View Full Version : Torben Ulrich - "The Ball and The Wall" ("La Balle Au Mur")

thor's hammer
05-22-2009, 06:35 AM
Saw mention of Ulrich in a post and got me to poking around. Found this...

"The Ball and The Wall" ("La Balle Au Mur")

For many ballplayers, across the various fields, having a wall as a practice partner was a training tool almost taken for granted. Over the years, however (with the advent of ball machines, etc.), the wall as a place of practice seemed to go out of fashion, if not become almost obsolete. Gil de Kermadec of the French Tennis Federation, director of an exemplary series of films on tennis (McEnroe, Borg, Evert, Connors), here sets out with Torben Ulrich in a two-fold approach, asking many past champions (Lacoste, Laver, Navratilova, Rosewall, Nastase) about their experiences with the wall, as well as looking into a variety of techniques that could extend the possibilities for practice and play. Directed by Gil de Kermadec and T.U., 1988. 45 minutes



Anyone ever seen this/have a copy/clips?

05-22-2009, 06:48 AM
Nice find. Ulrich is the unsung hero of Forbes' book 'A Handful of Summers', alongside Art Tappy Larsen. He is also a jazz musician and father of the frontman of Metallica. Its interesting for the financial state of pro tennis in the 50s, that Ulrich actually made more money on the senior Grand Master circuit in the mid 70s, than in all his pro tennis seasons together, when he was at his peak. The better known Frank Sedgman did the same.

05-22-2009, 08:38 AM
Ulrich has led an amazing life. I remember seeing him at the US Pro, looking like a hippie, and playing great despite being at least 10 years older than any other player. My impression was that he was one cool dude. He still is.
Thanks for the post.

-You can't beat the wall.

05-22-2009, 08:52 PM
Isn't he the father of Lars Ulrich from Metallica?

Frank Silbermann
05-26-2009, 03:57 AM
Isn't he the father of Lars Ulrich from Metallica? Since Torbin Ulrich the tennis player is the more prominent celebrity, one should instead say that Lars Ulrich of Metallica is the son of Torbin Ulrich.

05-26-2009, 06:31 AM
Let's start a fanclub for the "Zen Master"! Pls post more pics and articles.

05-26-2009, 07:37 AM
I wish there was someone like Torben playing today. It would be even greater if there was a player like Torben who was number one in the world.:)