Roscoe Tanner IN / Out / IN the Slammer

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by NoBadMojo, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    Does anyone know the Roscoe Tanner story? he was present at IW and promoting ProKennex. I know he got in trouble with the law and was servng time or something, but does anyone know what he did, and what happened to his life after the tour? ole Roscoe from Lookout Mountain, TN....he looked like he has been having a very hard life.
     
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  2. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    You could probably google it, what I recall is that he wrote some bad checks and may have been delinquent in making child support payments. I remember when I was in school in Santa Barbara in the late 80's, he used to tool around SB in a mercedes, so I guess things went bad for him after that.
     
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  3. Roforot

    Roforot Professional

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    There was an article about him in Tennis Magazine. He's been arrested a couple of times, once at an exhibition of great stars. Basically, he's run some bad businesses and writes bad checks. He doesn't seem to have a drug addiction or problem w/ women. Note however that he's been delinquent in several child-care payments to some of his exwives.

    One story in the article was about this guy who sold a yatch to Roscoe only to find out a week later that the check bounced; this had to be a mistake right... well a few days later, no phone calls answered etc, he tries to repossess the boat only to find that Roscoe already used the yatch as collateral for another loan. The guy says that Roscoe basically ruined his finances for over a year and that he came in smiling and jolly and telling stories.

    Apparently, the article tries to point out that Roscoe's unrealistically positive, the kind of thinking that gets you back from 2 sets down, and he's not malicious, but simply believes that he's going to hit jackpot and pay up all accounts then.
     
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  4. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    I heard he also got a DUI one time. Did that happen?
     
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  5. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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  6. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    Exerpts from a Bud Collins article from 2004
    <snip> Although Tanner, an ex-fugitive, has been in a slump himself for a few years, he sounds upbeat over the phone, saying that he's pulling himself together again, is gainfully employed restoring his self-respect.

    'I'm not proud of what I did. I have a ton of regrets,' Tanner, 52, says from Laguna Niguel in California. 'I made a lot of money. But I also made some bad business deals and unfortunate marriages and liaisons.'

    The misdeeds that caused law officers to chase him were such items as grand theft, bad cheques, forgery, failure to make child support payments and false statements.

    'I went broke, but I was still trying to put up a front as a successful guy, and went deeper into the hole. I was living desperately.' One example was buying a $36,000 pleasure boat in Florida with a worthless check.

    Tanner was arrested, got out, went to Germany to try to make a few bucks playing in a senior club league. 'I didn't consider myself a fugitive, but I guess the US Government did. They had me thrown into a German jail, six weeks until I was extradited to Florida where I was in jail for a few months until April.'

    Tanner couldn't afford bail or a lawyer. 'I acted as my own lawyer and I was able to convince a judge - pleading guilty to all the charges, confessing how bad I'd been - that I was a brand new guy, a changed guy. A better guy. He gave me 10 years' probation to make restitution to my creditors.' Tanner owes $102,000 in bills, fines and interest. If he doesn't pay it off by 2013, this man formerly about grand-slam events goes to the slammer for 15 years.

    'I'm not concerned, and haven't been since Germany,' Tanner says. 'When I was in that jail I rented a TV and saw Reverend Robert Shuler [an American TV evangelist], and he was talking about the peace that transcends all understanding. I found it. Regained my faith and felt a million per cent better.

    'I knew I could turn myself around and my [third] wife, Margaret, is standing by me. A friend has hired me as tennis director at his three clubs and people have been very understanding. I'm also going to be involved in an inner-city tennis and education project for the International Foundation in Washington, DC.
     
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  7. MonkeyPox

    MonkeyPox Semi-Pro

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    And now he's writing a book about his tragic life. We should all have it so rough. I dare say that if most of us had the opportunities and wads of dough that Tanner had, we wouldn't have blown it all and then cried about it later. Just another crook writing a book if you ask me. Lame.
     
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  8. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Roscoe Tanner

    This ought to help book sales:

    I don't know how he violated his probation, but some folks never learn the lesson. It's a shame if it's true.
     
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  9. norcal

    norcal Hall of Fame

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    If you bought Roscoe's book...

    I know where your money did not go - restitution.

