The Best and Worst of Tennis in Popular Culture or a Column about Nothing

by Dan Martin | December 19th, 2009, 9:06 pm

During the lengthy hiatus before the 2010 tennis season, I have turned my focus away from the tours and toward tennis’ relationship with popular culture. Sports and games have made major contributions to popular culture. Several great movies have used sports to tell stories. Even chess made an indelible mark 80’s music with Murray Head’s “One Night in Bangkok.” Tennis has not made any marks on popular culture that are as easy to recognize as The Hustler or Ragging Bull. While setting aside the obvious films such as the 2004 Wimbledon and 2005 Match Point, I have tried to glean the best and worst forays tennis has made into the entertainment industry.

The Bard’s Old School Contributions

William Shakespeare mentioned royal tennis, not to be confused with lawn tennis, in Hamlet, Henry V and Henry VII (see excerpts below).

Dishonorable Mentions

1. ABC launched a television family comedy named Phenom about a tennis prodigy and her family. I believe I am losing brain cells typing about this program. The theme song starts at the 1:54 mark.

2. CBS launched the television series My Big Fat Greek Life in 2003 in an attempt to capitalize on the box office success of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. The ill fated series did have a Pete Sampras themed episode. The thought of Sampras being obsessed over by the Greek subculture within the U.S. is actually funny to me at least, but not even Pistol Pete could save this awful show.

3. The Simpson’s episode “Tennis the Menace” featuring Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Venus Williams and Serena Williams fell far short of expectations. It may be too much to quote the Comic Book Guy and say, “Worst Episode Ever!”, but this episode should have been much stronger.

Honorable Mentions

1. The Seinfeld episode “The Lip Reader” centers on Jerry Seinfeld dating a line judge at the U.S. Open who happens to be deaf. Her lip reading skills are put to use as George Costanza seeks to find out why his last girlfriend broke up with him. Cosmo Kramer becomes a “ball man” at the U.S. Open and accidentally tackles Monica Seles in her big comeback. This could have been higher on the list if tennis had been more central to the plot.

2. The band Binge wrote a set of songs centered on various tennis players to be used during television broadcasts of the U.S. Open. The “best” of these songs is probably the Roger Federer song “Grand Slam Man”, but “Hey, It’s Andy Roddick” has limited merits as well. Recycling much of their Anna Kournikova themed song for their Maria Sharapova inspired song reminds me a of a guy at a club trying the same lame lines over and over again. Persistence is generally a virtue but not in this case.

The Top Five

5. Vijay Amritraj reached the quarterfinals of both the Wimbledon and U.S. Open championships. He helped India reach the Davis Cup final twice. Amritraj also had roles in two of film’s longest running movie franchises: James Bond and Star Trek. Vijay conveniently played “Vijay” in Octopussy and played an unnamed Star Fleet captain in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

4. Commercials for ESPN’s Sports Center have traditionally placed athletes in funny spots. Pete Sampras, Maria Sharapova and Roger Federer have each been featured in various sketches. Here is an example of Sampras’ fine work.

3. The Seinfeld episode “The Comeback” not only had Ben Stein playing a lawyer and George Costanza ranting about a “jerk store”, it also featured Milos who ran the pro shop at Jerry’s tennis club. Milos had a slick hair and short ponytail look that was common on the pro-tour (See Roger Federer pre-2005). It is easy to see why Jerry would buy a new racket based upon Milos’ authoritative recommendation. Milos turns out to play tennis at a ridiculously poor level. Milos dabbles “in the flesh trade” by sending his wife to seduce Jerry in order to try to keep the comedian quiet about his unbelievably bad tennis play, but it backfires. A staged showdown between Jerry and Milos is set as Milos attempts to win back his honor in the eyes of his wife. Kramer seeks out his lawyer at the same tennis club in order to amend his living will. Worlds collide as this tennis themed episode concludes.

2. The French Open has offered karaoke as a diversion for players in recent years. Lleyton Hewitt singing “Eye of the Tiger” was impressive. Rafael Nadal however made the best entry with his spirited rendition of “La Bamba.” It is also good to know that Rafa is not a sailor, he is a captain, he is a captain, he is a captain.

1. The Royal Tenenbaums portrayal of a discussion between Royal and Richie about choking on the tennis court is over the top. It is also an oddly believable representation of a conversation between a retired tennis champion and his maniacal father. Richie continuing to wear a headband after retiring from tennis reminds me a bit of Bjorn Borg, Ilie Nastase and Guillermo Vilas sporting their long hair today. I also think any tennis player who has been in a stressful on court situation would have to laugh at the idea of taking off both shoes and one sock in response to pressure. Somebody call W. Timothy Gallwey.

