I have pretty much spend the entire year reading (and writing) about tennis, and so as the year draws to an end I thought I’d pay homage to the writers and bloggers who have kept me entertained, emotional, and informed. I begin this look back with a countdown of my twenty favorite tennis articles from 2012, and then at the bottom I feature 10 blogs that have been staples in my life this year.
I limited myself to one article per writer, but the list was still excruciatingly hard to make because there was so much stellar tennis writing this year. I’ve included an excerpt from each feature, but the excerpts really don’t do the pieces justice, so please click on the articles and take some time to read them all if you haven’t already. And, of course, please sound off in the comments below with pieces I’ve forgotten about.
Top 20 Tennis Articles
20. “Robin Soderling Not Giving In Just yet” by Ravi Ubha for ESPN (November 26)
Ravi Ubha consistently writes great pieces for ESPN throughout the Slams and Masters, and his top 100 memories from the tennis season are a must-read. But I was most excited when he caught up with Robin Soderling at the end of the year. It was both comforting and heartbreaking to read about Soderling’s continuing battle with mono, the birth of his daughter, and his desire to play tennis again.
As 2013 approaches, Soderling — unranked after occupying the fifth spot when his hiatus began — doesn’t know whether he will ever play professionally again. At times, the uncertainty is almost unbearable.
“The hope, the hopelessness, then the hope again, then the hopelessness — that really kills me,” Soderling said. “I feel really good, then I start to practice, and then I think maybe in a couple of months I can come back and I really believe it. Then I do a bit too much and wake up one morning not feeling well again.”
19.” The Subtlest Player at Wimbledon” by Tom Perrotta for The Wall Street Journal (July 2)
Whether it’s the Taylor Townsend situation or the equal pay squabbles, Tom Perrotta always reports on breaking news with fairness and accuracy. But he’s also a fan of the sport and an excellent writer, and his love for the game and attention to detail really shine through in this Agnieszka Radwanska profile from Wimbledon. She was only in the quarterfinals when he decided to take note of how different her game was from her competitors, and his spot-on description of her unique playing style and personality stuck with me throughout the year. It was certainly a piece suitable for a future finalist.
Radwanska’s on-court manner is peculiar, too. She merely exhales when she strikes the ball, rather than loudly grunting like many of her WTA colleagues. She doesn’t turn her back to the court after points. She wastes no time and bounces the ball no more than four times before serving. She says she can play with any racket and likes to use one for an entire match, unlike most players, who routinely grab frames with fresh strings.
18. “Revolution Inspires Malek Jaziri” by Kamakshi Tandon for ESPN (July 25)
Like her colleague Ravi Ubha, Kamakshi Tandon’s great writing, reporting and passion for the sport help keep ESPN’s tennis coverage beating year-round. Her emotional profile of Tunisian player Malek Jaziri brought to life a story that needed to be told. Just one spot away from Olympic qualification, he was granted an ITF Wildcard to participate in the games. But it was his recollections from his war-torn country that provided some much-needed perspective heading into the Olympics.
Just over a year and a half ago, Jaziri moved back to the capital city of Tunis after spending time in Barcelona to train and rehab knee and ankle injuries. The timing was fateful. A week later, the Tunisian revolution arrived on his doorstep.
Jaziri was on the tennis court when he heard the sound of helicopters and gunfire. People began screaming and rushing. Needless to say, that day’s training session was not completed.
“It was very tough, very tough,” he said, recalling the chaos of the early days. “First thing, you cannot travel because airport was closed. Second, you cannot practice, because if you run — they have guns and everything.
17. “Dinara Safina: Missing From U.S. Open, Enjoying Quiet Life” by Doug Robson for USA Today (August 30)
Doug Robson and the USA Today team are on top of every single story in tennis. If you’re not following him on Twitter you should do so now. But out of all his great articles this year, I most appreciated when he went out of his way to get the scoop on a story that most of the tennis media had forgotten about — the former No. 1 and not-quite-retired Dinara Safina. It was so wonderful to be updated on her quiet life right before the hustle and bustle of the US Open.
She lives alone in Moscow — she deflected questions about her private life — even if others wonder how she could trade the high-octane excitement of world-class tennis for a simpler existence.
“They don’t understand and ask me, ‘How come you don’t miss the adrenaline?’ ” Safina says. “I say, it was too much. When you are No. 1 the pressure you have every morning, every time you step on the court, it’s a lot. Maybe it was a little bit too much. That’s why an injury came at that moment because at some point it was too much on my shoulders.”
