideline I submit that […]

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Three-Time French Open Champions: The Men

The Women will be published on June 4. Rafael Nadal: 4,500 rpm on the forehand.  Borg’s topspin revolution doubled, squared.  All that topspin means net clearance, safety, angles.  The perfect weapon for clay, its wars of attrition.  Bjorn Borg: I wanted to be Ringo Starr one year for Halloween. Long hair, girls screaming, rock star. […]

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Guga’s Hair, 1997

Novak Djokovic’s unruly wig bouncing Djoker caricaturing Gustavo Kuerten so that he looks like a bobblehead sports doll, Guga’s hair in reality so loose and free his body so loose-limbed and free dancing and bobbing to some unheard Brazilian music while he coils uncoils one-handed backhands big flat first serves sudden drop shots Guga’s body […]