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“Towards an Indian Gay Image, Oberoi Hotel, 2020,” Art by Sunil Gupta

Note: When I played high school tennis in the 1970s, I heard many say tennis was a “sissy” sport. Not sure I even knew what that meant: effeminate, gay . . . (not sure I even knew what “gay” meant at 15 years old). Those days are gone. Intriguing, though, that Gupta’s gay figure carries a […]

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Autumn at the Stagg Invitational

Mike Roberson and I shake hands after the final match. We both lost our wives this year. I am the lucky one. At 65 years old, two decades older than Mike, I can already check the box called a long, happy life: a blissful marriage of forty years with two beautiful daughters of intelligence and […]

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Tennis Mulligans and Special Needs in Northwest Arkansas

I double faulted on an important point in a doubles match last weekend. Usually a moment of some agony (few tennis players are intentionally charitable), I smiled at my opponents instead. “Mulligan,” I cried out. (I had purchased 5 mulligans before the match.) So happy to have another serve, I barely thought of all the […]

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Gael Monfils: Improv and the Human Highlight Reel

If you could see the moment after in the painting above: Monfils hitting the ground running to cover the next shot, which his opponent misses. If you watch the first two shots in the video below from Tennis TV. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWMQJEf3pL8 First Shot: The long sprint forward sudden scissors kick leap high in the air while […]

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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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David Lewerenz: In Memoriam

A few days before he was shockingly diagnosed with brain cancer, David Lewerenz called me on the phone to talk tennis. His granddaughter had just been a ball girl at a tournament for one of Iga Swiatek’s (now the world’s #1 player) matches. They shared a Polish heritage, and his granddaughter and Iga spoke briefly […]

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Players Party at Baton Rouge

All the lines below are from 60-85 year old senior tennis players and their significant others. “Bone on bone.” “Both hips replaced.” “Bet this is the healthiest group of seniors in the country.” “We drive our RV together to tournaments, listen to books on Audible.” “I play for Chile at the Worlds this year.” “I […]

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Jennifer Capriati: A Celebratory Cautionary Tale

“When the apple is ripe, you eat it.”               (Jennifer’s father, Stefano).  1989:  Five million in endorsements before turning pro.  “And she’s only 13!” (Sports Illustrated Cover).  1991: Capriati’s US Open semifinal vs. Monica Seles–the birth of power tennis in the women’s game–“a slugfest conducted by a pair of teenagers whose strokes defied age, gender and […]

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Welcome to the Dance

The picture above is of Steve Stagg, who just built a clay court not far from my house in Fayetteville, Arkansas. It’s our favorite place to be. He is holding a copy of Paul McNamee’s book: Welcome to the Dance: Master Clay to Master Tennis. (I describe below a few of this book’s key ideas about […]

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Pancho Segura, Ecuador

Rickets. Poor. Ecuador. Dirt. His two small hands sweeping, picking up balls at the Guayaquil tennis club while cruise liners sailed the ocean nearby. This bow-legged kid loved to watch them. Maricon, they called him. “Fairy.” Too small, too weak, so two hands on the forehand. He played and played until everyone wanted to hit with him. […]