    Former tennis star Roscoe Tanner was in jail Tuesday after his arrest for violating probation.

    Tanner, a Chattanooga native who won the 1977 Australian Open, was arrested Monday on a fugitive warrant from Florida and will remain in the Knox County jail without bail pending an extradition hearing Oct. 24, officials said.

    Florida authorities list Tanner as an absconder/fugitive. He was sentenced to 10 years' probation in November 2003 in Florida for bouncing a $35,595 check he used to buy a boat in 2000. The Pinellas County state attorney's office has accused Tanner of failing to make restitution payments.

    In 2004, Tanner was arrested in Orange County, Calif., on a warrant from New Jersey on charges of failing to pay more than $80,000 in child support for a daughter he fathered there. He was sentenced to a year of probation for that offense.

    Besides his Australian title, Tanner was runner-up in 1979 at Wimbledon, losing a five-set match to Bjorn Borg. Known for his fast serve, Tanner won about $2 million in prize money and played on the U.S. Davis Cup team.


    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/artic.../2005/10/18/sports/s084258D49.DTL&type=sports
     
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  10. MonkeyPox

    MonkeyPox Semi-Pro

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    I hate to say I told you so.

    But I did. People who write books to profits from their crimes and sordid lives and then pocket that money are only proving they have learned nothing. Roscoe you be lame. But we already knew that.
     
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  11. baseliner

    baseliner Professional

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    Sad. 4 wives or former wives and a bunch of children. A golden future thrown away.
     
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  12. Pancho

    Pancho Semi-Pro

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    I heard that he's in the slammer yet again.
     
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  13. @wright

    @wright Hall of Fame

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    'Mojo, I've never seen such a beautifully poetic thread title! You, sir, have a way with words...
     
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  14. Craig Sheppard

    Craig Sheppard Hall of Fame

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    Yup, here's what I read:
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/artic.../2005/10/18/sports/s084258D49.DTL&type=sports

    Ex-Tennis Star Roscoe Tanner Is Jailed
    -
    Tuesday, October 18, 2005

    (10-18) 08:42 PDT Knoxville, Tenn. (AP) --

    Former tennis star Roscoe Tanner was in jail Tuesday after his arrest for violating probation.

    Tanner, a Chattanooga native who won the 1977 Australian Open, was arrested Monday on a fugitive warrant from Florida and will remain in the Knox County jail without bail pending an extradition hearing Oct. 24, officials said.

    Florida authorities list Tanner as an absconder/fugitive. He was sentenced to 10 years' probation in November 2003 in Florida for bouncing a $35,595 check he used to buy a boat in 2000. The Pinellas County state attorney's office has accused Tanner of failing to make restitution payments.

    In 2004, Tanner was arrested in Orange County, Calif., on a warrant from New Jersey on charges of failing to pay more than $80,000 in child support for a daughter he fathered there. He was sentenced to a year of probation for that offense.

    Besides his Australian title, Tanner was runner-up in 1979 at Wimbledon, losing a five-set match to Bjorn Borg. Known for his fast serve, Tanner won about $2 million in prize money and played on the U.S. Davis Cup team.
     
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  15. alfa164164

    alfa164164 Professional

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    When does Double Fault Part Deux come out?
     
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  16. baseliner

    baseliner Professional

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    The true victims are his daughters.
     
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  17. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Tanner....slammer....I get it
     
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  18. Pancho

    Pancho Semi-Pro

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    Hey, easy for you to say that. He may have other problems that you don't know of.
     
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  19. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    Better late then never! I just figured it out myself. Nicely done!
     
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  20. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    geesh..i posted this back in March! talk about poetic justice......
    thank-you thank-you @wright..contributions are gratiously accepted to my manager Mr. Phillup deBucket
     
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  21. MARK ANDERS

    MARK ANDERS Rookie

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    I've played tennis right next to his daughter at Loyola Marymont Univ.. She plays for them.

    He sounds like an excuse making idiot, his daughter seems very nice though and I'll probably hit with her next time. I hit with some of the other chickee chicks on the team.
     
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  22. nrota

    nrota New User

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    I have to say that I, evidently, have some responsibility for latest arrest. I wrote about Roscoe in my columnn on Most Valuable Network, tennisdiary.com. Roscoe's daughters left comments, the people helping Roscoe with his religious practice left comments, and a "bounty hunter" who has turned Roscoe in before left comments.

