Archive for September, 2010
This sketch is for those of you who are interested in what some of the legendary players of the 1950′s and 1960′s were like, both as players and people. I played against them and knew them as well as someone who was not one of them could. It is the first of a few such possible sketches. If you like it, let me know and I’ll do more.
Pancho Segura, born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, was deceptive in every way – little and unimpressive to look at, but smart, tricky, and a tennis genius. Just looking at him you would never imagine he could be a great tennis player. Pancho was about 5’6” or 5’7” tall, had severely bowed legs (the result, so it was said, of childhood rickets), was severely pigeon-toed, and had a massive, oversized, handsome head with a luxuriant growth of dark hair. You soon learned why he had such a substantial head – to house a huge brain that was one of the brightest, most calculating, cunning and diabolical that I ever encountered in tennis. Because of this the other pros gave him the appropriate nickname, “Sneaky.”
Rafael Nadal was beautiful in his interview after his semi-final win at the U.S. Open. He gave credit to his opponent, said he was happy with his game and improvement, and convincingly downplayed any talk about his overtaking Federer’s Slam record and/or being the best player of all time. He was modest, even humble, (as [...]
Some years ago I was chatting with all-time great Bobby Riggs and asked him how he would rank the great players, since he competed against many of them. Who were the greatest champions of all time? His answer was interesting. He said, “It depends on how you define ‘great.’” Elaborating he said, “If you define [...]