Author Topic: Your Brush With Tennis Greatness  (Read 2283 times)

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Offline Jeffro

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Your Brush With Tennis Greatness
« on: February 11, 2005, 10:36:45 PM »
Ever had any instances where you actually interacted with pro players?  My brush with greatness came in 1984 (I was a sophomore in HS)  when McEnroe was at the top of his game.  He played an exhibition match against Vilas in Charleston, West Virginia.  My high school tennis coach got to be one of the line judges for the match, and he took several of us along to be ball boys/girls.  I actually got to fetch tennis balls for the #1 player in the world.  I was at the back of the court and would bounce balls to them as they were serving (we were told to make sure the ball bounced waist high).  I was so nervous the first time I had to feed Vilas a ball, I bounced it above his head!  He actually head-butted the ball back to me and smiled.  I got McEnroe's autograph and a can of the tennis balls they played with (complete with some of the saw dust Mcenroe used to put in his pockets to keep his hands dry).
"A man's got to know his limitations." - Clint

Offline Tennis4you

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Your Brush With Tennis Greatness
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2005, 10:38:38 PM »
Oh geeez, I think I just drooled on the drawings I am working on.  U lucky dog!  I never knew you did that!  

I have no brush with greatness.  I have been to Cinncy for some tournaments but never asked for an autograph or anything.
  :(
Good Luck on the Court!!!
Scott Baker
http://www.tennis4you.com

Offline Jeffro

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Your Brush With Tennis Greatness
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2005, 10:39:38 PM »
I have pictures somewhere around here to prove it, plus I think I still have McEnroe's autograph somewhere.
"A man's got to know his limitations." - Clint

Offline Tennis4you

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Your Brush With Tennis Greatness
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2005, 10:40:02 PM »
u rock!  Post the pics yo, post the pics!!!
Good Luck on the Court!!!
Scott Baker
http://www.tennis4you.com

Offline Jamesdster

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Your Brush With Tennis Greatness
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2005, 10:40:07 PM »
In 1999 I sat at a breakfast table in a luxorious Santa Monica hotel next to Pete Sampras.  He was by himself, eating eggs, bacon, toast and coffee and wearing jeans and a Nike sweatshirt.  I talked to him for a couple of minutes.  So cool!  Then that night, the Minn. T-Wolves strode into the hotel and I talked to Kevin McHale (GM).  I saw Kevin Garnett in the lobby.
I was at this casino minding my own business, and this guy came up to me and said, "You're gonna have to move, you're blocking a fire exit." As though if there was a fire, I wasn't gonna run. If you're flammible and have legs, you are never blocking a fire exit.  - Mitch Hedberg

Offline Tennis4you

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Your Brush With Tennis Greatness
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2005, 10:41:07 PM »
Holy crap, I need to get out of my office more often!  11:42 p.m. and I am working, and oh yeah, it is Friday night.
Good Luck on the Court!!!
Scott Baker
http://www.tennis4you.com

Offline Arcforce

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Your Brush With Tennis Greatness
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2005, 10:43:06 PM »
Well -- I've told this story before but I got to go see the Williams' Sisters at an exhibition match down in Atlanta, Georgia a couple months ago. My tennis coaches son hits with us sometimes and he was pro for a very short amount of time. He'd played all of his life but by the time he actually got on the pro circuit -- the money ran dry way quicker than he could be successful and such. Anyhow, he used to hit with Venus all the time when they were younger because my coach used to keep in touch with Richard Williams.

So we went down to see them and it was lots of fun. I didn't get their autographs but I could've -- I was just being an idiot lol. But I got to say hey to Venus and Serena and Venus even turned and smiled at me! like -- she looked directly at me. It was like the most surreal moment.

The ulitmate apex of my Williams Sister obsession. lol

Offline Tennis4you

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Your Brush With Tennis Greatness
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2005, 10:45:02 PM »
nice!  Once again, confirming I need out of this office!
Good Luck on the Court!!!
Scott Baker
http://www.tennis4you.com

Offline Jeffro

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Your Brush With Tennis Greatness
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2005, 10:47:20 PM »
Excellent, ArcForce.  Are the Williams as big as they appear on TV?  Venus looks really tall, and Serena looks like she could kick my butt.
"A man's got to know his limitations." - Clint

Offline maranatha tennis

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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2005, 11:26:10 PM »
this list is huge. Sampras, Agassi, The Blake bros, the Bryan bros, Nestor and Knowles, Mark P. Williams sisters and a couple dozen others.

Played with several also including Tracy Austin and Marty Reissen and lost badly playing against Bobby Riggs.

Most are just from hanging around tennis for almost 40 years. Sampras and Agassi were the two I remember the most for being so approachable. I also got autographed racquets from severals pro who donate for a charity auction following the tourney here.

The one Pete signed is still mine however. I never offered it up for auction and may still sell it if the price is right.

Thirty years ago there were tennis exhibitions all over the US. I was able to see Stan Smith, Nastase, Conners and several aussies. Heck , go to an event instead of just watching. The event even comes to OHIO! Go.

If I lived there I would have already gotten passes! Oh, heck maybe Scott will come here for the Franklin Templeton Classic one of these years. I know AZ has left a bad taste in your mouth with those stinging losses!

PS

Offline Tennis4you

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« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2005, 11:30:12 PM »
Nah, it was a tough loss, but tons of fun.  Although AZ chapped my lips in 12 hours flat, simply amazing!  I did not see that one coming.

Anyone else want to make me feel bad for sitting in my office?  My gosh people, I need to hang out with you more often and maybe I will meet some pros!
Good Luck on the Court!!!
Scott Baker
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Offline val

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Your Brush With Tennis Greatness
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2005, 03:20:37 PM »
Summer of 1975 I lived in England and Arthur Ashe came to the base to visit friends of friends who lived there.  I didn't see or meet Ashe, but we got tickets to his semifinal match at Wimbledon, which he won and went on and defeated Jimmy Connors.

Best live event I've ever been at...

Offline gelis

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Your Brush With Tennis Greatness
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2005, 05:30:45 PM »
Late 80s, I think it was ...

I knew he was in town for an exhibition, but I did not expect to run into him in the lobby of the Peninsula Hotel. Heck, I didn't even know he was staying there!!  

Anyway, I was standing in the lobby waiting for my car when this bearded blonde guy dressed in tennis whites came around the corner, swinging his racket, and started walking in my direction ... I nearly fainted. HIM. IN THE FLESH. BJORN BORG.

As he passed by I managed to croak, "Mr. Borg ..." He stopped and smiled graciously at me, and waited politely for me to speak.

I never did. My hands were clammy, I think I was hyperventilating, and before I could make a spectacle of myself, my companion dragged me away. I wasn't even able to get his autograph!!

But that's how I am in the presence of celebrity. I freeze. And, heaven knows, Bjorn Borg was drop-dead gorgeous!

Offline Tennis4you

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« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2005, 05:32:40 PM »
Oh no, that is too funny, and yet a trajedy!  Maybe next time.  :)
Good Luck on the Court!!!
Scott Baker
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Offline Arcforce

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Your Brush With Tennis Greatness
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2005, 05:59:24 PM »
Jeffro --

Naw, they aren't as big as they look. Venus, surprisngly, is really more lanky than she looks. I know that most of the time we see her bulging muscles and such but she looked pretty lanky and just tall. I couldn't see much muscle like i thot I would.

Serena isn't very tall at all -- And I guess she's pretty average looking. Her guns aren't as big as you'd think.

Overall -- they look like pretty normal chicks despite how big & strong they appear on television.