    Turns out that the "bounty hunter" knew that Roscoe was in Knoxville from reading people's comments and called authorities to have him arrested because he has outstanding warrants.

    Not what I had in mind when I wrote the column but it's very hard to hide today.

    Nina Rota
     
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  23. Pancho

    Pancho Semi-Pro

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    I disagree with that. I think he is the victim. His past wives/lovers have screwed him badly. He is just down on his luck. However, noone can ever take away the fact that he won a Grand Slam tournament - Australian Open. He will be considered one of the best of his generation.
     
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  24. Ravi

    Ravi Rookie

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    I guess that depends on how many you define as "one of the"

    If it's 10 then no.
     
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  25. bamboo

    bamboo Rookie

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    There's a sucker born every minute -wait, second, and anyone who believed Tanner goes straight to the head of that class. Hope you didn't give the lowlife your credit card #! Oz open wasn't really a major from 1976-82, how else do you think Vilas won it twice on grass? Borg, Connors and McEnroe skipped it.
     
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  26. Lee

    Lee Guest

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  27. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    Mate, if you feel sorry for her then why post a picture of her like some kind of a mug shot? Better to go back, delete the link and give her a bit of anonymity.
     
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  28. RB

    RB Rookie

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    Great point Andrew...I totally agree
     
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  29. goober

    goober Legend

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    Without knowing his sitaution personally, I highly doubt that someone who has been married 4 times and has a bunch of children can be considered blameless.
     
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  30. MonkeyPox

    MonkeyPox Semi-Pro

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    And someone who only won one grand slam is never the best of any generation.
     
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  31. Pancho

    Pancho Semi-Pro

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    You can say anything you wish about Roscoe, but he did win the Australian Open, a Grand Slam tourney. That being a past Australian Open campion gets you in the grand slam record books and all the bragging rights in the world. He was also ranked as high as #4 in the world. He should be playing the legends senior tour with Borg and McEnroe soon once he gets his stuff together.
     
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  32. Pancho

    Pancho Semi-Pro

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    Oh, Roscoe also did have won of the fastest serve and best serves of his time. That was how he won the Australian Open.
     
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  33. Ravi

    Ravi Rookie

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    i was just looking at Tanner's career record and he's better than I was giving him credit for, probably I'm going to have to admit he was one of the best 10 players for five years or so...and he beat a pretty good group to win the Aussie in '77, beating Roche, Dent, a totally ageless Rosewall, and then Vilas in the finals, who was the best player in the world that year.
     
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  34. baseliner

    baseliner Professional

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    Pancho, Surely you jest.

    Roscoe is the victim and not his (innocent) children? His rap sheet has been described in detail on these pages. One scam or con game after the other. The number of individuals conned by him can't be counted. I go back to my original point and that is his children are the victims. A multiply married individual leaving children in his wake, Roscoe would seem no better than your typical NBA star who leaves a wake of illegitimate children in his wake. Roscoe is reaping what he has sowed. He is experiencing the fact that actions have consequences. His children are the victims.
     
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  35. MonkeyPox

    MonkeyPox Semi-Pro

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    And to really add insult to injury he throws in a apparently questionable religious conversion into the mix. Makes it even more sickening.
     
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  36. jeebeesus

    jeebeesus Guest

    Story of Roscoe

    IN THE 1970s, Roscoe Tanner was one of the finest tennis players in the world.

    Once ranked No 4 in the world, he won 15 titles in his heyday, including the Australian Open in 1977.

    He even went close to winning Wimbledon in 1979 before he was beaten by five-time winner Bjorn Borg in a nail-biting five-set final.


    But Tanner, 54, was not even in the grandstand at this year's final.

    He is currently in jail.

    'I'd love to be there at Wimbledon,' he told the Sunday Mail newspaper in England in a recent interview from his cell in a North Florida jail.

    'But, for obvious reasons, I can't. Maybe one day.'

    ALWAYS ON THE RUN

    Tanner's fall from grace is one of the more sensational tales of drugs, gambling and sex in the tennis world.