16. “Azarenka steamrolls Sharapova to win Australian Open, take No. 1” by Jon Wertheim for Sports Illustrated (January 28)
I cannot imagine the tennis community without Jon Wertheim. His Mailbags have been required reading for me for as long as I can remember, and no Grand Slam is complete without his 50 Parting Thoughts. However it’s also a treat when we get a chance to read his complete take on a specific match. Nobody puts things in the tennis universe into context quite like Wertheim, and after a particularly stunning Australian Open Women’s Final, he drew some striking parallels and helped us all come to terms with the dawning of Victoria Azarenka.
Let’s start with a story. On a summer day almost eight years ago, a young woman reached her first Grand Slam final and was pitted against an accomplished, experienced, heavy-hitting star. There were concerns that deer-in-headlight syndrome would strike, as it so often does. But this young player absorbed the power of her opponent, stared down the occasion and walked off with the trophy.
15. “Brian Baker: The Wonder That Tennis Forgot” by Jason Gay for The Wall Street Journal (May 21)
There were few tennis stories in 2012 as powerful as the comeback of Brian Baker, and nobody told that story as comprehensively or as artistically as Jason Gay did. Gay has a knack for going straight to the heart of a story, and by putting his junior accomplishments into the proper perspective and setting the stage for Baker’s struggles and comeback, he managed to cover every heart-warming angle of this improbable tale.
He is the unfrozen phenom.
Brian Baker was going to be a tennis star. That’s where this was headed. A decade ago, Baker was one of the best junior tennis players in the world, the wiry kid from Nashville, Tenn., with the punishing game, so good he would later reach the boys’ final of the French Open in 2003. His early résumé contained wins over characters you may know. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Tomas Berdych. Novak Djokovic. That’s right. The Djoker, the relentless No. 1 in the world, winner of four of the last five Grand Slams. That guy. Baker passed on college scholarships and pushed right into the pros. He had a clothing deal and a racket deal and a future. Life was good.
14. “USTA’s Message to Teen All Wrong” by Greg Couch for Fox Sports (September 11)
Greg Couch knocked it out of the park with his take on the Taylor Townsend debacle. He dropped the gauntlet by addressing the racial, gender, power, social, and moral implications of the USTA’s controversial decision to stop funding the teenage tennis star due to concerns over her fitness. Unlike so many of his colleagues, he held nothing back while writing about the issue, and left me wishing that all writers in the tennis community would be so brave.
A teenage girl whose natural and healthy body type doesn’t fit into a size zero, or onto the cover of a magazine, is already under enough pressure. You cannot tell her that her problem is “fitness” without her hearing the word “fatness.”
You can’t add punishment for it, hold back money for her future, threaten her family’s finances. Bluntly: You can’t be sure if that action will push her to train harder or force her to put a finger down her throat.
13. “Why Aren’t There More Female Coaches in the WTA?” by Bobby Chintapalli for USA Today (June 6)
Bobby Chintapalli is a freelance tennis writer who writes for Tennis.com and USA Today, and her take on women’s tennis is always a touch above the rest. Her in-depth look at the lack of female coaches in tennis was absolutely superb. She explored every angle of the complex issue, and while she might not have left us with any answers, she did leave readers with a better understanding of the gender politics at play in modern-day tennis.
The comments don’t surprise Tracy Almeda-Singian, 32, a former player who now is Tour & Social Media Marketing Manager at Wilson Sporting Goods. She says sports in general is male-dominated and that things can be tough for her as a woman in the industry. She wishes there were more female coaches but understands why there aren’t.
“A lot of it is the emotional support and the social aspect,” she says. “Tennis doesn’t let you have a normal life. The only guys you’re exposed to are coaches, hitting partners and the people that work around the tournament. So when the girls look for coaches it’s like, ‘Do I like hanging out with this person? Does he hit the ball well?’ That’s a lot of it, more than people would care to admit probably.”
12. “Rafael Nadal: To Beat the Devil” by Howard Bryant for ESPN (February 2)
Howard Bryant is a senior writer for ESPN, and we are lucky that he loves tennis. In this phenomenal piece written right after the grueling Australian Open final, Bryant digs deep inside the psyche of Rafael Nadal to explore his problem with Novak Djokovic. It’s a chilling take on the once lopsided rivalry, and is a great reminder of the dominant narrative during the first half of the tennis season.
