Tennis Prose



When Two Psychos Meet At A Tennis Tournament

Tennis appeals to all walks of life, including elites, celebrities, and also the outcasts and oddballs.

Exhibit A: A retired postman who lived with his mother in their Brooklyn apartment that also housed all kinds of animals, used to call himself the “tennis psychologist,” and he befriended many of the ATP and WTA players and knew many of them well, and he’d get them to give him “player passes” and he’d travel the world watching tennis even though he was a softball player, himself, and never played the game. To sit with him during a match was classic. He’d support a player by switching to his side on every changeover and mostly copping a front row seat, and then he’d have very specific statements he’d make to urge the player on after every point. Some guys loved him – I think it was Sampras who gave him a high five at Indian Wells once – and some guys felt he was the ultimate nag. But I dare say there’s never been a bigger fan or tennis fanatic. His verbal cheering and support helped many a player win matches. Enough to irritate and enrage some players and their teams.

Exhibit B: One of the worst tennis fathers was of the American who I will not name. His son was a talented player who reached the top 15 and his good looks earned him off the court income. Ford Models signed him for $250,000 but this player got modeling jobs when he was on tour and he was not available on the work dates. Then when the player had an open schedule, Ford had no jobs! So the two parties set a meeting at Ford Models office in South Beach to hash out a compromise. The player and his father were sitting in the reception area waiting to meet with the Ford rep named Diane. The receptionist is looking at the player and the father and the father said: “What the **** are you looking at you ****!” The receptionist, in tears, goes back and tells Diane what the father said to her. Diane walked to the receptionist area and told the son and father the contract is terminated. And that was that.

So you could imagine the outcome of if these two extreme psychos ever crossed paths in the ATP universe…

Well that they did at the Miami Open in 2003. The son played Rainer Schuettler and the cheerleader was supporting the German. Schuettler wound up winning the round of 64 match 62 63 and the cheerleader and father had a clash in the players’ lounge after. The father assaulted the cheerleader by pushing him heavily. The police were called and had to settle the dispute.

That was not even the cheerleader’s, or pardon, player psycholigist’s craziest moment. In Newport an Aussie player qualified to make the main draw – he won three matches – and our overenthusiastic cheerleader ran onto the court with an Australian flag and as he wrapped it around the player, they both fell to the ground. For that act, he was kicked out of the tournament for that day and watched the action from behind the fence outside the three back courts.

The father of the American player was so verbally abusive, if his son would be losing, he would call him the worst names imaginable, unprintable insults including “Janet.”

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  • Shlomo Raveh · October 8, 2021 at 11:50 am

    Love it, and funny.

  • catherine · October 9, 2021 at 1:08 pm

    Scoop – I think you’ll find most of the psychos have migrated to the internet these days.Don’t know which is worse.

    IW – following Raducanu’s not so surprising exit the gossip is her new coach will be Carlos Rodriguez, ex Henin and Li Na. Wonder who tittle-tattled. He must be on the ‘mature’ side now.

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 9, 2021 at 9:55 pm

    Carlos Rodgriguez is a strong choice, surprised he’s not been more employed given his track record. He’s been away for a while, wonder if he’s still on top of who is who in the wta. Their chemistry is an unknown.

  • catherine · October 10, 2021 at 1:25 am

    I’ve a feeling this is just one of the many rumours we’ll be hearing re Raducanu’s coach.

    Otherwise good news for Emma – since she lost at IW her name and face have completely vanished from the media here. I’ll keep a look out for her driving around nearby Bromley and give a wave – maybe Yesterday’s Girl will appreciate the odd fan 🙂

  • catherine · October 10, 2021 at 4:25 am

    Scoop = re yesterday’s fight, I thought this quote of Fury’s is good for tennis, which is non-contact boxing:

    “Me and Wilder’s saga is done now, done for good,” Fury said. “It was definitely a historic trilogy. It swung both ways, both fighters had the opportunity to seize the moment and it was just that I showed the initiative and dug deeper and I wanted it more. Because at the end of the day, when it comes down to that sort of fight, it’s who’s willing to push further.”

