Feb/20

4

Will Anyone Defend Margaret Court?

Margaret Court is a devout Christian who believes in God, Jesus Christ and the words of the Holy Bible, which condemns homosexuality and promoting homosexuality to children.

Margaret Court will not back down from these religious convictions. At age 77, she is a strong, brave, powerful woman who will simply not submit to public and peer pressure.

“They think because I’m a preacher I’m going to preach the gospel,” Court told Channel 9 News. “There is a time to speak and a time to not.
“I think they (Tennis Australia) said they were going to honor me but not celebrate me because of my stance and my views on gay marriage and all those areas, which I’ve got nothing against people who are gay.
From the tennis side of it, where they pointed the finger at me and tried to discriminate against everything that I’ve done.”

John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova attacked Court at the 2020 Australian Open, calling for Tennis Australia to rename Margaret Court Arena to Evonne Goolagong Arena.

It’s not unlike two vampires being sent to suck the blood, the history, legacy and honored name of the greatest champion in women’s tennis history, because they refuse to tolerate her staunch beliefs. They want to destroy Margaret Court publicly and historically. What’s next? Demanding Todd Martin to yank her out of the International Tennis Hall of Fame too? Demanding all the Grand Slams cancel all 24 of her Grand Slam titles – because of her devout religious beliefs?

Court feels McEnroe has stabbed her in the back and she says she feels sorry for him.

“I always thought I got on quite well with John McEnroe and I’ve always respected him. I feel sorry for him that he speaks like that and that he can’t separate one part of life to another,” she said.

McEnroe blasted Court during the AO.

The Australian legend was hurt by the demands by McEnroe and Navratilova to rename Court Stadium as Goolagong. She feels both arrogantly stepped out of their lanes and were highly disrespectful.

“I’d never go to another nation, whatever I thought of the person, I would never say, ‘Hey, you should take their name off a building.’ And I think that was very, very wrong.” Court said. “You know, there are a lot of those people who do agree with me. I walked around and people touched me on the shoulder and said, ‘Thank you for being my voice.’ I’ve never had one person come and say: ‘I hate you’.”

But a significant segment of the elite tennis establishment despises Court for having the bravery and courage to stand up for what she believes in. Margaret Court and the Bible’s view on homosexuality is now a minority view in the world of tennis. You would think McEnroe and Navratilova would respect a true rebel like Court for not backing down from what she believes in.

To try to destroy a minority, dissenting voice and opinion that differs from their own is despicable. And it’s a form of bullying. What message does it send to all the young people who are Catholic and Christian and who believe in the Bible?

And the sad thing is not one prominent figure in the world of tennis or sports will even dare to publicly defend Margaret Court.

Court is 77, fifty years after she won her Grand Slam. Consider how much courage she has to vehemently stand by her religious convictions despite all the public attacks on her over the years from the likes of McEnroe and Navratilova.

It’s difficult to think of a more courageous figure in sports history than Margaret Court.

Shame on anyone who tries to attack and destroy this brave, courageous, unwavering CHAMPION.

55 comments

  • Jeff · February 4, 2020 at 7:40 pm

    No one is defending her because no one cares what she thinks she is just a batshit crazy old woman now.

    Case in point: Did Margaret Court utter a word about the brushfires in Australia? No. It took Nick Kyrgios to do that and that is why he is a bigger hero in the Australian public than Court is. She was too selfish to care about her fellow Australians dying so no one cares about her.

  • catherine · February 5, 2020 at 1:42 am

    This is stuff for when nothing else is happening – just stirs up the worst feelings everywhere. I haven’t changed my mind since the last time it all came up. I don’t agree with her at all, I’m sure many people don’t and I’m just really sorry the media in Australia keep the argument going – haven’t they got anything else to write about than who a tennis arena is named after ?

    Two things – however objectionable some of her attitudes are, she has a right to express them. She’s not inciting to violence, she has no power, politically or otherwise. Also, she never expressed those views when she was a player, and it is as a player she is celebrated.

    The press seems to delight in provoking an old lady into saying outrageous things and then getting self-righteous about themselves, and that goes for a few other people as well. I find that a bit despicable.

    Muguruza put it best: ‘I don’t give a damn what she thinks.’

    Just leave it.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 5, 2020 at 9:28 am

    What did Court say or do that makes you conclude she is crazy?