You’re Rafael Nadal and you’re in hell. Your hell is knowing that Novak Djokovic, the man in front of you, the man who took your No. 1 ranking from you, has now beaten you seven straight times, all of them in finals, the last three in Grand Slams. Your hell is knowing that the old conventions, which were good enough to beat back Roger Federer and Andy Murray, and won you 10 major titles, do not work against this one opponent. Your hell is knowing that today Novak Djokovic is a better tennis player than you.
11. “For Mardy Fish, a Season of Pulsing Events” by Christopher Clarey for The New York Times (June 25)
Christopher Clarey’s pieces for The New York Times are always a must-read. However I most appreciate when he sits down one-on-one with the players and gets them to open up like nobody else can. His poignant interview with Mardy Fish at Wimbledon about his heart troubles was particularly memorable, as he exposed the mental and physical limitations facing the American as he tried to balance his desire to compete with the fear for his life.
Though Fish is still ranked 12th, and seeded 10th at Wimbledon, he has played only one match since March, when he woke up in the middle of the night in his hotel room after losing to Juan Mónaco in the quarterfinals at the Masters 1000 event in Miami.
Fish said his heart was racing, and that he could find no way to slow it down, not as he lay in bed and not as he paced his room with increasing panic.
“I honestly felt in Miami like I was going to die,” Fish said.
10. “The Limits of Control” by Eric Freeman for The Classical (January 30)
At the beginning of the year Novak Djokovic seemed to be the only tennis story worth telling. After he won his third Grand Slam in a row, fifth overall, by beating Rafael Nadal in a nearly six hour battle royale in Australia, many writers tried to capture the brilliance of his game and domination. Nobody came close to doing this as well as Eric Freeman did for The Classical. It was an ode worthy of a Champion.
Perhaps, though, that uncertain response to his indisputable achievement has something to do with the nature of Djokovic’s game. If the description above paints a picture of Djokovic as some kind of impudent young upstart, then his game evinces a level of point-winning logic typically associated with a grizzled veteran. He wins like a specially engineered victory machine, ruthlessly pulverizing his opponents until they submit. It’s neither a defensive or offensive style, but some unholy hybrid of the two. If his game has a weakness, I haven’t seen it. He’s so good, in fact, that his victories can seem perfunctory, his structural advantage so apparent from the get-go that the rest of the match becomes a slightly more formal version of tennis garbage time.
9. “Grass-Court Report: Veterans Day” by Hannah Wilks for Tennis.com (June 15)
My one wish for 2013 is that we get to read more articles by Hannah Wilks. It’s always a treat when the tennis.com contributor gets to cover an event and share her unique and personal tennis insights with us, and her fresh take and literary stylings always leave me wanting more. In this piece she took us on a meandering, reflective, and touching stroll through a day at Queens Club and allowed us to momentarily see the tennis world through her eyes.
It was the finest match the Argentine has played all week, but the lingering memory I will take from it — beyond the sublime shot-making — was precipitated by another Nalbandian tumble on to the grass. Despite the seriousness with which both had competed, and the ill-tempered complaints from Malisse about the spectators and line-calling, seeing his opponent on the ground, Malisse jogged to the net and asked, ‘You all right, David?’. Nalbandian lifted a hand in acknowledgement, heaved himself to his feet and the match resumed without losing a whit of its furious intensity. But it was a nice moment between two veterans, both of whom are on the wrong side of too many injuries, an acknowledgement of a kinship beyond the struggles of the present.
8. “Roddick Is Having His Last Laugh” by Karen Crouse of The New York Times (September 2)
There were a lot of great pieces written about Andy Roddick when he announced his retirement suddenly at the US Open, but this profile from Karen Crouse, who covered the outspoken American throughout his career, hit all the right notes. It’s personal, funny, enlightening, and it lovingly sums up all aspects of his hard-to-summarize personality. As I struggled with my own emotions surrounding the retirement of my favorite player, this piece helped me come to terms with his wonderful career.
He was precocious, yes, but his defining characteristic has been his persistence. Roddick never had the luxury of coasting, of taking his gifts for granted. How else but through grit and guts does a player with a balky backhand and a butcher’s touch at the net finish in the top 10 in the world for eight consecutive years?
Roddick’s serve is such a blur, people have a hard time discerning where his talent ends and his work ethic begins. He’s a classic overachiever who was cast as the suave leading man of American men’s tennis, a role that, true to his nature, he worked earnestly and endlessly to wholly inhabit.
