Tennis Prose



Sandgren’s Statement to Media


By Scoop Malinowski

Following his spectacular loss to Hyeon Chung in three close, exciting sets last night in the Australian open quarterfinal, American Tennys Sandgren addressed the media with a wonderful opening statement.

Effectively setting the narrative on the issue by intelligently expressing his platform and his viewpoint on his terms and not allowing it to be clouded and slandered by an angry wolfpack media eager to besmirch this brave, talented young man who has the courage to go against the grain and political correctness to express some of his unique (and controversial) opinions and views. Sandgren put his candidly direct statement out there and the media had to swallow it. The media could not throw their spears of loaded questions and false, misinterpreted judgment labels or fake fabricated charges of racism and bigotry. We do not always have to say politically correct nice things about everyone, we can praise, honor and love and we criticize and denounce anybody who we feel deserves it based on their behavior and actions.

He may not have won the match last night but Sandgren scored a mighty victory for free speech, free thought and freedom period. Sandgren reminded us all that we don’t have to agree with the politically correct agendas being rammed down our throats, we can think the way we want to think and speak our minds accordingly.

TENNYS SANDGREN: You seek to put people in these little boxes so that you can order the world in your already assumed preconceived ideas. You strip away any individuality for the sake of demonizing by way of the collective.

With a handful of follows and some likes on Twitter, my fate has been sealed in your minds. To write an edgy story, to create sensationalist coverage, there are a few lengths you wouldn’t go to to mark me as the man you desperately want me to be.

You would rather perpetuate propaganda machines instead of researching information from a host of angles and perspectives while being willing to learn, change, and grow. You dehumanize with pen and paper and turn neighbor against neighbor. In so doing, you may actually find you’re hastening the hell you wish to avoid, the hell we all wish to avoid.

It is my firm belief that the highest value must be placed on the virtue of each individual, regardless of gender, race, religion or sexual orientation. It’s my job to continue on this journey with the goal of becoming the best me I can and to embody the love Christ has for me, for I answer to Him and Him alone.

I’ll take questions about the match, if you guys don’t mind. Thank you. If you have any questions about the match.



  • Hartt · January 26, 2018 at 5:36 am

    I purposely did not take part in the conversation about Sandgren’s views because I think this is a forum about tennis and that discussion, to use a polite term, was off the rails. On the other tennis site I chat on there was a brief discussion about this issue, and people expressed different views, although no one supported the alt right. Then we got back to tennis.

    Sandgren is not even in the tournament any longer, there has been a lot happening on the courts, and this topic has been done to death. It is time to move on.

  • catherine · January 26, 2018 at 7:59 am

    Hartt – I’m in total agreement with you and I’m not saying anything further on the matter.

    Dan – My personal views are irrelevant but I doubt very many readers here would imagine that I line up behind any of the bigoted ideas expressed.

    I mention politics because that subject has unfortunately come up again recently in discussion. There are forums for politics and let those conversations happen there.

    Tennis please. A great start to the year. Plenty to talk about.

  • Andrew Miller · January 26, 2018 at 9:08 am

    TP is good at tennis, not other areas. Sorry the guy’s agent couldn’t protect him from himself. Media scrutiny increases with success.

    I’ve taken vacations from TP before. Looks like I’ll need to again. The site might want to stick to its strengths, like tennis analysis. Like insider stories from the field.

    Otherwise it becomes just another site.

  • catherine · January 26, 2018 at 9:38 am

    Andrew – please don’t take another vacation yet. It’s like a merry-go-round. And I’m sure I’ll take time off as well if it all gets too much. But I hope not.

    Things will change when the action moves closer to the US and the insider stories start coming, and the analysis.

    As I mentioned before, I think agents, particularly of the women players, do protect the players and run interference. In a previous age, before the internet, this wasn’t so necessary. Now it is. And I do believe that all players, WTA and ATP, should be given guidance and rules on the use of Twitter. Whatever you write someone’s going to see it.

