Tennis Prose



Yes, it really happened on a tennis court

Finals of the South Orange tournament, a few disputed calls, then Marc was up 5-1 in the third set super breaker. His opponent blasted a ball all the way down to the far end of the row of courts, went to retrieve it, then went to the bathroom, and got the tournament director to call the lines. The long delay caused Marc to freeze and he hit six straight balls into the net and lost the tournament.

Guy was winning the set 5-2 and the nutty opponent insisted he was ahead 5-2. Wouldn’t budge on his lie and the match ended there.

Andrew saved ten match points and won his college match, the opponent proceeded to destroy all six of the racquets in his bag. Smashed each one violently Bagdhatis Zverev style, then hurled each one into the woods.

74 year old Chuck put on a show of nuttiness last week at the Sarasota Payne Park 70s division tournament. Dressed in yellow shorts, shirt and a yellow hat with two big cartoon eyes on it, threw a racquet over the fence, rubbed out good service winners of his opponent, yelled a bunch of nonsense, argued with roving umpires. One onlooker said it was the worst behavior he ever saw in tennis. Chuck stole the first set 63 then lost 60 61 to the no. 2 seed.

Jack took two three trains from Long Island to a Mahwah NJ USTA tournament and brought only one racquet to play. He popped a string in the second game and without a second racquet, he was forced to ask other players and kids at the tournament if he could borrow a racquet. He failed to secure a racquet and defaulted the match. He played about fifteen minutes and then took three trains back to Long Island. Oh, and the tournament director had to drive Jack the five miles to the train station.

One top US junior back in the 1970s used to sleep in the pro shops at the tournaments he competed. His parents were millionaires but that’s the way he wanted to do it.

Jeff Borowiak was playing Wimbledon one year in the 1970s and was losing his match. He received some advice from the most unlikely source, the ballboy, who instructed Jeff to go to the net more. Jeff followed the advice and came back and won the match.

Hans Gildemeister played the Orange Bowl at Flamingo Park when he was 13 and used a two-handed serve, yes, that’s right, a two-handed serve. An observer suggested that young Hans should change his serve to the more conventional one handed method. Hans followed the advice, changed his serve that year and returned a year later to win the Orange Bowl, for the first of five times.

An old fan at the Longboat Key Public Tennis center said he was taking a pee next to a young Andre Agassi at the IMG bathroom. He said he asked Andre what grip he used, forehand or backhand. When the man said he told his wife this story, she wouldn’t talk with him for three months. He added, “it’s a true story.”

Marzio Martelli was a journeyman, who suddenly got hot and cracked the top 100 and found himself on the ATP Tour. He was like a fan suddenly vaulted into the big time. At one tournament he found himself in the locker room taking a pee next two Pete Sampras. Martelli couldn’t contain his excitement and said to Pete, “Hey, Pistol Pete,” punctuating his remark with a hand gunshot gesture. Sampras, replied with a disgusted, “What the **** are you talking about?” As he walked away, Pete muttered, “Piece of sh**.” Welcome to the cold world of pro tennis, Marzio.

Marcelo Rios was mouthing off to Pittsburgh Pirates slugger Orlando Merced while he was practicing at IMG back in the 90s. Merced, training to get in shape for spring training, became enraged and jumped the fence, trying to get at Rios to beat the hell out of him. Luckily for Rios, Merced was blocked by his coaches and brutal knockout was prevented. Rios was five foot ten, 150 pounds, Merced…six foot, 180 pounds.

Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek were playing the Bryan Brothers at Miami Open, the same year they won Australia together. Paes and Stepanek were up a set and down a break but rallied back to go up a break. At the changeover, Stepanek leaned over and said to Paes, “I love you.” Paes responded by putting his hands on his partner’s head and then kissing his forehead. They won the match and the Miami Open title.

Elena Vesnina told me she was playing in India on an outdoor court and a monkey came down from the crowd and onto the court and stole her banana.

Justin Gimelstob told me one year he lost at the US Open and he and his friends walked all the way back to Manhattan from Flushing Meadows.

Bjorn Borg played the author of his biography in a set and beat him while not playing the conventional way with two legs, but hopping around the court on ONE LEG.

Christopher Bowers, the Davis Cup historian and media figure from Great Britain, once played tennis for 44 hours in a row, hence his moniker, “44 Hours Bowers.”


  • Scoop Malinowski · February 11, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    Anything is possible on a tennis court.

  • Tomic fan · February 12, 2019 at 2:48 am

    Thanks Scoop Malinowski for your articles, really like your writing and stories, a nice change from the mainstream media that only spreads boring news about top players.

    Keep it up!

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 12, 2019 at 9:21 am

    Thank you Tomic Fan, we try to tell it like it is here and cover the sport the way it should be covered, digging deep and sharing insightful info while also have a lot of fun covering this fascinating and thrilling sport. Thanks for your support and kind words.



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