    He has being accused of a string of wrongdoing. Some are criminal, like cheating business associates and employers out of their money.

    Others are moral, like cheating on wives and getting a prostitute pregnant, then refusing to support the child.

    Each time a victim of his misdeeds confronted him, he responded in the same way - he ran.

    He even earned the nickname 'Running Roscoe' from bounty hunters who were constantly on his tail.

    His reputation as a cheat today is a far cry from his days as the centre court star.

    During his peak in the 1970s, Tanner's name was mentioned in the same breath as tennis greats like John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors.

    His powerful left-handed serve - considered the most lethal among his peers - propelled him through the rankings.

    He is estimated to have won about US$1.7 million ($2.7m) in prize money and earned millions more in appearance fees and endorsement deals during his time at the top.

    He was also widely seen to be one of the cleanest players in tennis.

    But off the court, Tanner played a whole different ball game.

    In his 2005 autobiography Double Fault, he wrote:

    'On the tennis court, I hated cheating and that was the last way I wanted to win a match.

    'But away from the court, I cheated on Nancy (his first wife) with abandon. Sure, it wasn't easy the first few times, but eventually I was able to stuff any guilty feelings into deep places in my heart.'

    His philandering ways resulted in three broken marriages and five daughters to support by four women.

    One of his children was the result of a tryst with a prostitute in a New York hotel while married to his second wife.

    The woman demanded US$500,000 in child support. Tanner agreed to pay... then ran.

    COCAINE AND GAMBLING

    His first arrest was in 1997 for non-payment of child support to the prostitute. He was released on bail.

    But soon after, he was declared bankrupt. His work as a country club tennis coach could no longer support his extravagant lifestyle, cocaine habit and love for gambling.

    That's when he began to extend his cheating ways to business deals.

    In 2000, he bought a US$39,000 yacht with his third wife in Florida, paying for it with a cheque that later bounced.

    But before it did, he used the unpaid-for boat as collateral for a US$10,000 loan.

    When the broker who sold him the boat went to confront him, Tanner ran.

    This time, he fled to Europe, where he continued living the high life playing tournaments in the seniors' circuit.

    The authorities eventually tracked him down in Germany and arrested him for fraud in 2003.

    He spent six weeks in a German jail before being extradited back to the US, where he served three months' jail in Florida for the boat scam, then six months' in New Jersey for non-payment of US$83,000 in child support.

    MORE LIES, MORE JAIL

    When he was released in 2004, he vowed never to return to his criminal ways.

    Soon after, he was hired to be a coach in an exclusive chain of California country clubs - and promptly resumed cheating people who believed in him.

    Before long, he had stopped paying the bills for a sports utility vehicle (SUV) he bought and started pocketing the club's share of his coaching fees.

    He also missed a court date in a child support case involving his second wife, with whom he had two children.

    Confronted with these new problems, he ran again. Tanner fled to Tennessee in the unpaid-for SUV - which the club had to cover the cost of - and landed another coaching job.

    But he was arrested in 2005 for a parole violation there and sentenced to two years' jail.

    Despite his relapses, there are those who stand by him. 'I've known Roscoe for years and he was always a personable, decent bloke,' former opponent John Lloyd told the Sunday Mail.

    'Some are not happy he did not support his children and I believe others are still owed money. But I wouldn't walk away from him.'

    But at least one former wife doesn't agree.

    'He had the world in his hands,' second wife Charlotte told ESPN. 'He chose to make major, major bad decisions. To me, he became a narcissist and a pathological liar.'



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I'VE GIVEN UP ON HIM, SAYS DAUGHTER

    AS a child, Ms Tamara Tanner thought that she had the best dad in the world.

    Despite Roscoe Tanner's celebrity status and hectic schedule as a tennis star, he went to as many of her soccer and tennis matches as he could and made time to coach her.

    Now, the 20-year-old university student wants nothing to do with her father.

    He had vowed to reconnect with his family after being released from jail last year - just before he was re-arrested for violating his probation offence.

    During that brief period, Tanner wrote to his daughter and her mother, Charlotte, wanting to mend fences.

    But in her reply to him, Ms Tanner wrote: 'Once again, when it's time to take care of your responsibilities, you put it off for something else. Dad, when are you going to step up to the plate?'

