Tennis Prose



How Addictive The Tennis High Is

By Scoop Malinowski

Even on the amateur tennis circuit the “high” of playing tennis is so addictive players will make unusual efforts and sacrifices to obtain that special feeling again.

Here are some astounding examples I’ve encountered over the years…

A 67 year old man from Ontario, Canada drove all the way to Florida to play two tournaments in Bradenton and St. Petersburg, all the while living out of his car for three weeks He lost the final of Bradenton after blowing a match point on an unlucky net cord by the opponent.

A guy in his 30s took two trains and a bus from Long Island to Mahwah, NJ to play a two man draw, final but in the second game he popped a string on the only racquet he brought and lost by retirement. He took the bus and two trains back home. Not counting the tournament director sending someone to pick him up and take him back to the bus station, 5 minutes away.

A guy took a bus from Virginia to the New York City and subway to the US Open, watched a day of tennis, and then took the train and bus back home – all on the same day. He did this every year for the first day of the US Open.

Two friends from Long Island drove about four hours to Newport for the Hall of Fame Championships, watched aboutfour hours of tennis, hanging out with me, and then drove back home on the same day. Over 8 hours in the car to watch four hours of ATP grass court tennis.

I know four guys who played doubles at Overpeck Park in Leonia, NJ in four degrees freezing temperature.

The noted tennis author and journalist from Great Britain Christopher Bowers, once played tennis for 44 consecutive hours, earning the nickname “44 Hours Bowers.”

Perhaps even many professionals of the ATP World Tour have some kind of addiction to tennis, similar to these amateur players.

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1 comment

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 24, 2024 at 10:08 am

    Another odd anecdote happened this week. I was hitting with a friend, also a good 4.5 tournament player. The doubles guys next to us I played a few times, 4.0s. Well the one guy wanted to play doubles with us so we go to play two days later, just for fun and good chatting, so I thought. Well this guy wanted to win so bad, he brought his coach, a former ATP 1000 ranked player with a huge pro serve 120 wicked spin. I know the guy. SO we start playing and then we found out he’s paying him to play this doubles match. He wanted to win so bad he paid this guy to play a set of doubles far beneath his level. We were up 4-1 and then lost 4-6. INcluding a rip off on the scoring, when the 4.0 was serving at 40-15 he said it was game but it really wasn’t. So the addiction to win is so strong this average player wanted to win so bad against two stronger players he had to pay his coach to come to his rescue. ) He couldn’t just play and lose and have fun.



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