Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Face From The Past

Retired tennis players age fast.

This fellow, a Grand Slam champ and former number one in the world, was one of the idols of my youth. I modeled my baseline game after his, religiously, for three or four years. I met him on a couple of occasions and actually hit a few balls with him one afternoon.

I took a few lessons from his main coach, who made a few appearances at a tennis camp I attended in the Austrian Alps. When I was in high school, I attended the camp every summer in order to learn how to play on clay.

This fellow is retired now, and I suspect that even the most dedicated tennis fan will be hard-pressed to identify him.

He has been away from the game only for ten years. He is only 41 years old. And yet he is barely recognizable.

From the photograph, I could pass him on the street today and not even know him.

He has aged that much.


  1. So who is the lad? One of the Aussies?

    I pay no attention to sport.

    He appears to be inebriated.