  • Hartt · January 26, 2018 at 10:42 am

    Andrew, please don’t leave again. I enjoy reading your posts. Surely the political stuff has run its course (I admit, it could return). But for now there is a lot of tennis to discuss.

    Can Federer beat Cilic to win No 20? As a Fedfan I will be over the moon if that happens but Cilic, at his best, will be a very tough opponent. Roger said that while he was sad at how his match against Chung ended, he was just as glad to have an easy match, to save his body a little bit.

    There has been a lot of discussion about whether Chung should have retired. Should a player continue when he/she can only give a poor performance, or should they retire, knowing the situation is hopeless and they are in a lot of pain. What do they owe the fans in that situation? Are the fans better served by a poor match or no match at all?

    Fed said he knew that Chung was having problems with blisters even before the Novak match. So Chung did fight during that match. Did he give up too easily against Fed?

    Where do you think Chung will end up in his career? Is he a top 10 player, better than that? Is he likely to win a Slam? He does not have a strong serve for a top player. Can he improve that dramatically at this stage of his career?

    Besides anything else, he is already having an impact on the popularity of tennis in South Korea. Even though it is winter there, sales of tennis equipment is up. Will Asia provide a wave of top tennis players in the future?

    And the immediate question – who will win the women’s title? There is so much on the line for both Halep and Wozniacki – a first Slam title, and the No. 1 ranking is at stake. Both are playing so well and showing so much fight. Any predictions on who will win?

  • Dan Markowitz · January 26, 2018 at 11:11 am

    Oh I’ll have some inside analysis on Tennys when I meet up with him at the next two tournaments in the states, Long Island and Delray Beach. I think what some of you are missing is one of the thing that’s makes Tennis more dramatic is when the sport transcends and heightens what happens on the court because we see more of the personalities of the players. Tennys is out there; there’s no going back because media members like me are going to up the ante now. We’re going to try to get to know him better and let you get to know him too. I always thought the greatest thing about McEnroe (and I’m going to ask John what he thinks of Tennys when I see him in a couple of weeks) is that he had the genius in his game and his personality to make his big matches Uber fascinating. We’re going to find out if Tennys can rise to the occasion or if he’ll shut down and go back to Challenger status. The truly great players they take the limelight and run with it. Tennys Anyone?

  • Hartt · January 26, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    Dan, of course we understand that learning more about the players’ personalities is good for the sport. It is one reason I enjoy Scoop’s Biofiles so much. Goodness, I even want to know if the players read or not.

    So I look forward to hearing what you learn about Tennys. Yes, he has to accept there will be questions about the views he made public. But I have other questions as well. What is it like to be suddenly on the main tour as opposed to playing Challengers? What does he think of how the Challengers are set up, prize $, etc.? I read that last season he was able to hire a regular coach. What has the coach brought to his game? What tourneys will he play after Delray Beach? Does he have a specific ranking goal? And what I would ask any player, if you could play one of the past tennis greats, who would that be and why?

  • catherine · January 26, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    I’m not missing the business of personalities – please Dan, stop with this ‘some of you’. Not me.

    I think if I was working in the business now I’d find it frustrating – the game’s opaque, same with other sports. So many barriers to understanding or appreciating players – communication blocks, choreographed press conferences etc etc. I do respect privacy and I’m not interested in gossip but years ago life was more relaxed, less populated and frenziedly defensive. You got a sense of the real person.

    I know those days are gone for good and it’s only when someone like Tennys pops up with his eccentric tweets and quotes that we have a glimpse of what’s going on back there. I’ve no objection to that. As long as we keep a perspective.

    Generally we know very little about the top players – mainly just what they want us to know. That’s created a gap which has to be filled with speculation and reading between the lines. So many ‘interviews’, so little real knowledge.

  • catherine · January 26, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    Prediction for the women’s final ?