Any tennis moments that stand out for you more than Fletch pretending to be a club pro and giving a tennis lesson with the cover still on his racket?

Addendum – Shakespearean Tennis References

Act I, Scene II …

What treasure, uncle?

Tennis-balls, my liege.

We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us;
His present and your pains we thank you for:
When we have march’d our rackets to these balls,
We will, in France, by God’s grace, play a set
Shall strike his father’s crown into the hazard.
Tell him he hallth made a match with such a wrangler
That all the courts of France will be disturb’d
With chaces. And we understand him we,
How he comes o’er us with our wilder days,
Not measuring what use we made of them.

Act II Scene I

POLONIUS (describing Hamlet)
At ‘closes in the consequence,’ ay,
He closes with you thus: ‘I know the gentle-
I saw him yesterday, or t’ other day,
Or then, or then; with such, or such; and, as
you say,
There was a’ gaming; there o’ertook In’s rouse;
There falling out at tennis;’ or perchance,
I saw him enter such a house of sale,’
Videlicet, a brothel, or so forth.


Act I Scene III

The Lord Chamberlain & Sir Thomas Lovell are discussing new travel rules intended to cut down on French influence at court.

I am glad ’tis there: now I would
pray our monsieurs
To think an English courtier may be wise,
And never see the Louvre.
They must either— For so run the conditions—leave those remnants
Of fool and feather that they got in France,
With all their honourable points of ignorance
Pertaining thereunto,—as fights and fireworks;
Abusing better men than they can be,
Out of a foreign wisdom;— renouncing clean
The faith they have in tennis and tall stockings,
Short blister’d breeches, and those types of
And understand again like honest men;
Or pack to their old playfellows: there, I take it,
They may, cum privilegio, wear away
The lag end of their lewdness, and be laugh’d at

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54 Comments for The Best and Worst of Tennis in Popular Culture or a Column about Nothing

Joel Says:

Djokovic’s karaoke of I Will Survive was way better than either of those.

jane Says:

Great column Dan; I am a bit of a Seinfeld junkie, so I appreciate those references (not to mention the “column about nothing” nod!); I also loved the Royal Tenenbaums, I should rent that again over the holidays. And who knew the bard included quite so many tennis references?

Woody Allen likes tennis too – besides the whole film “Match Point”, which revolves around a tawdry tennis pro, we can’t forget that Alvie Singer MEETS Annie Hall playing doubles!

Cheers Dan…

P.S. Joel — totally agree.

margot Says:

My last message of the year so: I’d like to wish everyone, YES even those I’ve snarled at in 2009, dd…. a joyful mid-Winter/December festival but especially: darling Huh on the other side of the globe, truly this internet thing is a miracle, but then I’m still marvelling why aeroplanes stay in the sky…
dear jane, my fellow traveller, and kimmi in chilly Canada, terrific two cents toasting his toes in Texas, absent friends in steamy Florida and end of the world Eastbourne, yes Grendel I KNOW you live there…..i am it in some dark office beetling away at statistics, madmax just down the road in internet terms, MMT and Voicemale 1 whose tennis knowledge leaves me gobsmacked….blah, sar, Heather, too many to mention and apologies to those left out….
Am too depressed re Copenhagen to wish anything else other than a fantastic 2010 tennis year for us all, “that’s all for now folks” see you soon.

Freudo Says:

Fun column, Dan, enjoyed it lots…Good use of tennis in a fabulous film, “The Squid and the Whale.”

Kimmi Says:

Hey margot, you are too funny. Spot on, its chilly Canada right now. Wishing you down there on the Queens land, a merry Xmas and a jolly new year and let us wish our Murray the best 2010. I have a feeling this season will be his GS breakthru. Go Murray.

Diane Says:

There’s also the film, “Match Point,” about what truly bad things can happen after your pro career goes downhill.

And “Strangers On a Train”–Guy is a tennis player, and there is a chilling scene on the court.

And perhaps my favorite–Jack Lemmon using his tennis racquet to strain spaghetti in “The Apartment.”

Dan Martin Says:

My wife pointed out that I forgot the dating show “Age of Love.” This was not a quality program, but it could have been in the dishonorable mentions for sure.

puckbandit Says:


What a lovely post, best wishes to you from a fellow Murray supporter! I hope you are right about a GS this year.

Love your taste in movies. In line with your Jack Lemmon addition, how about Woody Allen’s classic Annie Hall? They meet on the tennis court and later Woody comes to the rescue by retrieving a tennis racket to kill a giant (yet unseen to the audience) spider.

