Best tennis book ever?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by JAY1, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Jay, I couldn´t dilike Connors at all, and he was my favourite player for many years, even if, at the beginning I felt like you, mixed feelings.But , as I posted, many times, I do suscribe your words and I also think he is one of the most exciting, instinnct players ever and a guy his joy and passion for tennis was just contagious.He was a jerk yeah, but there were many big charachters in his time and he had to be.

    If I criticize him here and there, it has nothing to see with disliking him.You know, you are more demanding with the people you appreciate most, and I certainly appreciated Connors so much.
     
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  2. WCT

    WCT Rookie

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    I'm the same. He was my favorite player ever, but I'm not blind to his personality flaws. I should read SHORT CIRCUIT again.
    Only read it the once, right after it came out. First real expose of the tour that I ever read.
     
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  3. JAY1

    JAY1 Semi-Pro

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    It's a real pleasure exchanging views with you Kiki!
    I thought I knew a lot about tennis......

    My original thread on here was Douglas Henderson jnr's kindle book 'Endeavour to perservere'.
    It is THE book for Jimmy Connors fans! Totally outstanding!!

    Also I just found out you don't need an actual 'Kindle' device to download Kindle books. You can downloand a free Kindle app to your pc or ipod/iphone and then download your chosen books.
     
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  4. JAY1

    JAY1 Semi-Pro

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    My original thread on here was Douglas Henderson jnr's kindle book 'Endeavour to perservere'.
    It is THE book for Jimmy Connors fans! Totally outstanding!!

    Also I just found out you don't need an actual 'Kindle' device to download Kindle books. You can downloand a free Kindle app to your pc or ipod/iphone and then download your chosen books.
     
    #54
  5. muddlehead

    muddlehead Rookie

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    in no particular order:

    as it was - gardnar mulloy
    unflappable life and times of whitney reed
    double fault - roscoe tanner
    levels of the game - mcphee
    biography - nastase
    as tom goes by - tom brown
     
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  6. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Love the Tanner´s title " Double Fault".He could also have named his book something like " The perfect approach" ( to women millionaires)
     
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  7. subban

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    As the best tennis instructional book I have ever read it has to be Peter Burwash's Tennis for Life.
     
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  8. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Roscoe Tanner's book "Double Fault" is good. I'm also going to read Pancho Segura's book soon, titled "Little Pancho". Looking forward to Jimmy Connors' book as well. With Roscoe's career, it's interesting, because he clearly had a very good career and beat all the top players at some point, yet you can't help but feel that Roscoe underachieved a bit by not winning Wimbledon or the US Open.
     
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  9. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Does he tell in the book when he defended his " close friend" John mc Enroe from the attacks of his " ex girlfriend" Chris Evert?
     
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  10. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I think so, too.an AO title seems a bit short to me.One of the hottest rivalrieson court, with a lot of body language was Tanner vs Connors.Not many people may have noticied it, but it was real hot.
     
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  11. norcal

    norcal Hall of Fame

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    This book is soooo good. The era is well before my time but I still found it immensely entertaining. The randy session in the hotel window is something you will never read in another tennis book! Gotta love the old school Aussies!
     
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  12. WCT

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    I read some of that book through google books. Had no idea that Henderson and Arthur Ashe had been so close. I accidentally posted this in the Djokovic Connors thread. Don't know how but I did.

    While I don't recall the defending Mcenroe incident, I recall a TENNIS magazine article, circa 1983/84, where Connors and Mcenroe were discussing the type of language Chris Evert sometimes used, contrary to her image.

    I don't recall Connors and Tanner overall having a bad relationship there were some heated moments in a couple matches. 1980 Wimbledon and the 1982 Masters. IIRC, Tanner thought Connors was mocking him. Probably gamesmanship on Connors end.

    Peter Bodo. I'm in the middle of reading it now, on a kindle.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
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  13. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Well, Tanner and Connors had history that went way back. They'd known each other since 1962 or so, when Tanner practiced with Connors and saw Connors obeying his mother's coaching orders at every opportunity. In the early 1970s, they once trained together with Pancho Gonzales in Las Vegas, and neither of them knew the time because of the lack of clocks, and Gonzales would keep telling them to make sure they were ready for their match tomorrow morning. Gonzales was obviously warning them to always make sure of where they were and what they do the night before a match.

    Tanner used to beat Connors in the juniors more often than not, but Connors usually won when they were professionals. Still, Tanner had a few good wins over Connors even in the pros, especially their 1976 Wimbledon quarter final.
     