    Well, I was wrong in the semis but this time I’ll go out and say Wozniaki will win. And Simona’s next chance at a GS title will be in Paris. She’s a great clay court player and one of the best sliders I’ve seen.

  • Hartt · January 26, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    I have no idea who will win the final, but am rooting for Simona, I just find her more appealing than Caro. But when Woz is slightly more aggressive and not just being the Wall, I do enjoy watching her. Imagine you are right, Simona should have a good chance for the FO title.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 26, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    Thompson welcome back. I’m not a white supremacist whatever that is. But I’m tired of the anti white agenda and I want the best for my race, just like jews want the best for jews, blacks want the best for blacks, etc. How dare you call me a white supremacist, I have stuck my neck on the line many times for black boxers who were getting screwed by the establishment, risking my own career and hurting my own income, I have supported and stuck my neck out for Bernard Hopkins when he was the renegade outsider, Antonio Tarver getting ducked by Roy Jones, Vivian Harris getting ducked by Mayweather, Lennox Lewis when he was getting ducked by Holyfield, Tyson and being screwed by Don King and the WBC. To call me a white supremacist, you deserve a slap across the face.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 26, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    Dan, Sandgren is not a racist or prejudiced, he’s not going around saying racist words like the n word or schwartza which is the hebrew word to insult blacks. He merely said homosexuality repulses him and Serena’s ugly nasty behavior on the court disgusts him. He’s also tired of the anti white agenda of the media which does 90% of their stories negative against Trump. We are tired of the blatant anti white anti Trump bias. Every single attack on Trump is an attack on white people. Sandgren is resisting and rallying against that agenda, as am I and Cernovic and many others. We’re sick of the agenda to genocide white people. Diversity is codeword for anti white.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 26, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    Hartt, it’s because we are sick of being labeled and smeared as racists for standing up and defending against the anti white agenda. The taking down of white monuments and statues. The agenda to replace whites in America. It’s openly bragged about by the left. To replace whites in America. That’s white genocide in disguise. Not going to accept that. Will fight against it. If you want to stop this discussion stop the attacks and throwing around labels and white supremacist accusations.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 26, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    Andrew, I’m not going to stay silent when people are accusing me to be a white supremacist or racist or prejudiced. Not going to stay silent when Sandgren is attacked and smeared either. Not going to stay silent.

  • catherine · January 26, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    Scoop –

    I can’t recall any regular posters on here calling you a white supremacist or anything like it. I have never accused you of the activities you mention and I wóuld appreciate it if you cease accusing me of having those types of prejudices. If you feel so strongly about what’s going on in the US please please take your comments to a more appropriate forum.

    There’s simply no reply I can give you here. You know nothing about me, my ethnicity or my political beliefs. You’re simply being offensive.

    I’ll talk about tennis and nothing else. And if that’s not enough then I shall leave. I’ll be sorry to do so but I honestly can’t stand much more of this.

  • catherine · January 26, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    I speak for Hartt too because I’ve never ever seen her indulge in the activities you mention or throw around inappropriate comments of any kind.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 26, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    I did not accuse you Cath, sorry, but this guy Thompson called me a white supremacist. Which I am not. I have donated to black causes and helped underprivileged blacks and minorities. I resent being called a white supremacist. All whites do. Whites have been very generous helping blacks, we have donated billions to help blacks in USA and Africa too. But all the media wants to talk about is whites owned slaves 200 yrs ago, and whites are mean and oppressive to blacks. It’s never enough. 1.5% of whites and jews owned slaves 200 yrs ago. Whites have given billions to help blacks and support them in the arts, sports, education, generosity. Whites are just tired of being smeared and labeled as racists and supremacists. I am at the point I want to fight with fists over this if challenged. I will fight for what I believe in and will not tolerate being labled and smeared as a racist or white supremacist. And let me add that I know how to fight and never ever once have gotten beat up.

