Tennis Prose



Why some delusion is valuable for a future champion

By Scoop Malinowski

Getting to the top of tennis at any level requires some nonsensical, illogical and loony delusion.

There are millions of players trying to get to the top but only a few will ever come close to the goal.

For every seven year old like Novak Djokovic, who said his goal was to be the best player in the world, there are countless who try but give up.

I’ve seen and heard pro players say some shockingly insulting comments about their competition. When Marcelo Rios was a low ranked pro he told another player the backhand of Pete Sampras was “shi7” – at the time Rios played Sampras at French Open (a 76 76 64 loss), Pistol Pete was ranked no. 1 in the world.

Somdev Devvarman said in my book Facing Novak Djokovic, before his 2013 Miami Open match vs Rafael Nadal, Djokovic approached him to give a little pep talk. “Just to let you know, you can win this match, right? Also, just to let you know, he has one of the worst backhands on the Tour.” At the time Nadal was ranked no. 1 in the world.

Over the years I’ve heard other players rip apart aspects of other player’s games. On the Challenger tour one player said another player on a nearby court was “terrible” and another’s second serve was he worst in the ATP. He wasn’t joking either. Both players were ranked in the top 500.

To some, these mocking revelations may seem comical or even rude. But the striving player who has too much respect for his higher ranked peers will probably never amount to anything. He has to build himself up, even at the expense of better players. You gotta believe.

A player has to believe he can get to the top, even against all the odds. Things once looked bleak for a young Roger Federer, Andre Agassi, Jennifer Capriati, Marcelo Rios, Jana Novotna. But if they ever gave up on themselves, they managed to rebuild their broken confidence.

How else could the then-unknown qualifier Emma Raducanu have won ten matches in a row in straight sets at US Open to win her first WTA title and first Grand Slam if she didn’t have some measure of delusion?

“It’s the crazy ones who change the world.”

· ·


  • Douglas Day · June 13, 2024 at 7:36 pm

    Here’s a WnBA UPDATE: Remember the “Queen Bee syndrome” we batted around here years ago? This was the difference between accomplished males mentoring their successors where their female counterparts viewed the younger women as a
    threat. Tell me that the attention Caitlin Clark is drawing away from these activist athletes isnt the same damn thing.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 13, 2024 at 9:14 pm

    Doug, it’s cinderella syndrome too. the black lesbian racist ego can’t handle the shocking truth that a white girl (with a white boyfriend) is crashing their party. It’s their worst nightmare come true. They will never embrace Clark eventhough she is tripling the attendance and tv rating of the money losing league. Clark should start her own Harlem Globetrotters type tour or her own league. and get out of that dangerous wnba jungle where they are openly assaulting her.

  • Douglas Day · June 13, 2024 at 9:58 pm

    How many cities would be torched if some white players body-checked then cheered at a female Steve Curry? WHAT? WERE MAKING A PROFIT? BURN IT DOWN!!

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 14, 2024 at 8:30 am

    USA basketball put a man on the womens team, Griner is a man pretending to be a woman. Might be a few of those in wta history too, and a few today too.



Find it!

Copyright 2010
To top