Saturday/ still running down the drop shots

My older brother and I on a green clay court at the Miami Intercontinental hotel, circa 1990. It was our first trip to the USA and we were visiting my younger brother, who was playing on the professional tennis circuit (the ATP) at the time.

As a tennis player (ex-tennis player?, since I play so rarely these days), I found this article about little-known 35-year old tennis pro Michael Russell, that Businessweek calls ‘tennis’s #1 loser’, very interesting.  His wife travels full-time with him in a supporting role (picks up his rackets from the stringer, buys groceries, sits in the stands when it’s almost empty).  ‘The sport is basically about how well you can cope with losing’, says Michael.  He can still chase down balls few other humans can, but at 5’8″ is at a disadvantage against tall, lean players.  They mention a weekend trip to Richard Branson’s private island where rich guys pay to play with the pros, and say ‘it was awesome; the only thing is it kind of ruins everything else for you afterwards’. Tennis players don’t have to deal with concussions, but the game is rough on the joints. Michael has had his share of injuries : knee surgery, and has torn his rotator cuff (tendons in the shoulder joint).

Business Week

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