Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Nostalgia for the good ole days of tennis

Just finished in almost one complete go - The Rivals: Chris Evert vs. Martina Navratilova Their Epic Duels and Extraordinary Friendship (Johnette Howard).

It made me so nostalgic for the good ‘ole days’ of tennis – players wore white and there was none of this flesh baring, over the top bling. OMG I’m turning conservative;-)

As I used to stay up late watching Wimbledon with Martina and Chrissie battling it, out the book was a fascinating read. Howard maps out the contrast between the playing styles of Martina and Evert, connecting them to broader reflections on American identity and politics.

Plus the start of the womens’ tour sounded like such a blast, with players sleeping over with family and friends, sharing pizza the night before matches against each other!

Martina sounded like a real hoot – there is this picture of her hugging a net post after winning one her first tournaments in US because she didn’t know anyone well enough to hug. Classic!

The last section was particularly moving account of their divergent paths – Evert to retirement (and of course now Greg Norman!) and Navratilova to still playing on the tour in doubles.

1 comment:

scp said...

I'll have to read this one. I was a big tennis fan in the 80s/90s.
I've heard that the women's tour in the 90s was quite bitchy and unfriendly. The Steffi Graf/Seles era.

Of course in the late 90s it got really bitchy... remember how they all ganged up on Mauresmo!! oh and then before that Seles was lynched...before she was stabbed by the fan...

gotto put it on my to read list.

I find it incredible that N is still playing!