  • Dan Markowitz · January 26, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    Ok I think it’s time to back off here and talk tennis. My interest in players’ personalities is because I remember when Connor, Mac, Vitas and Vilas were at the top of the game and they were much more open with their emotions on and off the court. And when they were at the height of their games in the 70’s and 80’s with Borg, Lendl, Becker and Cash too, Tennis was a much more popular sport. When Mac played Connors at the Ipen, the tennis was stirring, but no more so than the clash of personalities. Look, good press coverage builds and creates more interest in the sport as much as the quality of the tennis. When Deford, Curry Kirkpatrick, S. L. Price and Feinstein were writing great articles and books about the game and the players weren’t so defensive about showing who they were, Tennis was a lot more popular and interesting.

    That’s why I like the big personalities—they don’t have to be great players like an Andrew Ilie or a Gimelstob and of course Agassi too and Courier, Noah and Tarango—and I don’t like players who rail against the press. We’re not trying to write sensationalist stories; we’re trying to write compelling ones so tennis won’t decline in popularity even further. I’ve got a son who’s the no. 56th player ranked amongst 11 year old’s in the US and I’m hoping if he makes it as a pro player, they’ll still be tournaments in the US that I can go watch him play in.

  • catherine · January 26, 2018 at 8:20 pm

    Scoop – well, if you say you are not a white supremacist then I have to believe you. And I’m sure you have been generous to black causes etc. and supported black and other ethnic sportspeople.

    Maybe you shouldn’t identify what the media say with what most rational people think snd do. I avoid too much listening and reading media because a lot of their outpourings are simply designed to gain attention and create controversy.

    And of course you know in Europe we have to be sensitive using words like ‘genocide’ in any connection, for reasons I’m sure you’re aware of.

    I post on this site because it’s the only one I’ve found which gives me space to write what I want to about tennis and I hope to go on doing so. I’m moving from this thread now back up to the top where I shall be the first to announce the winner of the women’s AO.

  • catherine · January 27, 2018 at 1:29 am

    Dan, tennis has changed, alóng with other sports in the US and all over the world but I’m sure there will be tóurnaments for your son to play in if he makes it as a pro player at whatever level.

    Good writing will always be around, and I remember the writers yóu mention, but the writing may be different – how, I don’t precisely knów.

  • Dan Markowitz · January 27, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    The writing is different because not nearly as many journalists are covering Tennis—there are no newspaper bear wriers for tennis like they’re used to be in all the major papers—and the sport has more tv exposure but less descriptive writing making it less interesting in my mind. We don’t have enough good writers really drawing out the characters of the game.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 27, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    Catherine; I was getting ready to play at the park in Englewood NJ once and this 12 yr old black kid by himself walked by the court and came on the court and asked to play. We blew him off. He kept persisting. Kid really wanted to play. For about five minutes he stood there and kept pestering to play. I was impressed by his desire and interest to the game of tennis. It was extraordinary. Guess what? I caved in and hit with the kid. I noticed the kid had a deep love and innate curiosity for tennis. I tried to help and teach him with a few pointers. Never saw the kid again after that day. But if I was a racist or a white supremacist I would never have done that. I would have yelled and chased the kid away. I never saw a kid show such curiosity and profound interest and pure desire just to play tennis as that kid did. That will be my final point – unless or until I’m accused of being a racist or white supremacist again. Then I will become a fire breathing dragon again.

  • catherine · January 28, 2018 at 1:12 am

    Dan – I agree. And there aren’t good magazines like there used to be. I don’t know about the magazine ‘Racquet’ – never seen a copy. But it’s not just about tennis I gather.

  • Dan Markowitz · January 28, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    That’s true. I wrote for Tennis, World Tennis, Tennis Week and The old Racquet Magazine as well as Sports Illustrated and the New York Times on Tennis. You had writers like Bodo, Wertheim and Feinstein writing serious observational books on the sport while now publishers probably won’t touch a book like those anymore unless they’re attached to a star player. The game has lost a lot of its allure because great writers draw closer allegiances to the game. It takes on more of a mystical attraction.