  • Dan Markowitz · February 5, 2020 at 10:20 am

    What did she say or do? I don’t follow Court much because she’s a homophobe. When you make comments about certain players not being rightful to play on the WTA tour because of their sexual proclivity, then you are being offensive and wrong-minded and I don’t care how many slams you won or how old you are.

  • catherine · February 5, 2020 at 10:35 am

    Dan – Margaret became a Pentacostal Christian a few years after she retired and believes in a literal interpretation of the Bible. So beliefs that make sense to her seem repellent to those who don’t share her faith.

    My view is that her religious beliefs now are irrelevant to her achievements as a player.

  • Andrew Miller · February 5, 2020 at 10:42 am

    “Tennis balls and trophies don’t care what you think”

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 5, 2020 at 10:48 am

    Court did not say homosexuals should be banned from the pro tour. That is fake news.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 5, 2020 at 10:54 am

    Did McEnroe and Navratillova interrogate Goolagong for all her political and religious beliefs and make sure they are in line with their own? Who made them judge and jury?

  • catherine · February 5, 2020 at 11:38 am

    I think tennis courts should be numbered the way they are at W’don and then we would avoid all this naming and shaming.

    Re Evonne – she seems to have been put in an awkward position – from what I know of her she isn’t the kind of person who’d be enthralled at the idea of her own name replacing Court’s on the arena after Margaret had been expelled. Did anyone ask Evonne ?

  • Andrew Miller · February 5, 2020 at 11:42 am

    Wimbledon usually gets it right. Its host country may have a dysfunctional tennis association with little interest in growing the sport, but the event itself gets so much right.

  • Jeff · February 5, 2020 at 11:46 am

    The fact that the players don’t care about her is because they think she is crazy. The fact that she didn’t appeal for bushfire relief makes her status as an Australian icon diminished.

  • Jeff · February 5, 2020 at 11:47 am

    Her religious views are none of my business. There are plenty of religions out there and none of us have the time and energy to understand all of them.

  • catherine · February 5, 2020 at 12:14 pm

    Jeff –
    Margaret may have contributed to bushfire relief. She’s under no obligation to tell us. And her religious views are fundamental to her attitudes on a range of subjects. Have to be.

    Many players don’t know a thing about Margaret Court. They weren’t even thought of when she won her GS in 1970. And 90% of them would run a mile rather than discuss the gay issue. The WTA is terrified about it all, although it pretends to be liberal. And anyone who thinks there aren’t closeted players around now is living in a dream. Not that I care one bit. Everyone has a right to a private life.

  • Hartt · February 5, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    I thought Margaret Court definitely went too far when she publicly criticized Casey Dellacqua for having a child when she was in a lesbian relationship. That was hurtful to Casey and, as you said, people have a right to a private life.

  • catherine · February 5, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    I suppose Margaret doesn’t know when/or how, to keep her mouth shut. I’m not defending her views at all – just think they are irrelevant to her career and ignoring her is probably the best reaction. She’s kind of obsessed but advancing years do tend to alter behaviour, as we know.

  • Jeff · February 5, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    I can understand as well why Maggie is upset if the Australian Open didn’t allow her to give a speech to air her views om her big day. Certainly she would feel she is owed that.

    I think as a prominent Australian she should have publicly campaigned for bushfire relief like Kyrgios did. The two of them should have worked on a campaign together and bridged the generations of Aussie tennis from the past to the future.

  • Hartt · February 5, 2020 at 2:03 pm

    Of course none of us is defending Court’s views, and I agree that ignoring her is the best approach. I even think she should have been allowed to speak at her ceremony. Maybe I’m being naive, but hopefully she would have stuck to tennis on that occasion.

  • Harold · February 5, 2020 at 3:22 pm

    All credit to Kyrgios for taking charge of the Fire problem and raising awareness. Lets not be naive and not acknowledge that his handlers went big with his involvement. You cant deny he needed a better image going forward

    That said, I’m sure there were tons of people that donated, and didn’t announce it

    It’s like the celebrity that goes to visit a sick kid quietly, or the celeb that brings a film crew, both doing a good thing, just going about it differently

  • Andrew Miller · February 6, 2020 at 7:26 pm

    The sport moves on. Muster is now mincemeat, Sampras has moved from greatest of all time to some U.S. player before Isner’s time, the Maleeva sisters name is never uttered in public…and you wonder why Lendl came back at all…relevance over time goes to zero as fan memories fade.

