Tennis Club News
Monday, October 2, 2006
"Run, run, O, run!"
Act 5, Scene 3
The Women's Singles Tournament was played last weekend, with a lot of drama and a lot of good tennis. There were 12 players in the tournament, with one default.
Jessie von Hippel won the tournament and is this year's singles champion. She defeated Adele Pressman in a terrific match. (Joe Cortes quipped, 'did any ball go higher than 6 inches over the net?')
Earlier in the tournament...
Liz played against Michelle Schaffer.
Renata played hard...
as did Mary.
Suzanne and Phyllis played to 8-6 in a tie-breaker.
Earlier, in the Mixed Double Tournament, Molly and Ken played in the semi-finals.
A lot of work went into putting the tournaments together. Joe Cortes, Lennie Singer and Cela Hobbs did a great job. Every weekend we had a club rental and rain to contend with and yet the tournaments went slickly. All the drama was on the court. There were many fine matches. Half the club showed up to watch (and eat).
Joe and Lennie
The staff did some major coping, wicked major, dealing with rentals and rain and tournaments. Way to go in getting those courts playable after the rains. Way to go coping and dealing.
And way to go, CTC.
Many thanks to Peter Maggs for the photos. Peter took zillions of good pictures. Space and download time dictate that we post only a few. (We'll post more at a later time.) Peter invites readers to look at all of his tournament pictures and pictures of his trip to Kenya. Peter's photos can be found at an online photos site:
The final tennis jamboree of the year is almost here. The Columbus Day party takes place on Monday, October 9. The party is an all-day pot-luck, pick-up doubles, round-robin, barbecue. You eat, you drink, you play tennis, you chat, not necessarily in that order. As mentioned, there is a pot-luck part to the party. If your last name begins with the letters A-M, you might bring some fruit or salad. If N-Z, you might bring some dessert. But bring your racket, and bring your appetite.
Prime time play is limited by loss of light. The back courts are as dark as the hollow core of the earth by, say, 6:30. The courts won't dry out as quickly in October as they did in August because there is less sunlight and less warmth. Little rains will hurt us more. And darkness hurts.
The B and T opened on October 1, and contracts started at MIT and Murr, but, if the weather holds, we'll have wonderful tennis days here at the club and players will come to play.
We like the idea sent in by a summer member and we've had some responses. More are promised.
Over past winters, I have fed a dormant trout fishing habit with titles devoted to the subject. The tradition of angling literature is vast, so finding enjoyable reads has not been a problem. That said, the past few months as a summer member at CTC have resulted in a desire to read about tennis as well. So far, I have enjoyed John McPhee's Levels Of The Game and selected tennis pieces from George Plimpton On Sports quite a bit. Would the CTC website readership be able to suggest further titles for a reader who's interested in "reading between the lines"?
Four books given to me as gifts that I have particularly appreciated over the years:
Alex McNab, THE TENNIS DOCTOR. This was given to me by two former coaches. It has a lot of information on proper techniques and strategies, as well as diagnoses and cures for all sorts of things that can go wrong with them, all articulated extremely well by my favorite New York Times tennis columnist.
Stan Cath, Nathan Cobb, and Alvin Kahn, LOVE AND HATE ON THE TENNIS COURT. Tennis psycho-drama by two psychiatrists and a Boston Globe columnist, with lots of food for thought about your partners' and YOUR idiosyncrasies as they reveal themselves in the course of play.
Paul Metzler, TENNIS DOUBLES. A gift from one of the best male players at the CTC. The discussions of mixed doubles, a la male chauvinism (e.g., the man should always play the ad court), couldn't have amused me more.
Jack L. Groppel, HIGH TECH TENNIS. From the head tennis coach at M.I.T., of course, what science and engineering have contributed to the game and its equipment. There is even a learned discussion of what type of ball to use on what type of surface, with a surprise ending.
Many people prepare lists of the best tennis books. I have not read widely enough in the genre to attempt it, but I will mention two that while very different, span the spectrum.
Bill Tilden's How to Play Better Tennis is old, but has the virtue of being written by one of the games greats, who thought very carefully about shotmaking, grips, tactics, fitness, and psychology. Tilden writes with great economy of style and clear, descriptive expression. The book is not an autobiography, but one can grasp something of Tilden's approach to the game by the instruction he gives. I have read this book several times and often return to it because of the analytical approach it takes. All in all, well worth the effort to find it.
For a vivid contrast, try John McEnroe's You Cannot be Serious. It is light and quick reading, but it reflects some self-examination of the voyage a wildly gifted teenager took from the amateur ranks, to Stanford, to the professional game. Clearly he was immature when he was exposed to all the headturning celebrity and too indulgent waiver of decent behavior which we grant our youthful athletic prodigies. McEnroe speculates whether his behavior might have been better controlled if he had been defaulted early in his career for his loss of control on the court. Little tennis instruction can be derived from this book and that was not the author's intent, but it does reflect the changes in the game with the rise of fitness as a necessary element of champion's training, and the coming of the power game with the new racquets. While a modest veil of discretion surrounds the discussion of the life on the tour, one can infer a fair amount about what it was like in McEnroe's day, and to some extent, about what it must still be like today.
(And we heard from a reader who recommends a tennis website:)
Tennis Week is a weekly magazine that is published online as well as in paper copy. Gene Scott was its first editor-in-chief, and Neil Amdur has succeeded him. Amdur was a wonderful tennis writer and sports editor for the New York Times for many years and Editor-in-Chief at World Tennis. The website is Tennis Week.
Tennis Week covers the latest tennis news, it has fine writers such as Richard Evans and Neil Amdur, and it has many interesting interviews of all kinds of people.
I'll send some book titles in the next few days.
The club book should be in your hands always. Much of the book's information is also available on the website. Events, Rules, Governors and Committees are all updated, as is the New Members List.
The Waiting List for membership is posted online. You can find it, in chronological order, in the FAQ section of the website.
The website has a long overdue new feature: a Champions Page. Check it out.
The website has another new and important feature, the President's Corner (updated 10-5-06). Check it out.
And we've added new info on the membership process. Check out MEMBERSHIP.
Some useful links:
Here's a link to the espn site, with pro ranking.
And a club member (let's call him Sol) suggested a link to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I. The site is rich.
We still have the tournament draws (from 2001 to 2004) available on-line (including all of the results), thanks to the Java Kid. We are re-locating the links, however.
"On the court, tennis players exchange not only ground strokes but lots of information. It's a richly interactive sport, both verbally and non-verbally. If players communicate clearly, simply, and consistently, the game will proceed more quickly, and with less fuss and misunderstanding. Here are a few guidelines that can make the game more fun, friendly, and fair for all...."
We've had some requests to run Craig Lambert's piece, sampled above, on Tennis Communication. (We'd better leave this link up on the newspage permanently.)
The website does have all of the information available in the club book on-line except the membership directory.
'Timelines' is for adepts.
link will take you to the last newspage from 2005. From there you can see the whole of the Persistent Archive of last year's news.
Website Note: The time and temperature icon below is a link to a Boston weather site.
Joe DeBassio, Webmaster, is on a leetle vacation. In case of a truly dire website emergency, you might contact the website's father, Bob Doyle.
Website Note II: The honey-comb icon is also a link. It takes the clicker to an archive of all the past news pages so that said clicker can read the news pages for the whole year (2006). The less-than link (<) next to the honeycomb icon will take clickers to the previous issue of this year's newspage. (Skywriter is for Initiates.)