7. “Murray Rewrites Script With Dream Breakthrough at U.S. Open” by S.L. Price for Sports Illustrated (September 11)
One of the reasons I look forward to Slams is because we get features from S.L. Price over at Sports Illustrated. His combination of access, insight, and word-play always makes my day. This hysterical and heartwarming profile on Andy Murray is perfect in every way. From the way it describes the hair, to the details about the “gobsmacked” British press corps, to the Sean Connery quotes, Price provides a full-color profile of the often-misunderstood Scot after his maiden Grand Slam title.
By the second set his hair had been so swirled and tufted by the wind it seemed like his skull was sprouting wings. First it seemed endearing, in a nutty professor kind of way, but then the lost games started piling up Monday night in Flushing Meadows and the gusts yanked the strands higher, and Andy Murray got this Thing 2 look going: Tennis pro drawn by Dr. Seuss. Now, in the fourth, with Novak Djokovic surging, up a break and about to make it 3-1, with Murray’s best chance at a Grand Slam title starting to slip away, the whole hairy mess was nearly standing on end. The man looked scared to death.
6. “It’s Not About The Racket” by Steve Tignor for Tennis.com (August 27)
Pretty much every thing Steve Tignor writes turns to gold, but his haunting and intimate exploration of the tennis community in the post-Armstrong era really stuck with me. As he walked around the US Open and reflected on the golden era of men’s tennis and Armstrong’s fall from grace, he perfectly articulated why we need our athletes to be clean and how much this sport has to lose if they aren’t.
Tennis fans watch Roger and Rafa and Serena and Novak not just for their dazzling shot-making and athleticism. We watch because we want to relate to, take something from, and join in their struggles and triumphs. Whether the athletes like it or not, they represent us, and show us things about human frailty and possibility. This group of tennis players has done that better, and more thrillingly, than any group I’ve seen. Doug Robson is right, we should relish and marvel at them. It has felt good just to be around to see what they’ve done, and to take a tiny part in it. Watching Lance Armstrong or Roger Clemens or Marion Jones or Barry Bonds wasn’t any less entertaining or amazing because they probably cheated to do it. But it didn’t tell us anything good about ourselves.
5. “The Favorite” by Brian Phillips of Grantland (September 6)
Brian Phillips has just done some phenomenal tennis writing for Grantland this year, and his Wimbledon diaries stole the show. But his profile of Serena Williams during the US Open was sensational. He explored why he liked Venus better when they burst on the scene, the unnerving way they uprooted the WTA, and how he has come to love and appreciate Serena Williams. Most importantly, he addressed the controversy surrounding the Williams Sisters and didn’t shy away from addressing the racial politics at play. It was a bold, refreshing, and brilliantly astute take Serena Williams and the way we all react to her.
And they were controversial. I mean, John Rocker was “controversial”; the Williams sisters were divisive in ways that almost defy analysis. Simply by virtue of being black, confident, from Compton, and physically on a different plane from their competitors, they raised a swarm of issues — about race, class, gender, who was inside, who was outside, what we were supposed to identify with in sports — that society, much less the WTA Tour, barely had the vocabulary to address.
4. “Where Was My Mind Wandering?” by Geoffrey Gray of New York Magazine (July 1)
At this point it feels like we must know all there is to know about Roger Federer, but this brilliant and extensive profile by Geoffrey Gray proved that there are still things left to discover. Written before Wimbledon, Gray spent one-on-one time with Federer himself and got his thoughts on Novak’s dominance, the importance of being lucky, and the pressures of success. But he also talked with his current and former coaches to get an inside look at the man behind the myth. There is so much information in this piece that whatever your opinion is on Federer can likely be supported. Gray painted a complex, entertaining, and sometimes absurd portrait of the legend.
As a teenager, Federer also liked to listen to the Backstreet Boys and watch pro wrestling. (“I always liked the Undertaker a little bit—now I like the Rock a lot,” Federer said in 2002.) Lundgren wasn’t a wrestling fan, but he loved to play video games with Federer. They had epic duels. Lundgren rarely beat him, but when he did, Federer would get so furious he would rip the video console out from the television and throw it across the room, Lundgren recalled. “He’d tell me, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll just buy another one.’