    If Marcelo Rios shots can now only be found through some tough searching on youtube, and if anyone watches some Margaret Court tennis today, probably can’t remember the first guy and can’t really identify with the tennis played by M. Court in the second instance.

    Derrick Rostagno in the past was a snake in the grass at Wimbledon with a huge fear of flying. Now he’s the hard to remember answer to the trivia question, who beat Sampras at Wimbledon in 1991?

    Everyone wears Stan Smith shoes and no one know who he is.

    There’s a theme here…over time relevance goes to zero. It’s why Djokovic is pushing as hard as possible to get the records for all time slams…he sees retirement over the horizon, hates it, likes being the best ever. Because at least fifty years from now they’ll be a fuss over him.

    Roger who?

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 6, 2020 at 9:52 pm

    Tiafoe vs nakashima tonight in Dallas. Could be a nightmare for big foe.

  • Doug Day · February 6, 2020 at 11:14 pm

    Congratulations on a terrific and brave column Scoop. It brought out the best in commenters too. You can see some attempts at openness do cancel vital achievements belonging to their time. This civilisation wasnt based on the Combahee River Collective Statement or the Koran. But by rendering unto Caesar those crazy Christians carved out their bizarre coexistence. Tennis tributes should be no different.

  • Jeff · February 6, 2020 at 11:14 pm

    Scoop, I am watching and Foe is getting his butt kicked. He looks awful out there, bad movement, sloppy. What is going on?

    Did anyone like my idea of a collaboration between Court and Kyrgios for Australia?

  • Jeff · February 7, 2020 at 12:00 am

    Doug,

    I agree that Scoop brings out the best in me.

    As for bringing out the best of Tiafoe…

  • Andrew Miller · February 7, 2020 at 12:35 am

    Tiafoe wins set two in style – Nakashima was serving awful, and kept hitting to the Tiafoe wheelhouse – the backhand side. Generally that works when it’s the weaker side for a player, but Tiafoe’s weaker side by far is the forehand. Tiafoe upped his serving and mixed up the pace, and even in a tiebreak set looked like the far better player.

    Nakashima is looking young and playing inexperienced ball – serving badly, winning under 40% of second serves and serving mostly second serves because he hasn’t been able to buy a first serve this set. He also looks tired, so Tiafoe’s drop shots must be getting to him.

    Tiafoe should grind Nakashima into the ground now. Not sure what’s left in the tank for Nakashima. Even if he wins this one, he has to work on an awful lot – stamina for one.

    Tiafoe needs to get his serve # up especially first serves. The forehand needs some Mardy Fish-like repairs or maybe he should train with Nadal some to get some pointers. He gets that first serve up, puts less pressure on the rest of his game, where he can be more creative.

    So far Tiafoe surprises me – he shows some of the same competitive spirit today he showed years ago in winning big junior titles against Kozlov like the orange bowl, where he was the youngest winner in history. Similar style to Jack Sock in how he played, with a canny intelligence, though with similar flaws in his game then as well. The great touch he showed at 15 is even better now in his early 20s. He has to be able to route Nakashima.

    Not sure who will win this and how Nakashima hasn’t passed out yet. He was looking gassed in set two. If he comes back it’s because he has some reserves nobody knows about. So far I am wary of a lot that’s been written about him, because he looks like he needs some considerable work. His strategy is flat out bad hitting to the strong side of Tiafoe – he did no scouting and it shows. If Nakashima pulls this out that’s good for him. As to his future, he’s got to get a lot better.

  • Andrew Miller · February 7, 2020 at 12:51 am

    Nakashima somehow pulls out fifth game on serve, to go up 3-2 in the final set. Tiafoe must be upset about losing that game, he had at least four break points. Nakashima didn’t play them particularly well or Tiafoe particularly badly – one mistake by Tiafoe on the 0-40 point and that gave Nakashima enough hope to persevere.

    So Nakashima does have some reserves and competitive fire and so does Tiafoe. Tiafoe is definitely playing better than Nakashima and somehow Nakashima is still in it. Goes to show you don’t have to win every point, just game point 🙂 Nakashima’s return for about five games has been TERRIBLE. I am impressed with his competitiveness but not with his game – Tiafoe doesn’t have a huge serve, and Nakashima is guessing wrong on the Tiafoe serve and other shots. He is fortunate that Tiafoe misses a lot of forehands and some gimmes – otherwise this match would have been over a long time ago.