For dishonorable mention I have to add “Players” a terrible movie that came out in the 70’s that featured “B” list actors and cameos by “A” list tennis stars including Vilas, McEnroe, Tiriac and others.

Back to the positive side of things, a charming Hepburn and Tracy RomCom, “Pat and Mike” featured Kate as a champion tennis and golf champ.

jane Says:

puckbandit + Diane – see my post from 1:59 – already mentioned both Woody films. Diane – the Apartment reference is great though; didn’t think of that one! Freudo, also very much liked “The Squid and the Whale.” Finally, to and to “dishonorable mentions” you’d have to include the abysmal film from a few years back called “Wimbledon”! Atrocious; I watched it on late night t.v. one evening, and had to consume a bottle of wine to sit through the thing. lol.

jane Says:

I’ll borrow a line from margot, my “fellow traveller” and say “that’s all for now folks” for me too. I should take a hiatus. Have a great Holiday all tennis x posters (present, past, and to those of you on a break) and writers; here’s to a great 2010 for all of you! And especially to a great 2010 on the court, which won’t be long now.

Cheers & Happy Holidays!

huh Says:

Happy holidays to you too Mrs.Margot!

huh Says:

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to everybody in advance! Who knows which will be my last post for 2009.? So it’s better to wish everybody in advance and then again, if possible. ;)

Dan Martin Says:

I also forgot “Jump Around” which has a lyric about John McEnroe. A song about east coast Irish American culture referencing McEnroe and throwing in a little vulgarity seems like something I should have remembered (Mac’s name shows up at the 1:15 mark) –

I intentionally neglected the 1990 film Taking Care of Business’ short tennis scene with James Belushi. The scene and movie were not good enough or bad enough to be mentioned. Kind of like the Bachman Turner Overdrive song “Takin’ Care of Business.”

I had never heard of “Players.” It might be worth a viewing if I were ever in the proper mood. “Wimbledon” I pretend never existed even if I gave it a passing mention in the first paragraph. I never watched it and hopefully never will.

madmax Says:


Dont go! OR…if you have to – take your laptops with you! Am staying put at home, weather gonna be bad – Margot – if you just “down the road” or “up the road! in Cyber terms, you are welcome to drop on by! In fact, 31 December, sees the awesome federer playing and your nadal – I dont think murray is playing that tourny.

Best wishes to everyone and hoping that Father Christmas brings you everything on your Christmas List –

Made me laugh – just watched the Fed v Murray match at the Barclays ATP – a member of the crowd said:

‘Federer, I love you’. (He was speaking to Pechey at the time, in interview after his win over murray) –

Fed turned to the crowd, and said

‘I have a wife! I’m married!’

Yey! I wonder if Tiger watched the match!

11 days to go –

tenisbebe Says:

Hi y’all. Personally, my favorite from the French Open karaoke session was Michael Llodra’s – hysterical.

Merry, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

Kimmi Says:

Federer fans – federer commercial

Don’t know if you already seen this, if not..check it out.

tennis served fresh Says:

Kimmi – I don’t think I’ve ever seen that commercial, I didn’t get it until the product was shown.
Dan – There is some guy at my local public courts that warms up with the cover still on his racquet. It’s the most annoying sound known to tennis.
Anywho, I wish you all a merry season and I’m looking forward to another great year of fantastic articles. Take care.

Dan Martin Says:

Tenisbebe – Llodra’s was great and Robredo was solid as well. Novak may deserve the top slot in retrospect. Much like the AP vote my views are hardly authoritative.

I also can’t believe I forgot Monty Python’s take of Sam P. directing “Salad Days.” I am not sure where or how I would have plotted it, but it deserved a mention –

Ben Pronin Says:

As bad as Wimbledon the movie was, the main actor (I forget his name) is quite talented and does a good job in several other movies I’ve seen him in (also can’t remember).

They should make one of those dramatic underdog tennis movies like they have for basketball and football (and even that one swimming movie, Pride I think it was called). The problem is that it’s really hard to imitate tennis without looking absolutely awful.

Other than that, great article Dan. The Sampras commercial was really funny.

tenisbebe Says:

Ben Pronin – Yes, I also liked Paul Bettany in that movie although the script was rather cheesy.

Dan Martin – I just love that Llodra clip (Fed’s was probably the worst, ha ha). The Djoko clip, well, he’s constantly doing the shirtless thing (like he’s got such a great chest, NOT) that it’s rather irksome to me. But hey, that’s my problem.