3.”Crying in the Wilderness” by Louisa Thomas for Grantland (July 9)
Like Brian Phillips, every piece Louisa Thomas writes for Grantland is required reading. But after a controversial and emotional Wimbledon when Gilles Simon did his part to bring the war on women to the tennis circuit, she did her best work with this powerful essay on tears, Title X, equal pay, Serena’s serve, and what the fight for equality is really all about. It’s a long and introspective article that doesn’t try to simplify a complex and polarizing issue, and every single part of it hit home for me.
Do I think Serena deserved £1.15 million for her victory? Of course! Insofar as anyone deserves £1.15 million for hitting a ball across a net. Her value, her worth, is inestimable. If it takes equal pay to say that, then show me the money. But I don’t think the money mattered nearly as much, to her or to me, as her pride.
When Radwanska addressed the crowd after her loss, she, like Murray, was fighting tears. They meant something different than his did, but I was just as struck by them. Radwanska was not happy to lose. When all the world had thought she’d cower, she had played her game. Maybe tears mean something after all. Not weakness, though. Something more like self-respect.
2. “Venus and Serena Against the World” by John Jeremiah Sullivan for New York Times Magazine (August 26)
The Williams Sisters have been around for so long that we often take them for granted, but thanks to this fabulous profile by John Jeremiah Sullivan that came out right before the US Open, we were reminded how remarkable they are and how lucky we are to have them in our sport. The piece begins by looking back at a publicity video that Richard Williams made when the girls were still in elementary school, and follows them to their current superstar status through exclusive interviews with the sisters and the rest of their tight-knit family. Venus describes the best shot of her life, Serena talks about the punishment she received from her religion after her foot-fault outburst at the 2009 US Open, and Sullivan reveals an answer to a question that I have had for some time — Venus and Serena do indeed go door-to-door as Jehova’s Witnesses to spread the word! The entire piece is worth studying, but I thought Sullivan did a particularly brilliant job shedding light on the often-controversial character of Richard Williams.
…Richard Williams remains an eternally elusive and evasive figure. I find him powerfully and movingly American somehow. His whole personality seems to have evolved as a complex reaction-structure to an insecurity so profound that it must remain secret, especially from him. Throughout his daughters’ careers, he has gone about fanning a splendor of boxing-promoter language, of lies, half-truths, boasts, misstatements, non sequiturs, buffoonery, needless exaggerations, megalomania, paranoia — as well as here and there genuinely wise, amusing lines — all of which, you begin to feel, are designed (subconsciously, yes, but no less shrewdly) to deflect attention away from a still, small center, the place where he dwells and operates. It’s there that he is who he is, whoever he is.
1. “The Nouvelle Vague of French Tennis” by Reeves Wiedeman for Grantland (June 7)
Despite all the brilliant tennis writing from the year, there really was no question in my mind as to which piece would hold the top spot. Wiedeman’s in-depth look at the failures of French tennis offers a fascinating and novice take on an issue that is too often skimmed over. At the French Open Wiedeman spent time with Philippe Bouin, a retired writer from the France daily newspaper L’Équipe, and attempted to get to the bottom of just exactly why French tennis players can’t seem to win the big ones. From the hysterically accurate description of Paire’s game, to the insight into Gael’s fragile psyche, to the study of French culture at large, it’s just a must-read article that provides an out-of-the-box and informative look at some of the games most famous and lovable headcases.
And the most successful of them all, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, recently declared — publicly and without reservation — that he and all the other French players had no chance of winning the French Open this year. It was shocking to hear, even if he was right. Tsonga met Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals earlier this week, where he lost in five grueling sets. French television switched to the news midway through the final set, with Tsonga down two breaks. He was the last remaining French player of either gender in the tournament, and perhaps network executives didn’t think their audience was ready for more heartbreak. Or perhaps they simply didn’t care. “The problem in France is that ambition is not a compliment,” Bouin told me, between drags. “It’s almost a bad word. ‘Ha, look, he’s ambitious.’ So that’s a very difficult situation for an athlete: As soon as you try to be ambitious you have people mocking you. For instance, we would never have made the war in Iraq. On the other hand, we may never win anything.
10 Blogs I Couldn’t Live Without
I spend too much of my internet time on twitter and perusing tennis blogs, and a few of them have become a daily part of my routine. A lot of them have fabulous feature pieces too that could have easily been squeezed into the countdown above, but it’s really the day-to-day updates and individual personalities and specialties that keep me coming back. Without further adieu, here are 10 blogs and bloggers in 2012 that I couldn’t live without:
1. Ben Rothenberg, The New York Times ‘Straight Sets‘
Must-read: His interview with Murray on Ashe Stadium hours after his US Open victory was just perfect.
