My wife and I had the pleasure of attending the RCA Championships
in August 2002. A particularly unusual doubles match consisted
of Jeff Tarango and his partner, (sorry I've forgotten his
name), vs. Luke Jensen and his brother, Murphy. Watching the
warm up, we knew it was going to be a different kind of match
. All were left handers except Luke. Luke started returning
balls with his one handed, (right handed), forehand. Then
he would return some with his one handed, (left handed), forehand.
Then he would return with his one handed, (right hand) back
hand. Finally, warming up his serve, he served some right
handed, then served some left handed.
During play, Luke generally used a rightys forehand and
backhand and served with his right hand. When he thought a
change up was in order, he served left handed or used his
left hand for a forehand . Now, I don't mean he just got the
ball in play. His left handed serve seemed just as good as
his right. And his left hand forehand drive was very pretty.
I did notice if starting serve with his left hand he would
serve that whole game with his left hand, though I don't belive
the rules require this.
Murphy wasn't having a good day. He is about 6 ft 5 in but,
was having difficulty with his serve and keeping the ball
in play. Finally, he could contain his frustration no longer
and he broke his racquet, ... over his foot! He simply bent
the frame in an arc over his foot with one severe blow. This
brought a warning from the umpire for racquet abuse.
To this, Tarango shouted quite loudly from across the net,
"That's not racquet abuse! Not from a guy as big as that!"
The next changeover as Murphy and Luke took their side,
Tarango walked past Murphy's bag from their bench, stopped
and rummaged around inside it, as the umpire gazed down on
him. He found the bent racquet, pulled it out, and proceeded
to smash it on the court! This brought an outburst and plea
to the umpire from Luke and Murphy but no warning was given.
Apselfly it's all right to smash your opponents racquet, but
not your own.
The Jensen's lost the match in straight sets but it was great
fun to watch.
After it was over, Luke very kindly signed autographs and
graciously talked to the fans at length . He seemed in no
hurry to get back to his hotel. Luke is a colorful tennis
announcer but, he is also a tennis gentleman and a credit
to the sport. Thank you, Luke. I look forward to seeing you