    Tiafoe needs to up his consistency. He has to win this match in straight sets, no excuses.

  • Andrew Miller · February 7, 2020 at 1:17 am

    Tiafoe wins – served well the final set, broke when he saw Nakashima getting a little nervous serving at the 5-5 game – Nakashima, despite everything including what seemed like exhaustion as the match passed the two hour mark, had the game in hand and squandered it. Tiafoe saw he had a chance, rushed the net to knock off a volley, then let Nakashima make a few errors. That was a good veteran move.

    Overall – Nakashima among the few U.S. players to have a good forehand and a good backhand. His serve is solid, his volley technique good. His strategy is bad and he needs a physio and some good coaching so that he doesn’t have to rely on his serve alone to keep him in a match.

    Tiafoe escaped a little like houdini here – he was under pressure from Nakashima, even though Nakashima was making a lot of mistakes. Tiafoe was also. He found his composure when he needed it, but this scoreline should remind him that he has to keep his serve % up. He escaped today and will have to forget it quickly, and next time scout Nakashima better. Moving in and attacking the short ball worked when it mattered – sometimes Tiafoe approached on the wrong ball, but rushing the net was a good strategy. If he made that the cornerstone of his game, like Pat Rafter (a good model for him), I think Tiafoe could have a nice career with a lot more ATP titles to his name.

    Otherwise, good to see these guys already have a lot of respect for each other. They were very cordial and Tiafoe seems like an encouraging guy. Nakashima may be the near future, but not without some work.

  • Matty · February 7, 2020 at 2:25 am

    There was once a running back who led all college runners at a prestigious school in Southern California, all while winning the Heisman Trophy. Upon turning pro, the running back set numerous records in the NFL over a decorated 16-year career. Five years after his retirement, he was enshrined in the Hall of Fame. After being tried for the murder of his estranged wife, the former star was found not guilty. Rarely do we talk about O.J. Simpson these days. Why is it wrong to marginalize a racist homophobe like Margaret Court too??

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 7, 2020 at 6:28 am

    Court is not racist. And she’s not against or hateful towards gays just she said the overpromotion of the lifestyle.

  • Jeff · February 7, 2020 at 2:15 pm

    If that is what the Court controversy is about, I have to agree with her if she says homosexuals are overpromoted. I believe they are 5 percent of the population yet always in the news, it is bizarre. So clearly they want attentionand I have no problem with that but COurt is within her rights to take exception

    I fell asleep and missed the end of Tiafoe. Could be a turning point for him since he was MIA for most of the match and the teenager Nakajima was outplaying him. Tiafoe vs. Kudla tonight should be a good one.

  • Jon King · February 7, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    In 1970, when apartheid looked to be permanent and growing, Court was asked about apartheid and she said….”South Africans have this thing better organised than any other country, particularly America. I love South Africa, I’ll go back there any time.”

    Interesting how this delightful lady seems to have had issues with blacks and gays in her life.

  • catherine · February 7, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    In 1970 Margaret Court’s comments wouldn’t have seemed unusual. Plenty of people played in South Africa and said the same kind of thing. Mainly from ignorance. Dragging up something said half a century ago – where would you stop ?

    Margaret gets a stadium named after her because she completed the Grand Slam and is the greatest woman player Australia has produced. Nothing else. After all, we’ve no idea what Suzanne Lenglen or Roland Garros thought about race or sexuality. Might be surprised.

  • Jon King · February 7, 2020 at 7:06 pm

    Sorry catherine, just not true. The comment from Court was in direct response to being asked about Arthur Ashe being denied entry into South Africa because he was black. Just a filthy comment that no one else was making.

    And as recently as 2016 Court has made comments where she refers to black people as “coloureds”.

    Also her gem about child gays being created on purpose by adults who use mind techniques just like “Hitler did” to get into people’s minds.

    Court is a horrible bigot who should not have anything named after her.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 7, 2020 at 7:31 pm

    I would need to see those links for those quotes, because it could be fake news quotes by a hateful media or lying tennis fans trying to demonize her. Those are some pretty inflammable quotes but everyone does say things they regret. Words are just words. She surely has a more dignified way with words now, if those quotes were true.

