The Daily Spin

Fourhand: NYT pegs Richard Williams as one of the greatest coaches ever

Saturday, May 11, 2013 /by
CameraworkUSA
CameraworkUSA

It's been a long, eventful week, tennis fans. Here are a few stories you may have missed, or that are just coming to light:

[1] PAPA WILLIAMS IN GOOD COMPANY  Richard Williams finds himself among the likes of Pat Summitt and Alex Ferguson when it comes to the greatest coaches of all time, per the New York Times. About Venus and Serena Williams's father, Julie Bosman writes, "He is self-taught in his chosen sport. ...Williams didn’t know anything about tennis, but he drilled Serena and Venus in the art of being rough and tough enough to beat all the kids who learned how to play on fancy courts at the Beverly Hills Country Club. He helped mold two athletes with not only dazzling skill, but incredible longevity—Venus turned pro at 14 and is now 32, and Serena, at 31, is ranked No. 1 in the world. And let’s not forget his crowning achievement: training two athletes who have made their sport more fun and more watchable—those muscles; those outfits!—than anyone else."

[2] SLOANE-SERENA, PART DEUX  Sloane Stephens speaks again about Serena Williams in a new Boston Globe story, which rightly notes in its headline that "fame comes with strings attached." So what's new, with the two Top 20 players' dust-up in the rear-view? Well, Sloane didn't care for Serena's tweeting of her swollen ankle after their Australian Open match. “Obviously, that was a little much, but I got the W. She got the L," Stephens tells writer Stan Grossfeld.

[3] VIKA GOES OFF  And so does her game. WTA No. 3 Victoria Azarenka gave chair umpire Mariana Alves two earfuls at the Mutua Madrid Open earlier this week, in the midst of her rusty loss to sometimes star-slayer Ekaterina Makarova. Alves was notorious after chairing the Serena Williams-Jennifer Capriati U.S. Open quarterfinal match in 2004 that more or less ushered in the age of Hawk-Eye.

[4] JUST THE TWO OF US  Enrique Iglesias took Anna Kournikova, his main squeeze of, oh, 12 years, out for a boat ride in Miami. On her, a bright red bikini (and a black finger-less gloves?). On him ... khaki cargo capris and an adidas trucker hat. All right then, but they're gorgeous and famous and we are not, so there will be no harping on this attire.

[BONUS] MILES TO GO  Mark Miles, erstwhile chief of the ATP World Tour during its Pete Sampras-Andre Agassi hey day—though today is but a subsequent hey day—is now the president and CEO of the parent company of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. That means he reigns over the Indianapolis 500, which will see its 97th running on May 26. Here's Miles in his own words on a range of topics. Among the highlights: "Those who fail are usually the ones who don’t care about other people." "A good leader is always looking to simplify. It’s easy to lose people in details." And, "People love sports because of the drama and the human stories. Winning, losing, injuries, cheating, achievement, and despair. All these dramatic elements captivate people." Yep, he's bona fide CEO material—and as 2012's "Super Bowl whisperer," one of the finest around at that.

If you've got thoughts on these stories, drop me a line or sound off below.

Enjoy the Madrid finals, Spin readers!

Got a thought, a tip, or a point to make? Hit me on Twitter @jonscott9.

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