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  14. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    In 1981,at the Wimbledon´s Champions Dance it started it all

    Tanner and Connors rivalry traces back from their junior days at college.Connors played for UCLA, Í don´t remember which college Tanner played for.
     
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  15. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Tanner vs Connors, provided the most exciting, bombastic fireworks of any 1970´s rivalry, which extended to the early 80´s.Just memorable battles between the hardest S&V and the sharpest return of serve.
     
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  16. muddlehead

    muddlehead Rookie

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    tanner. didn't know / care too much about him before reading the book. bud collins would always refer to his lookout mountain, tennessee upbringing. i thought he was a hillbilly ... couldn't have been more wrong. his dad was wealthy chattanooga atty. he went to prep school. his tennis team also had brian gottfried on it. (even though wiki's tanner page says sandy mayer, erroneously). then stanford. silver spoon the whole way. his candid, at this point what's left to hide, story of his descent into financial scumbaggery is an interesting read ... thanks for the above recommendations on other books. look forward to reading them. always thought a book thread like this should have its own talk tennis category...
     
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  17. JAY1

    JAY1 Semi-Pro

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    I've not seen anyone mention Joel Drucker's book about Jimmy Connors. 'Jimmy Connors Saved My Life'
    Has anyone else read it? I'm reading it for the 2nd time at the moment.
    If so what are your views on it?
    I so wish I had'nt been a young kid from 74 to 84 and been old enough to really appreciate this Golden period of tennis, i've tried to make up for it as much as i'm able too, with attaining old dvd's matches and reading as many books as I can on this era.
     
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  18. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    It was a journalistic affair.I laughed my ass off when I first read the story.:lol:
     
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  19. JAY1

    JAY1 Semi-Pro

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    This was my original thread on best tennis book ever...

    Not only with his relationships with Connors & Ashe but what an incredible role model for all young men not only young black men, totally inspiring on so many levels!
    If you like well written, well thought out and the best insight into life on the tour, then do yourself a huge favour and download this Kindle book (you can't buy a hard copy), Dont forget you can download a free kindle book app to your pc, i phone or i pad and then just buy the Kindle book as normal.
    I've read over 50 tennis books and this one by Douglas Henderson jnr is number 1!
     
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  20. bjk

    bjk Hall of Fame

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    I just read Open by Agassi. What a raging narcissist. There is no mention of his opponents. He never mentions his doubles partners or friends on the tour. His friends are on his payroll, Gil, Perry, Brad, etc. Yet no mention of the fact that all the people he "loves" are taking a paycheck from him. And he trashes most of his former associatesa, like Shields and Bolletieri. Another interesting fact, most of the cash supporting his years of losses must have come from Nike. It wasn't being covered by prize money. The entourage stuck around because he could make more money in one photo shoot than most players made in a career.
     
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  21. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    AA was ugly to death.I never undesrtood that thnig about sexy and so on.
     
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  22. WCT

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    I read it, enjoyed it. Honestly, more about Drucker's life than I was looking for because I bought it for Connors. But I think that was what he was going for in the book. A parallel between his life and Connors' so as to display the impact that Connors' attitudes and persona had on his life. He started out as a Connors hater and gew into a Connors fanatic.

    Ironic that Connors own book is coming out this year. Drucker's book details how hard he tried to get Connors to tell such a book with him. Drucker did not write a love letter to Connors either. His book is filled with criticism of Connors and some of his behavior. Seemed to me that Drucker found Connors treatment of Segura particularly shameful.

    I tried to contact Drucker, through one of the columns he wrote, to ask some questions. Wanted to ask him if he interviewed Segura specifically for that book. Also wanted to discuss how he saw Connors' game. The book keeps coming back to the term counterpuncher, and I don't see prime Connors as a counterpuncher although the return was his biggest strength. In my mind, prime Connors is not a reactive player. He is not waiting for you to miss or looking to counter your aggression. He is going for the lines and the corners.
    He is dictating the play.

    What is the story with the 81 Wimbledon Dance? Never heard the story. Tanner went to Stanford with Sandy Mayer, I believe. Nothing I've ever read about Connors really delved into his college tennis career. I mean specific matches or rivalries. He spent a year at UCLA. Don't recall reading anything about collerge matches versus Tanner.

    The guy who owned him in the juniors was Dick Stockon. An elite junior player, but Connors turned the tables in the pros. I saw multiple Connors/Tanner matches that were played in good spirit. I never thought of that rivalry as being nearly as heated as Connors/Mcenroe. No doubt, though, on a good day Tanner could beat anyone.
     
