The Self-Similar Nature of Tennis

Tennis can be thought about at a number of levels, but each level is of a similar complexity to the level above or below it.  I will look at 3 of these levels. The Level Most People Talk About: Individual Skills One’s technique when hitting the ball, one’s movement on the court, and one’s conditioning…

John Isner and Intentionally Slower Surfaces

Wimbledon decided to look into slowing its courts down and increasing the length of points after the 1998 men’s final.  The rest of the tour tended to follow Wimbledon’s lead as outdoor and indoor hard courts were slowed down, indoor carpet events went away, and tennis balls were slowed down too.  It may not be…

My Last Male GOAT Column for at Least 5 Years

I admit it.  I am bored with speculating about who is the greatest of all time (GOAT).  Has any topic gotten more ink or pixels in the tennis universe over the past 20 years? It started with Pete Sampras closing in on Roy Emmerson’s then record 12 major titles.  Then Andre Agassi won the career…

Strokes of Genius Documentary Airs on July 1st

While I consider Novak Djokovic’s 5 set 2012 Australian Open final victory over Rafael Nadal to be the greatest match ever played (to this point?), this should be an interesting documentary.

Is Tennis Dying in the US? Part 1

  A couple of weeks ago, a strong junior player asked me, “Don’t you think tennis is a dying sport in the US?” My first reaction was to think no followed by I hope not.   I didn’t vocalize either of those views though.  I tried to think about things as this is a complicated question. …

Food for Thought on Nadal’s Grand Slam Haul

Howard Bryant of ESPN pointed out after the 2017 US Open that those dismissing Nadal as only a threat on clay are wrong due to Rafa having as many non-clay majors as Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg. 11 Roland Garros Titles = Borg + Wilander + Courier’s Haul or 11 Roland Garros Titles = Borg…

French Open Memories: 1991

I already wrote about the 4-year Courier-Agassi Wars of 1989-1992.  There was another memorable clash of US players in 1991.  Jimmy Connors took on 1989 Roland Garros champion Michael Chang.  On paper, this didn’t look like much of a match.  Jimmy Connors did win the 1976 US Open on Har-Tru/green clay, but it was 1991…

2018 and the ATP Tour – 2003 Redux?

2017 – The Echo Year? 2018 – The Realigning Year? Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal neatly divided most of the biggest prizes in tennis in 2017.  It looked a lot like 2005-2010 in which the two won all but 3 majors.  I called 2017 “the Echo Year” to my friends. Yet, something odd happened at…

Roger Federer is Back to #1 with his 97th Career Title

Roger Federer is #1 again.  He is the oldest #1 in history supplanted Andre Agassi in that category.  Given that he defends 2000 combined points at Indian Wells and Miami, I am not sure that it will be a long reign.  Still, it is fairly unbelievable.  If Rafa wins Acapulco, where the Spaniard is defending…