    Ms Tanner says her father abandoned her in 1999 when he divorced her mother.

    'All of a sudden, one day, he's gone,' Ms Tanner, who lives in California, told the ESPN sports network.

    'How could he really love me and not come home? He's erased us from his life.'

    Now that Tanner has expressed willingness to financially support and reconnect with all the children from his various relationships, not many people believe that he is sincere.

    According to those who attended one of his court hearings last year, he failed to so much as say hello to Charlotte, Tamara and her sister Anne when they turned up to support him.

    That's why Tamara refuses to let her father back into her life or even find out from him why he left them in the first place.

    'Honestly, I've stopped trying to figure it out. It used to be too painful,' she said.

    'If I could answer it, maybe I could help him. But I don't want to figure out what's going on in his head. I rather keep mine clear.'
     
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  37. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Get your act together, Roscoe! Poor guy had some rough times. Roscoe needs a good job and a financial consultant.
     
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  38. uxnaitoahz

    uxnaitoahz Rookie

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    Cry me a river.
     
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  39. oscar_2424

    oscar_2424 Legend

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    very sad story
     
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  40. MARK ANDERS

    MARK ANDERS Rookie

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    I've played tennis a few times right next to Tamara at Loyola Marymount Univ. courts. She is on the team there.
     
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  41. sandiegotennisboy

    sandiegotennisboy Banned

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    low-lives can be tennis players too. just ask henin and capriati.
     
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  42. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    What does it mean to "serve like Roscoe Tanner"?

    Someone told me that I served like Roscoe Tanner.

    I have a very good serve for my level (4.5) in terms of power and placement. People tell me it's hard to read because I just throw up the ball and hit it - sort of an abbreviated motion, where my racquet arm doesn't really go down and all the way around. I just bend my knees, lock down beneath my shoulder and uncoil. I guess my ball toss is relatively low as well, though not super low like Kevin Curren.

    Honestly, I had never heard this before. I think my service motion has changed over the years. Having heard the comments, I can see what people are talking about, but it doesn't feel weird to me. But for some reason, it has me thinking about it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2008
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  43. Supernatural_Serve

    Supernatural_Serve Professional

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    He tossed the ball low, had a very fast preparation, hit with awesome power, flat as can be, barely clearing the net, with deadly accurate placement.
     
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  44. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    I don't think my motion is that fast, though it is abbreviated. And, I don't always hit flat, but a combination of flat and spin serves. Plus, my net clearance ranges from low to relatively high on spin serves. The Roscoe Tanner comment came from someone I was playing against it. Since, I have never seen Tanner serve, I had no idea how accurate of a statement it was.

    I guess it's sort of ridiculous to be compared to a pro, since I'm obviously not. I Googled "Roscoe Tanner" and "Service Motion" and one link discussed abbreviated service motions and mentioned Tanner and Roddick. I think my motion would be more similar to Roddick's (though obviously weaker) based on my own non-video analysis.
     
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  45. tacoben

    tacoben Semi-Pro

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    I remember Roscoe Tanner when I followed tennis back in the late '70s to early '80s. I remember a commentator analyzing his service motion...saying that Roscoe hit the ball as it was going up during the toss, as opposed to hitting it at peak or when coming down. He had the faster serve (of his era). I recall seeing a video of him knocking down the net with one of his serves.
     
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  46. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    Tanner didn't let the ball drop at all during the toss. He always hit it at its peak, or while it was still going up.
     
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  47. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    Usually, this means that you used a short ball toss, typically that you hit the ball without any drop on the toss. No one really knows how tanner served, other than his toss. I think the closest pro is Lubecik
     
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  48. tacoben

    tacoben Semi-Pro

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    One thing to keep in mind, he was using a standard size racquet back then, with a very tight tension (I think his racquet was a metal Head pro?), so in order to generate the speed he was hitting, he had to get the ball on the sweet spot with great consistency with minimal variance. I don't recall how fast his speed was when it was clocked, but it would be interesting to know if his speed compares to today's players.
     
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  49. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    He used the PDP Open (a precursor to the widebody technology of the 80's).
     
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  50. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    Who??

    In my opinion, the closest pro (motion wise) to Tanner's is Daniele Bracciali
     
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