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  23. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Tanner and Connors played plenty of times against each other in the 1960s when they were youngsters. There's a picture in Tanner's book of them after Tanner beat Connors in one final, and the caption said that Connors never looked so happy after losing a match (Connors had a big smile).
     
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  24. WCT

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    Haven't read Tanner's book and certainly not disputing that Connors and Tanner played each other in the juniors or college. Just not something 've ever read described as some big rivalry. Connors wasn't a junior phenom, though.
     
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  25. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    As great as a player AA was, I think he is, from a personality POV, one of the least interesting champions ever.Not much inside...
     
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  26. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Connors,Tanner,Gottfried,Solomon,Dibbs,Stockton , one of the best ever US generation.Tanner and Connors were hot on each other in many matches, like at the 1979 and 1981 Masters (Connors won barely in 79 and lost in 3 tie breakers in 81) and also at the 1975 and 1980 Wimbledon.They played also the USO sf in 74 and the W QF in 76, when Tanner just put Connors down.They played a big match at Palm Springs in 1979 and another one at Las Vegas that same year ( they also played a 4 setter at Phily).many hard hitting matches, and lots of body language.I am not saying it was as obvious as Connors vs mac, just that something was burning inside both players when they played each other.maybe it was like a duel between the best serve and the best return, but it was there.

    I´ll explain the 1981 story in another post.I did it before, I just don´t remember anymore in which thread.
     
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  27. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    I wouldn't describe it as a big rivalry back in the 1960s as neither were teen phenomenons, and in fact, Tanner usually beat Connors in the juniors. There was never any hate between them that I know of, just feisty encounters when they did meet as both were determined to win. What it does show is that Connors and Tanner had a long history going back to 1962 or so when they first practiced together, and this becomes relevant when one considers how big they later made it as professional tennis players, especially Connors.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
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  28. WCT

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    Was there a lot in the book about Tanner's feelings for Connors? If so, what were they? Although Tanner didn't tun out to be any moral pillar.
     
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  29. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    ...whatever can be said about who was the best player of the 70´s, nobody had such a gorgeous wife as Connors had (Patty Mc Guire).I´d say she was the nicest looking face on a tennis court since Hingis and Kournikova made the tour in the second half of the 90´s...
     
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  30. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    story has it that, in the 1981 Champions dance, Chris Evert took a microphone and said ( of absent John Mc Enroe, who left London after a big journalists quarrel) " I´d like to talk on John´s name, but I am afraid I can´t since I don´t use his vocabulary".

    next day, some journalists repported that to Connors, and in typical Jimmy´s mood, he repplies: " I have been on court with Chris enough times to know that she can match vocabularies with John anytime "...Connors defending his worst toe from the attacks of his ex grilfriend¡¡¡¡.

    As I said, being an Evert ex, possibly changes your perception of the world¡¡¡
     
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  31. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Tanner talks about how Connors always did what his mother and grandmother (one mom and two mom) told him to on the court and how feisty a competitor Connors was even back then. There's the bits about how Tanner usually beat Connors in the juniors, but Connors tended to have Tanner's number in the professional game. Tanner also talks about how Connors was determined to do things his way in the early and mid 1970s and how aloof he was from the other players. In those days, the Aussies, the Americans and some of the Brits would hang out with each other, while the Spaniards and Latin Americans did likewise, as did the mainland Europeans. Connors, though, didn't even stay in the same hotel as the rest of the players.

    Tanner goes into detail about 1975 Wimbledon. The semi final line-up was Connors vs. Tanner and Ashe vs. Roche. Ashe was trying to tell Tanner what tactics you need to use to beat Connors, i.e. giving Connors soft balls, angled volleys, making him run and generate his own pace. It's interesting that Ashe was giving Tanner advice on how to beat Connors when Tanner had just beaten Connors a few weeks earlier in Nottingham, and Connors' only other loss that year had been in the Australian Open final against Newcombe. Incidentally, after Tanner beat Connors in the quarter finals of Nottingham, it was Roche who beat Tanner in the semi finals.

