Tennis Prose



Biofile of Myself

First memory of tennis: Parents telling me and my brother to ask Chris Evert for her autograph as she was sitting in our Boston hotel lobby on a couch. She was so nice she became an early crush and years later began watching her play on TV which inspired me to want to play. In 1992 I actually did a Biofile with her on the phone and she remarked during the interview, ‘these are great questions.”

Tennis inspirations: I started to play tennis seriously after college and the way Marcelo Rios played was inspiring and exciting.

Favorite players to watch: Djokovic, Hsieh, Hewitt, Nishioka, Lopez, Fognini, Rios, Connors, Seles, Sampras, many more.

Greatest tennis moment: First time at Wimbledon center court. Doing Biofiles with Chris Evert, Don Budge, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors. Winning a tournament. Being ranked no. 1 in USTA eastern 45s. Playing on the grass at Merion Cricket Club in Talbert Cup last year. Hitting balls with Marta Kostyuk at the Wilson play test at Vanderbilt Court in Penn Station in August. Playing on the Newport Hall of Fame practice grass courts next to Lleyton Hewitt. So many…

Worst tennis memory: Maybe losing two matches with match points in one day, in a 4.5 national qualifier round robin in March in Tampa. Blew five match points total in two matches in one day. Felt like quitting the sport then. But one month later I won my next tournament, another 4.5 national qualifier at IMG Academy in Bradenton, saving two set points in the first set of the first match to win 43 40.

Favorite courts to play: Newport. Merion. Packanack Lake Tennis Club court 8. US Open. Longboat Key Public Tennis Center. Crandon Park.

Shoes: Nike Vapor Cage 4.

Racquet you use: Wilson Clash, Wilson Blade 98, Head Speed.

First famous tennis player you ever met: Chris Evert in Boston early 70s.

Funny tennis memory: Doing Biofile interviews and Elena Vesnina telling me a monkey came on the court in India and stole her banana. Nicolas Lapentti telling me hit shanked a forehand that went into the crowd, ricocheted off a railing and then bounced the hat off his coach’s head. Danielle Lao saying she saw her coach sleeping during one of her matches.

Why do you love tennis: Challenging sport to play. Feel like a pro for a second here and there after making great shots. Meet a lot of great people and friends.

Favorite tennis books: Hard Courts by John Feinstein. Open by Agassi. The Game by Jack Kramer. Winning Ugly by Brad Gilbert. Almost every tennis book has several memorable anecdotes.

(Note: I’m going to resume doing more of these random tennis player biofile interviews in the near future.)

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  • mat4 · September 21, 2023 at 9:01 pm

    Great writing, Scoop!

    What’s interesting to me is the favorite player question. Mine was Connors, and I needed 20 years to find the following — Novak. I liked Hewitt, though, but it was a kind of second class fav, just like Mecir or Safin.

    BTW, you should write longer articles from time to time.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 21, 2023 at 9:09 pm

    Thanks Mat4, you have a lot of patience to wait and search 20 years for the next favorite player but you know what you like ) Hewitt, Connors and Novak all fierce tenacious fighters with machine like efficiency in their technical talent. All very dynamic explosive personalities too. Forgot about Safin, he was fascinating when at his best, those few times. Novak will be a tough act to follow.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 21, 2023 at 9:11 pm

    I have a long feature on Don Budge kind of sitting on. I feel it’s a super read and worthy of any premier magazine but it’s a tough sell, most fans don’t want to read about Budge but I have a fascinating story angle about him, I met one of his close friends.

  • mat4 · September 22, 2023 at 8:49 am

    It would be very interesting. Unfortunately, a shoulder injury impeded his pro career, and his career overall. But the guy was as dominant as anybody could be, winning six slams in a row, and winning pro majors until his war time injury.

    His greatness is forgotten now undeservedly.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 22, 2023 at 10:46 am

    As great a champion as Budge was, his character is even more fascinating. He actually called McEnroe and Sampras to give them tips which actually helped them win.

  • Sam · September 24, 2023 at 5:01 am

    Was this your very first self-interview, Scoop? 😎

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 24, 2023 at 9:05 am

    Not quite my first but first with myself )



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