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 10, 2021 at 8:53 am

    Catherine, one gets the sense Emma’s popularity in the world and especially England is that if she sneezes it will make a headline.

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 10, 2021 at 11:09 am

    Catherine, not sure if Fury would have won this fight without the height and reach and weight advantages.

  • catherine · October 11, 2021 at 11:03 am

    Looks like IMG has already got its claws into Emma, looking for maximum revenue before the poor girl collapses with exhaustion. And is back in the qualifying.

    ‘Emma Raducanu will play Mubadala World Tennis Championship – an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi, 16-18 December.’

    She is already down to play Moscow, Cluj, Linz – what are her parents thinking of ?

    Anyone remember Naomi ? She’s with IMG too I believe.

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 11, 2021 at 6:28 pm

    Catherine, it’s straight out of the How To Burn Out A Tennis Phenom handbook. But it’s hard to say no to big money knocking on the door. Patrick Rafter had a six figure appearance fee to play Dubai, he lost first round and he refused to accept the money because he was not satisfied with his performance. This is a very rare example of declining the money.

  • catherine · October 12, 2021 at 1:30 am

    I loathe IMG. I’ve loathed them ever since I saw Jennifer Capriati on an outside court at the USO many years ago, surrounded by IMG flacks and clearly unhappy with the circus. She was 12 years old. And we know what happened next.

    At IW Bianca and Gauff are both out, SS. Maybe it’s the surface or something but the way things are going I wouldn’t be surprised to see Angie, nearly 34, in the final. The WTA should take a long hard look at itself and question its policies toward young vulnerable players but of course that’s not going to happen.

    BTW I believe Eisenbud is Emma’s agent. I’ve heard some
    mixed reports about him recently.

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 12, 2021 at 8:13 am

    IMG is going to do an excellent job of handling all the money being thrown at Raducanu, yes the Capriati example should be used as a guide. If she ever dares to tell her story that would be one very interesting book. I think it’s a little too hot to handle and controversial though, and Capriati will remain in virtual seclusion.

  • Matty · October 12, 2021 at 3:46 pm

    I saw Jenn at Saddlebrook a ways back, gearing up for Wimbledon – she was very happy & satisfied there. Owned a home there and tooled around in a Ferrari that Fila gave her for an AO championship. Not a very chatty woman, but happy in that Saddlebrook bubble as were many other American players!

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 12, 2021 at 9:32 pm

    Matty, it was impossible to not be a Capriati fan back then, her storied roller coaster ride career touched everyone and Sean Hannity even told me he was in tears seeing her win her first major at AO. I was not JCap fan in the beginning but her comeback made it impossible not to root for her, even though we all loved Hingis too, it meant more for Capriati. Jennifer was America back then, wish she would be more visible today, she’s like a recluse somewhere in Florida. You never hear anything or see her now. She is missed.

  • Matty · October 13, 2021 at 12:49 am

    I’m never been too excited about meeting famous athletes – after all, I lived in a dorm with the world’s fastest man, a Super Bowl QB, the Colts head coach, the nation’s top hoop players and many lacrosse champions. That said, around 1990, I found myself sitting in a box at the old Ashe stadium and several rows in front of me a 14-ish Jennifer Capriati was being courted by some famous celebrities. In between the McEnroe match and the start of the Navratilova match, Jenn was seated between Tom Cruise and Wilt Chamberlain. Only in NYC…..

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 13, 2021 at 8:01 am

    Matty, Capriati actually hit with Wilt in Florida, I read this somewhere and confirmed it with her mom Denise earlier this year. I saw Cruise and his wife Kidman going to watch an afternoon match on Armstrong in 1994.

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 13, 2021 at 8:20 am

    Wilt said in his book that he played Capriati in Florida and he implied he did very good and it was close. So I asked Denise to confirm this hard to believe tall tale by Wilt. She said they did play doubles at Chris Evert Charity event in Boca and it was Jen and Wilt vs Sonny Bono and Martina Navratilova.



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