  • catherine · February 8, 2020 at 1:12 am

    Jon – Margaret made the SA quote in 1970. She’s now 77 years old. That was a different time – don’t judge things by the standards of today. There’d be a lot of people in the dock if that were the case, including me. The word ‘coloured’ was still widely in use for much of Court’s lifetime, and Australia is actually a pretty conservative country in many ways – it’s not the advanced liberal haven a lot of people imagine. Margaret grew up in the 1950s. She lives a pretty enclosed life and still adheres to some of the values of her time. That’s not excusing her, just putting things in perspective.

    And it’s not a ‘filthy comment’ no one else was making. Plenty of people, particularly in sport, were saying those things, and worse.If you don’t believe me, do some research.

    I agree with Scoop. Words are just words – Margaret may well regret them now and she’s certainly never followed up with any actions. She’s an easy target for self-righteous people who want to establish their moral superiority. Life’s not as simple as that. And people can hold contradictory views on many things.

    If we go around trying to rewrite history and removing names from places and pulling down statues etc we’re going to be very busy. Winston Churchill had a few attitudes which would be unacceptable these days. But I’m pretty glad he existed.

    Instead of vilifying an old lady who probably won’t be around much longer it might be useful if some attention was paid to the willingness of sports people and sports authorities to do business with autocratic, racist and homophobic countries. That’s happening now. I don’t hear many voices raised when sports events are held in murderous regimes where women have few rights and homosexuality is a capital offence.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 8, 2020 at 5:06 am

    Very well said Catherine. Fine way to punctuate this discussion.

  • Vijay · February 9, 2020 at 8:41 am

    Wait a minute. What do we have to drag Churchill into this? He was directly responsible for the deaths of almost 3 million Indians. He ordered the transfer of food from India to aid the British war effort and caused starvation in famine-ravaged parts of India. Margaret Court has some opinions, but as far as I can tell, she hasn’t come close to committing genoicde. Of course, Churchill was a well-known racist too . . .

  • catherine · February 9, 2020 at 9:47 am

    Vijay – I was using him as as an example. Please don’t get into politics. I’m English and I’m well aware of how some Indians feel about the British.

    Churchill saved us. He stopped Britain being invaded. So did Nelson and I’m sure he had some odd views.

    My meaning was, of course Churchill had unacceptable opinions but that’s not why we have statues of him. He saved us. Otherwise I wouldn’t be alive.

    You missed my point entirely.

    Can we stick to tennis ? You are interesting on that but we don’t often hear from you.

  • Vijay · February 9, 2020 at 12:23 pm

    Catherine, I was only being half-serious. You’re right, of course. The evil that men do lives on after them, while the good is oft interred with their bones. (Feels like I should expand on that thought!)

    As for me, like most Indians, I don’t hold anything against the British. We have streets named after Winston in India. I thoroughly enjoyed my time living in England and Scotland. Turns out the Scots hate the English more than Indians do. Which is to say, it isn’t an animating feeling about people, just a mild animosity with an idea that exists deep down. Besides, Indians don’t have any claims to the moral high ground. We are in equal parts victims and victimisers.

    Frankly, I think all this court naming thing is a complete disgrace. They should all have some imaginative names like Pepsi Arena or BA stadium or Goldman Sachs center. That you allocate prime naming rights without compensation is unconscionable. And the compensation should be huge. The Grand Slams should be embarrassed by this. Build statues all you want, but get revenue for naming rights.

    I would like to comment on tennis more often. Unfortunately life intervenes.

  • Jeff · February 9, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    Vijay, thank you for the Indian perspective. I can understand what you are saying about Churchill and yes, he was indeed an evil man, a racist and a murderer. What he did to India was disgraceful. As an American, I have always been curious how Indians feel about Britain. We hold no ill will because we defeated them in war but I know in India it is another perspective.

    Yes, Margaret Court is harmless compared to the Churchills of the world.

  • Andrew Miller · February 9, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    “Enjoying sitting this one out”. Kenin will probably win the grand slam this year or Andreescu winning four straight slams or someone doing something and this topic will still be going.