    When Tanner's Wimbledon semi final match with Connors came about, he tried to incorporate some of the strategy that Ashe had been telling him to use, but Tanner said his angled volleys weren't good enough, and Connors tracked down everything and rode a wave of momentum. Tanner went back to his original gameplan in the third set, but it was no good as Connors crushed him. Tanner then talks about how he watched Ashe play out his gameplan to near perfection in the final against Connors, and how he couldn't believe what he was seeing, but said that he was so happy for Ashe it was almost like he himself had won Wimbledon.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
    #81
  32. kiki

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    and who didn´t roote for Arthur in that final? BTW, Roscos and Arthur were longtime doubels partners, after Ashe split with Riessen.Tanner had played before with Charlie Pasarell, himself, Ashe´s best friend in tennis...so, it´s like a big family over there.All of them southeners, BTW
     
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  33. WCT

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    Interesting. What I've read previously made it seem like this was a strategy Ashe's camp came up with after the Connors Tanner semi. I've also read Ashe started thinking of it after seeing Connors play Ramirez in the quarters.

    Ashe wrote an article, a week after the match, in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED detailing what he did and how he did it. That article read like he came to the realization after the semis. It was him, Donald Dell, Dennis Ralston and Pasarell, I think.

    That article talks about the Tanner upset in that warmup tourney. Ashe said they used different balls and commented that the balls were sometimes as important as the surface. In any case, from what you wrote, the Tanner book makes it seem like this was in Ashe's head earlier if he was advising Tanner about it.
     
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  34. DHender499

    DHender499 New User

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    Thanks For The Kind Words...

    Hi Jay1,

    I stumbled onto your post and very much appreciate it. My book, "Endeavor To Persevere," was a labor of love, written with the mindset that I was a witness to a remarkable history. In being a recorder of that history, I felt it my ultimate duty - as the eyes and ears of those reading the book - to be meticulous about my facts and the events that I wrote about. Beginning in 1974, I would write during and after each Open. I always knew these writings would be a memorialized in the book that you praised so highly. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to know those words brought pleasure to a reader.

    Stay well,
    Douglas Henderson Jr.
     
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  35. JAY1

    JAY1 Semi-Pro

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    Hi Douglas, Great to hear from you, i'm very suprised but really pleased you read my posting. Are you still around tennis much these days?
    I live, eat and sleep tennis everyday. I'm fortunate enough that tennis is also my career as well as my passion. I run my own tennis club in London.
    It would be great to talk more with you? I'm sure we can exchange a few stories about tennis. I would love to tell you about my latest tennis project, it would certainly take you back to the 70s & 80s? My email is jay_henley@hotmail.com
    It would be great to hear from you. Best wishes-Jay
     
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  36. DHender499

    DHender499 New User

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    Hi Jay,

    Don't have a lot of spare times these days, but will keep in touch. Your comments on many subjects are insightful an on-point - as are many of the other comments I've read in this forum. It reminds me of when I first became smitten by tennis. So, to use a cliche, I feel you. However, golf has moved to the top rung of the ladder in terms of my passion. I love Rafa, am glad Federer won Wimbledon (after Rafa was upset) not a Djoker fan, wish that Serena had consistently taken her tennis seriously and am depressed that the USTA has ruined American tennis. I think that golf is the perfect metaphor for life life. After all, we must play the ball where it lies.

    Stay well,
    Doug

    P.S. I've copied your email address down and will write soon. You can befriend me on Facebook to see some tennis pictures that you are sure to like.

    D.H.
     
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  37. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    If you want to know what daily life on tour throughout a season is like this book gets you close. Yes she can be annoying and says things she shouldn't say but the book made me respect her. To balance a personal life, competing with friends and enemies, making sponsors happy, and dealing with the fact that more than likely you are going to lose every week at some point makes her very tough but very human.
     
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  38. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    I take it you are being sarcastic and criticizing the book, based on the last paragraph quoted?
     
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  39. Paul Murphy

    Paul Murphy Hall of Fame

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    Winning Ugly is terrific for instruction and tips, as someone else mentioned.
    But Gilbert also talks about his opponents and uses them as examples which makes it more interesting than a drier instructional tome.
    It's a pretty good insight into what it was like to face the big boys of era, particularly Lendl and McEnroe.

    Agassi's book is beautifully written.
    It's a pity there aren't more that we can say that about.
     
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  40. DHender499

    DHender499 New User

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    Jay1

    Hey Jay1,

    I hope all is well with you. Writing a major piece on Ashe's 40th anniversary Wimbledon triumph. Hope you enjoy it.

    Stay well,
    Doug Henderson
     
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  41. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

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    FYI, the poster "jay1" appears to have vacated this board some time ago following one of his charming posts pontificating on, among other topics, if I recall accurately US activities in Guantanamo Bay as well as gun ownership in the US.
     
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