  • catherine · January 29, 2018 at 6:27 am

    Dan – I’ve just seen your comment and I wondered what you meant by ‘great writers draw closer allegiances to the game’ and ‘mystical attraction’. If those ideas are easy to explain.

    I wonder if tennis has exhausted its literary mother lode. Some sports have.

    A while ago I wrote a tennis story but I found it only possible to write if it was almost entirely abstract. The closer you get to reality the less believable sports fiction becomes. Especially tennis fiction, which is mostly awful. IMO.

  • Dan Markowitz · January 29, 2018 at 9:05 am

    A good writer, a good piece of writing, brings the reader in closer to the game, Catherine. In today’s age of Twitter and internet posts, the game isn’t mythologized the way it was say when John McPhee wrote his classic book Bout Tennis, Levels of the Game. A good piece of writing give you a front tow seat to the action and makes you care about the players and the sport more. A good writer gets the reader to us his imagination and makes the toes that bind a tennis fan deeper through his prose. This is not happening at nearly the same level as when many more observational Tennis books by master writers were being written. I can’t think of any now that have come out in the past decade, told from the author’s point of view, rather than the payer’s. You either ascribe to the power of the written word or you don’t.

  • Joe Blow · January 29, 2018 at 9:49 am

    Bring big back Curry Kirkpatrick

  • catherine · January 29, 2018 at 9:53 am

    Yes, I’d agree with that. And I’d go so far as to say the ubiquity of twitter etc and the accessibility of the game in a certain way has permanently changed the way it’s written about.

    In other ways tennis and the players have become less accessible and the result is books which are either pedestrian and dull or the kind of ‘fan’ books which are all about the writer and his (usually his) relationship, mainly imaginary, to a famous player. Some people enjoy books like that but I find them a bit embarrassing, maybe revealing more about the writer than was originally intended.

    I did read your book with Vince Spadea years ago and I enjoyed it. But I wonder if that kind of book could be published now.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 29, 2018 at 10:51 am

    I think the tennis enthusiast is already as close to the game as he can possibly be. He can follow any player on social media. He can watch live streams of every and any match, including challengers. He or she can get tickets to any event and watch practices too. He or she can watch press conference videos. The media has to dig even deeper to discover new information to deliver to the tennis enthusiasts. I feel Biofiles and my Facing series are part of the new media frontier. We have to continue to try to be a step ahead of the other media. Innovations are rare in the media but always possible for the creative minded.

  • catherine · January 29, 2018 at 11:59 am

    Scoop – yes, but I’d class a lot of social media information as ‘ersatz intimacy’ – you’re told, in the main, what people want you to know and they advertise a closeness which isn’t real. Like the old time movie stars. You learn the truth when everyone’s dead. And the dead can’t be libelled.

    However, your ‘Facing….’ series is pretty good I think, and as I’ve said before, a great resource.

    Press conferences are so stupid – I really wonder why anyone bothers with them these days. Watch a few on Youtube and you can feel your brain dissolving.

  • Dan Markowitz · January 29, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    I agree that most press conferences are wastes of time. Social media for learning about the players is marginally revealing. These players are not writers. If I let Spadea write Break Point—which he’d never do on his own—the book wouldn’t have revealed very much or have any storylines. I’m sorry, writing is not just taking interviews and transcribing them. That’s why Open was such a revelatory book because Agassi or someone close to him, was smart enough to hire a real pro. I like when a writer really delves into the sport and finds real interesting characters like Gordon Forbes’s A Handful of Summers. The game is just as fascinating as it once was. It’s just not as popular at least in the USA and publishing today is all about sales.

  • catherine · January 29, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    I liked A Handful of Summers but when I reviewed it I didn’t really say so for some reason – I think I got hung up on his young man’s attitude to girls (this was the 70s after all)and then I met him at W’don and told him I’d enjoyed the book, and afterwards felt really guilty and frightened that he’d read the review and think, what a liar.
    I’m sure he never did read it.