    It will always be debated what today’s players owe yesterday’s players, whether a coach mattered in one player’s development or not, who gets credit for what, who should be remembered. Why. We see it now, as people shred the accomplishments of past slam winners – I do too, look no further than my diminishing of the master-work of Thomas Johannson and his Australian victory in 2002 (not as if TJ didn’t play all those matches and win them all).

    In the future we may look back on some of today’s results and learn more about them (possibly that there was more good going on than we know, possibly that there were worse things going on, who knows?).

    There’s no answer to any of these things. Personally I can hardly remember anything these players say. I can’t recall what Seles said on winning her title in 1990 after the French Open final versus Graf, or Graf’s HOF speech, or anything like that. All I know is Seles was ferocious as she found her game, that her dad mattered a lot to her, and that she was working as hard as possible to get out of the former Yugoslavia because she was an ethnic Hungarian. That’s it, and it’s not a whole lot.

  • Andrew Miller · February 9, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    As to Court and the stupid things she says, she’s entitled to her awful beliefs, and everyone else is entitled to say that what she says is retrograde. The ball doesn’t care and the record books don’t, either.

    McEnroe and Navratilova don’t have all that much power these days as their records are shattered. They are welcome to express whatever they want. I don’t think any of this matters at all, and I don’t think the Australian Open will be budging on anything any time soon.

    They will all have to take the good with the bad. I don’t think Margaret Court is courageous at all outside of her ability to hit a tennis ball, but I think she’s a person and she has her opinions and they don’t matter much, and neither do those of McEnroe. Her records are safe and sound, and I doubt that early on she was the same person she is today.

    Over time some people get proud and set in their ways and could care less about anyone else’s feelings. And their critics seem to care less at all. And none of them talk to each other. It would be a lot better if all of them got some coffee and worked through their things so that they had some sort of dialogue and so that Margaret Court could at least understand where everyone else comes from and they, from her.

    To my knowledge none of that happens. They just fire off criticism at each other. It hardly matters who’s right or wrong here, and all of this took place at probably the most dramatic grand slam event in recent history. Those wild fires were burning up the country, millions of dollars or pounds or what not were raised to help wild fire victims as a country burned, players were literally choking on the toxic air in Melbourne, the world’s worst as the qualies got underway, and by the end of it everyone’s short term memory is laser focused on a public version of a knife fight between an old lady and a few younger but not young at all former champions, each pointing fingers at the other.

    So thank you former champions for being miserable, all three of you – Maggie Court, Johnny Mac, Martina Navs. Way to distinguish yourselves in your old age. Go get a hot dog or something and talk to each other.

  • Vijay · February 9, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    Jeff, I don’t think most Indians think much of Britain or the British. Some awful things happened in the past. And then India managed to do much worse to itself. Some combination of socialism and authoritarianism followed by religious sectarianism. Apparently misguided ideas can be far more harmful than physical harm.

    As for Winston, perhaps he was what the world needed at the time. We don’t get to choose the best parts of people. To the extent that Indians care about him nowadays, I suspect it’s because of the Churchill scholarship to study at U of Cambridge.

    But returning to tennis, I think greatness in the sport should also be measured by the legacy one leaves. Laver and his cohorts changed the landscape. You could argue that Harry Hopman was far more influential than any other Aussie. My understanding is that Court isn’t nearly in the same league.

    In any event, this is all much ado about nothing. Nobody really cares about Court until someone in Australia realizes they need an interesting sound bite. I just wish people would focus on how to grow the sport and increase and improve the pay structure for struggling mid level tennis players. I hope fixing this will be Novak’s lasting contribution to the game.

  • Andrew Miller · February 9, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    Djokovic better get his records soon because in twenty years everyone will debate how he didn’t leave the world a better place because there was only one young Serbian player that cracked the top 50 after him […]

    Players better live for the moment. They will never get treated well in the history books. No one will remember Rios nor do they as fans age, new players come along, tapes are destroyed, and he isn’t seen as the excellent lefty he was…he is lucky to be on replay in Chile.

  • catherine · February 9, 2020 at 1:08 pm

    Jeff – can you stick to what you know about ? When I say Churchill saved us I mean nothing less – Hitler did not defeat Britain although he would have liked to and Churchill was the main reason he didn’t. He was not a peacetime politician, agreed. Who would you have preferred, Hitler or Churchill ? ‘Evil, racist, murderer ?’ Questionable. Americans seem to hate Britain but I’m not sure why. The Revolution was a very long time ago. I notice you still speak our language. What on earth do they teach in US schools ?

