Wimbledon Crisis Center, Day 6

by: Peter Bodo | June 25, 2011

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Sorry I'm a little late to the party today, but Wimbledon choc-a-bloc with good tennis today, so you should have plenty of opportunity to post your thoughts and comments before the sun sets in SW 19.  Should you ever seek a break from all those arty homages to the enchanged All-England Club, or those fawning testimonials to the mega-stars whose greatest problem is trying to decide whether to use gut in the main or cross strings, check out this excellent Sports Illustrated piece by Marc Howard on tennis at San Quentin prison.

Howard is a professor of government at Georgetown University, but in a previous life he was a top Ivy-league collegiate tennis player. In fact, he was such a strong player that when Ivan Lendl was looking for a little fresh meat to have tossed across the net from him, Marc was the one sent down by his coach at Yale (Lendl lived in nearby Greenwich, Ct.). The "fresh meat" analogy would become especially meaningful for Marc albeit for an unexpected reason. The way things turned out, one of Lendl's fearsome German shepherds took a big bite out of Marc, ensuring that there were two good reasons Marc would never forget that day. In fact, he wrote a delightful story for Tennis on the entire incident.  Read it here if you have a moment.

I had dinner with El Jon Wertheim and Marc in Paris during the French Open a couple of years ago, when Marc was a visiting professor there. We ended up taking tennis all night. It never ceases to amaze how many people remain tennis nuts until late into life, even if they distinguish themselves in other fields. I think the loyalty and continuing interest on their parts often is the result of having played at a relatively high level. That certainly was Marc's case, and I've always been impressed by how eager he's been to keep his hand in, writing a story now and then, despite living on what might be called the academic fast track.

Anyway, that's it for now, I'll be posting on Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova a little later. Enjoy the rest of the tennis.

BTW, is anyone else surprised that none of the Big Four on the men's side has been tested yet?

-- Pete

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