Welcome to my blog, started way back in the year, uh, well, several hours ago. Any tennis fan will understand why I wanted a blog. I can talk tennis all day long, and often do. And yet some of the people I talk to about it might rather I talk about something else.
Or with someone else.
That’s how it is with tennis, right? Sort of an addiction. Sort of a high.
I’ve been writing about tennis for AOL Fanhouse for nearly two years, after several years as a sports columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times.
I’m pretty sure that in 2010, I was the only American sports writer to cover the full two weeks of all four majors, and also to cover each of the U.S. Masters series events.
So I’ve seen a lot of tennis, talked with a lot of players.
I watched from a few rows behind the line judge as Serena rolled that foot onto the baseline for the footfault, a good call, at the 2009 U.S. Open. I sat forever watching a John Isner marathon, leaving for Wimbledon village to watch an England World Cup soccer game at a pub and then returning for hours of Isner, sitting a few feet from his wrecked coach.
I got to see Novak Djokovic and Robin Soderling joke around on a practice court on the middle Sunday at Wimbledon, placing a small wager on a tiebreaker. Djokovic won, and Soderling pulled a bill out of his wallet, crumpled it into his fist and threw it at Djokovic, who unwadded it, kissed it, and told me, “My work is done here.’’
And when Rafael Nadal won the French Open in 2010, I finished my column, walked back out onto the court, and filled an empty tic tac container with the red clay. I’m looking at it right now.
Well, I don’t always see the game the same way others do. I can be hard on tennis, particularly on the characters in suits running it. Tennis has no less scandal and dirt than any other game. Yet somehow, it seems to be covered up, usually from an incredible web of conflicts of interest.
I promise to always tell the truth as I see it. Of course, I would appreciate it if you’d let me know when I’m wrong. I love sports arguments and hope to be in a few of them with you here. At least, as soon as I figure out the technology of it.
I’m sure this blog will take different shapes as it goes along, much like my backhand. We’ll see. Fanhouse is changing direction, and I’m not sure what that’s going to mean for my tennis coverage, or even for my job honestly.
But I need an outlet to write about tennis, or I will drive my family crazy talking about it. And I don’t want to lose the relationship with friends and fellow tennis-talkers developed over the past couple years.
Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you.