Ben Rothenberg is the ultimate tennis nerd (said with love), and he does stellar work for The New York Times year-round. It’s a treat for the tennis community to have someone writing for a such a prominent publication who pays attention to the off-beat and overlooked players and knows what fans are looking for. His description of Granollers’ grunt from the French Open kept me laughing all year.
Must-read: Her article on Lisa Raymond written back in April provided great insight into how the doubles superstar is getting better with age.
It’s been about a year and a half since Courtney Nguyen took her blogging skills to Sports Illustrated, and in that time Beyond The Baseline has become a go-to spot for news from around the tennis community. There’s a good mixture of gossip, opinion, and analysis, and she’s right on top of every story. I particularly enjoy checking in on her Daily Bagel, where she rounds up tennis news from around the web.
Must-read: She was all over the Wozzilroy story at the Olympics!
Nobody in the tennis world is as on top of the off-court happenings as Elena. Her blog is a constant stream of fashions, tweets, publicity appearances, celebrity sightings, and gossip from the tennis community. She always finds the perfect pictures to tell us the stories that we want to know, and it’s always a blast to stop by her site and to be reminded that tennis is fun. All of her posts are quick, cute, and informative
Must-read: Her take on the Taylor Townsend debacle was thorough and fascinating.
Colette Lewis is a godsend to the tennis community. Her tireless coverage of the college and junior ranks in our sport is invaluable, as so many media members and fans tend to overlook the little leagues. She treks around the world to comprehensively cover the least glamorous events in the sport, and she leaves no stone unturned. Her blog and twitter are must-follows for diehard fans.
5. Steve, Shank Tennis
Must-read: His fabulous investigation into the David Savic ban might have been No. 21 on my list of articles.
Smart, sarcastic, insightful, and always off-beat, Shank Tennis is the destination for tennis hipsters everywhere. He’ll tell you what you should be watching, and he isn’t afraid to expose the dark underbelly of tennis — as he did in his Savic piece — and he has a deep love for the absurd. Reading this blog will give you instant tennis street cred.
Must-read: As Roddick struggled through the spring, Kristy — a long-time Roddick fan – tried to make sense of it all.
Eldredge is a fabulous writer, and her thoughtful and literary take on tennis matches are always a joy to read. She doesn’t claim to know all the answers or to have the best insight into the game, but her blogs are always honest, different, and well-written. She often tackles mainstream players and topics in unique and introspective ways, and always leaves you with something to think about.
Must-read: I first discovered this blog during the clay season, and these killer recaps of the Rome Semifinals made me a fan for life. I would feel pretty safe in saying that no tennis blog is as consistently well-written as The Next Point. Somehow Pentecost makes even the most standard matches worth reading about, as he draws out the drama and details like no other. My only qualm is that he only covers men’s tennis — I’d love to read his thoughts on the WTA as well.
Must-read: Any blog that tries to figure out Andrey Golubev gets a gold star in my book.
This is the go-to-destination for anything happening on the ATP outside of the top 100. Qualification rounds and Challengers are covered like Grand Slams at this site, and it thrives by covering players who aren’t used to the spotlight. If you’ve read enough about the Big Four, this is where you need to be.
Must-read: Before anyone else was talking about her, Steve sat down with Andrea Hlackova at the Family Circle Cup and got the scoop on her relationship to the famous beer mavens.
Steve’s blog has become the mecca of all the tennis happenings on the east coast and beyond, as he keeps his site up-to-date with every event on the tennis calender. He has a few people providing coverage for him now, but nothing is as fun as when Steve himself is at a tournament and can get a sit-down with a player. He prefers to draw out the stories from the players you don’t know, and he especially keeps an eye on U.S. talent.
Must-read: Her look-back at the career of Gisela Dulko was beautiful.
This blog is heavy on the snark and heavy on the WTA, and always provides a funny and frank look at hot-button issues, hot messes, and loveable legends of past and present. It’s nice to read informative, and well-written pieces about a wide array of tennis subjects, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that laughter is usually involved. It’s always nice when a blog doesn’t take itself too seriously.
On a quick personal note, this is my last post of the year. I’ll write a longer reflection about the year later in the week, but I just wanted to say a quick thank you to all those who have visited The Changeover, followed me on twitter, or just been a part of the conversation. The support I have received from strangers on the internet — many of whom I now consider close friends — has helped me to continue to pursue and practice writing. I’ll see you in 2013 at The Changeover.