    The best thing about Twitter is what someone doesn’t tell you. Eg last year I used to look at Kerber’s occasionally and I noticed when she was feeling good there was a bit of chatter but when she was doing badly there were long stretches where she wrote nothing at all. Fill in the blanks – because she wasn’t going to.

  • Hartt · January 29, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    I enjoy reading books about tennis, but agree that there aren’t many good ones. Once in a while the New York Times or The Telegraph will have an interesting feature article, but I have to be careful not to use up my limited access too soon. And it takes a lot of searching to find something in the press that is not just the same old thing.

  • catherine · January 29, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    Well Hartt – you’d better be prepared for more of the Same Old Thing when Serena hits the circuit again.

  • Hartt · January 29, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Lol, am sure you are right.

  • Hartt · January 29, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    Catherine, it has started already. There is a New York Times article with the headline, “Serena Williams is Set to Reclaim Her Leading Role in Tennis.” I don’t want to use one of my limited times to access that article, have a pretty good idea of what it says.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 29, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    Agree Catherine, I rarely attend press conferences, they are filled with silly boring questions. Rather be watching a match on outer courts. I can say there are a lot of inside stories that don’t reach the public. The media for the most part is afraid to rock the boat and jeopardize their access and credential. I know a lot of ex players and insiders who say interesting things. Like the all time great who if you do not “worship” him, you are gone from the team. Of the constant nagging allegations that a major major major star is homosexual and his wife is a beard. But they come from deep insiders that would have no motive to lie. There certainly are a lot of things happening beneath the perfect surface of pro tennis that are carefully kept private. The media would never touch these possible story angles. Nobody wants to rock the boat and be taken off the beat. It’s really such a pleasure and delight to cover pro tennis at major or minor events as I’m sure you can imagine.

  • catherine · January 30, 2018 at 2:38 am

    Scoop – I’ve been hearing that particular allegation for years – it was being offered around to the trashier papers here last year and of course they wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole because of libel etc, bearing in mind libel laws are stricter in Britain than in many other countries, including the US.

    I don’t happen to believe it myself. I also believe that everyone, famous tennis players included, has a right to a private life. Unless you happen to be Bluebeard.

    Otherwise, yes, there are lots of interesting stories the beat writers won’t touch because they’re terrified of having their credentials whipped away. I think that’s just unprofessional and whimpish. Result is so much milk and water stuff any reasonably intelligent person could write without ever entering a press room in their lives.

  • catherine · January 30, 2018 at 6:12 am

    Totally off any topic which is why I’ve posted it down here – I can’t believe there is a Challenger tournament (and ITF women’s event) in Burnie, Tasmania. How the world changes. I used to live in Tasmania and in those days Burnie was a small town in northern Tas mainly known for the terrible seashore pollution caused by a large pulp and paper mill nearby.

    Now it’s on the tennis map.

  • Hartt · January 30, 2018 at 6:27 am

    LOL. Play the Challenger tour and see the world!

  • scoopmalinowski · January 30, 2018 at 6:51 am

    I dont believe it either but still open to possibility because of how many times ive heard it mentioned by so many dufferent players and insiders. Can see it being possible but dont care to really know. Sexuality preference should be kept private imo.

  • catherine · January 30, 2018 at 7:39 am

    Scoop – totally with you there. And people who don’t want to make a public display of their sexuality should be respected for that.

    Hartt – I think the AO should be moved to Tas – would be a good deal cooler 🙂

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 30, 2018 at 8:01 am

    Catherine; and people who are uncomfortable with gay pride parade / freak shows should be respected also 🙂 Keeping it private makes the most sense. Never move the Aus Open from Melbourne, I keep hearing from fans and insiders it’s the best major of all.

  • catherine · January 30, 2018 at 9:17 am

    I’m sure everyone loves Melbourne but it’s not the tournament every player wants to win.

    Actually Melbourne used to be famous for being the most boring capital city in Australia 🙂

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