    British colonial history is complicated. You might read some. Could expand your perspective.

    There are hundreds of thousands of Indians (and Pakistanis) in Britain today – they staff the Health Service, are active in politics and flourish in business and academia. Most Indians I know, Hindu and Moslem, seem to bear us no ill will. Perhaps you should visit some time.

    I’m sorry this stream has turned so bitter. Myself, I’ve got nothing more to say.

  • Andrew Miller · February 9, 2020 at 1:10 pm

    Media reaction in Australia: “Players aren’t dying on the court? Oh man…what are we going to write about…OH I KNOW…COCO! Wait, she lost? Oh man, is Tomic out already? SHOOT….OH I GOT IT LET ME STIR UP SOME CONTROVERSY! I WILL GET COURT ON THE LINE AND GIVE HER A QUESTION SHE CAN’T RESIST!!!” Doesn’t speak well to the reporting – so much of it was spot on and then they had to do stupid things.

    Gets to my other point. No more grand-fathering in of past champions to the analyst roles for calling matches. I get it that John McEnroe needs something to do with himself to fill in the time he’s not playing a legends match (etc) and that fans still want to see him hit a nice drop volley or two, but this whole “oh you won a slam here’s a job” thing is stale. A lot of champs spend a lot of time talking about themselves.

    Guys like Robbie Koenig, and players like Mal Washington from what I remember, do a lot better job in the broadcasting booth. Some analysts say good things that bring the sport to viewers in a way, improve the experience, offer some insight into the player, etc. Somehow there’s some expectation that we need former champs analyzing every match, or that all former champs are created equal in their ability to call a tennis match or to improve a match call.

    They don’t. I didn’t hear even one of them watching the Australian this year, sadly because my computer sound card died. I didn’t miss it, though I like hearing the ping off players racquets. In listening to podcasts before the matches, it was interesting but I don’t feel worse off for not hearing a word spoken for the matches.

    I prefer the sound on, but do what you gotta do.

  • Andrew Miller · February 9, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    Too many poison pills in the comments thread. Maybe Scoop, Dan should go ahead and close shop on this one. It died even before it was posted.

  • catherine · February 9, 2020 at 1:25 pm

    Andrew – you’re right about Court not being influential. She saw her role as a player and that was that. She didn’t coach as far as I know and wasn’t very interested in the women’s pro tour. At one point, when she was Margaret Smith, she left tennis altogether and opened a dress shop in Perth. It was her husband who encouraged her to return to tennis. So she wasn’t part of tennis the way BJ, for example, became.

  • Andrew Miller · February 9, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    Catherine, players play tennis so far as I know. Some players have a legacy beyond that – the first player from (x) or (y), or of (x) or (y), etc, or players defying the odds, etc. A lot of that, applause worthy stuff.

    I just don’t know about everything else. I don’t think everyone know what runs through Federer’s mind, how they intepret him cussing up a storm these days, etc. Tennis players are people, people are people, what they say will invariably disappoint people. Even a superstar beyond reproach (and if I saw one player’s name I know another comment will sweep in to defend them as being the greatest person in the history of the world).

    But I’ll stick with the obvious. Players are people too. Fans may project their wish lists on them to be this and that way and the other way. But it doesn’t change the fact that they are people, and people think all sorts of things. If we had a running stream of Federer’s every thought I’m sure we’d be like PLEASE…NO MORE!

  • Matty · February 9, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    Catherine – just to clarify, Americans love the English. They are our brothers and sisters. We stand with Britain in war and peace, through recession and Brexit. Anyone who tells you differently is misinformed. We know what your cities went through 75 years ago and as Americans, we wish you only peace & prosperity.

  • catherine · February 9, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    Matty – thank you very much for those comments. Actually the English are, to my mind, a strange race. They aren’t purely ‘English’, being a mixture of so many types, and we carry with us today the imperial burden, that is to say there are many reasons why Britain as a country is viewed unfavourably through the perspective of the past. ‘Lazy and ruthless’ was how someone once described the English. We do have an odd sense of humour. Just as well, considering how often we fail miserably to conquer the world in such things as sport, Murray of course being Scots and Konta Hungarian/Australian.

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