Tennis Club News
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
"....and I abide your shot."
King Henry VI, Part iii
Act 1, Scene 4
"It's just a shot away."
-Jagger and Richards
The newsroom staff has been a-way on vacation. And what do we find on returning? The First Annual Halloween Costume Dance Party. Yesss. On Saturday eve, October 28. Details will follow. See you there.
The newsroom staff visited old pal, fellow worker, former club member, Joe Ulam in his NYC home.
Joe on his rooftop.
We need news to report. O correspondents, please report in.
Play at the club depends, apparently, on light. We don't have much of either.
Peter Maggs sent us many wonderful pictures that he took at the tournaments. Let's look at a few more.
Women's Singles Champ, Jessie.
Craig played in some tournaments and watched them all.
Barclay came to watch.
And Britney was here.
Many thanks to Peter Maggs for the tournament 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 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.
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.)