Tennis Prose



Happy Birthday Marcelo Rios

Former ATP world no. 1 Marcelo Rios turns 47 today.

Rios won 18 ATP titles from 1995-2001, the first coming in Bologna, Italy and the final in Hong Kong, China.

Rios won Masters 1000 titles in Monte Carlo, Indian Wells, Miami, Rome and Hamburg.

In 1998 Rios played the Australian Open Grand Slam final but was defeated by Petr Korda.

In 2011 my book “Marcelo Rios: The Man We Barely Knew” was published and earned many positive reviews including this one from Ian B: “Much has been written & said about Marcelo Rios and I can only thank Scoop for writing this book. I remember watching Rios demolish Agassi at the Miami tourney in ’98. There was definitely something magical about his game. You’ll have to forgive me as I will probably go on and on not just on the book’s merits, which I think are many, but I wanted to call out the U.S. tennis media in general as Luke Jensen did in the book (if indirectly). He has some of the most poignant comments amongst many in the book. I mean, if you were only connected to tennis through ESPN via Cliff Drysdale & pals and Bud Collins you probably would never have paid any attention to Rios because both of them told the general public he is a jerk/not worthy/fill-in-the-blank. Don’t get me wrong; Bud Collins’ talent as a commentator, tennis historian as well as a writer is unparalleled. As I am sure much could be said about many other reporters there is something to be said that just because you guys are slighted by someone (Cliff and Bud) doesn’t mean he sucks. As a journalist I would think it’s part of your job to want to understand your subjects better however hard that may be. Getting to know someone is always difficult. Sometimes we never know how someone ticks. If it turns out to be too much of a pain to delve, don’t assume anything and just write that person off, which is what both of the two aforementioned journalists did. I would much rather read or hear that as a reporter you don’t know what he/she is like or what he thinks, as Mary Carillo and McEnroe amongst many others, did in the book. I think by assuming certain things as Cliff Drysdale and Bud Collins did, they are performing a disservice to their profession and in some form or another failed in that facet as a journalist. And sadly you still hear it to this day as they will never give any credit to Rios. You can love him or hate him but you cannot deny Rios’ mastery. He is a very intriguing subject.”

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