Merry days guys.

tenisbebe Says:

Kimmi – re: the Fed commercial. Now I know you are a Fed fanatic but c’mon, that ad was WEAK. This one is better imo:

Dan Martin Says:

Kimmi this one is a Sportscenter Ad featuring Federer –

Diane Says:

Jane–Ah, yes. I see it now.

This is a fun thread.

Kimmi Says:

tenisbebe, I am a proud federer fan and please don’t bring mem’s vocabulary into this, I am not a fanatic :). I have to agree with you though, that commercial was weak. I was going thru Youtube clips and just saw that and just like “tennis served fresh” above, I was thinking “where is this going?” LOL. Looks like they just picked some clips from a fed match in basel. They did not spend too much money to make it for sure.

Thanks for those other commercials, tenisbebe and dan..those are MUCH BETTER, they have been around for a while, i already seen them.

tenisbebe Says:

Kimmi – who is “mem”?

Anyway, I often wish when I see these “Fed” ads that they were more clever. Sigh…

Kimmi Says:

mem is a nadal fan who thinks fed fans are fanatics and that they all have a condition which does not have a cure. LOL I find it funny though.

tenisbebe Says:

Kimmi – Haha that’s pretty funny. Since we are sharing good videos (while I am watching American Football), check this one out:

Kimmi Says:

tenisbebe: some of them are pretty good. Aaaarg, as much as I don’t like Kim Clijsters look-alike on this clip, she does resemble Fiona from the Shrek, doesn’t she? haha Nicely done, I enjoyed it.

tenisbebe Says:

Kimmi – yes there were some that were kind of cruel (Lindsey & Kim) but others were uncanny (Santoro, Kiefer, Simon) and others hilarious (Federer, Ancic, Ferrer). Very amusing stuff.

madmax Says:

Federer looking like Tarantino? – slightly. But Federer is so much better looking!

I thought that the Fiona reference was cruel (teehee).


the BEST EVER video of fed was the NIKE one saying Federer’s new coach – am sure you have seen it, so have not posted it here – but if you havent seen it – let me know, and I’ll post it. It’s a classic and also has the same ozzie actor/comedian that did the guitar ad – awesome.

Bjorn Borg Says:

Match Point was insult to tennis, one of the worst movies ever. I had accidentally bought it but was not worthy for a place in the garage, let alone the shelf, so had to crush it into pieces and dump in the trash. Match Point only reinforced my preconception that anything Brits make is not worth watching.
Kudos to Dan, for a great compilation.

madmax Says:


I want you to go and watch some of Guy Richie’s movies – He made/directed/stumped up the money for Snatch, and has just got a blockbuster coming out on boxing day, SHERLOCK HOLMES, already nominated for a golden globe award, with the fantastic Robert Downey Junior and Jude Law (excellent british actor).

If you dont like Sherlock Holmes, I will send you some REAL ENGLISH TEA – I promise!

Kimmi Says:

madmax, I saw the Federer new coach ad. I agree it is great.

i was watching a bunch of tennis matches on Youtube. Yesterday I saw quite a few of Serena and Henin. These matches were 2007 GS, where Henin beat serena in 3 out 4 GS. At the time, Justine was not my fave player but I have to give her credit…Wow, she was soo federer like on her peak form. Aggressive and the variety..just owesome (slice, topspin, flat hitting, volleys). I am glad she is coming back and hopefully she can play as good as those days.

madmax Says:

Hi Kimmi!

Henin gave a recent interview saying that one of the reasons she is returning is because of Federer and how much he has inspired her – right me if I am wrong Kimmi, but I dont think she has a wimby slam? Am I right?, she said after watching Fed win wimby this year, she wanted to emulate him and I thought that was a lovely thought – but of course, Henin has always been talented and I thought when she “retired” herself from the game, it was almost ‘borg’ ess, from the point of view that the talent was there, but that she just didnt enjoy the game anymore.

I think she has a wildcard for the AO, THAT, my friend, is really going to shake up the women’s game – am so pleased.

I think safina is weak mentally, I think the williams sisters are awesome, I think the new talent of Kuznetsova is brilliant (I love her), AND I also adore Dementiava, so tall, so beautiful, so brilliant to watch, almost manly in her strength, when she won the Beijing olympic gold medal, I wasnt surprised. I would really love her to win a slam – she works so hard –

But yes. the Nike ad is just awesome. I would go into work everyday kimmi, run down the stairs to meet with another tennis freak colleague and we would put the ad up on the projector big screen and just watch it, killing ourselves laughing. I mean, what a freak I am?!!! I admit it, but it was just some really light relief and whenever I watch that ad, it always makes me smile.

Like you, I am stoked that henin is coming back. I hope she stays for longer. Am sure she will receive a huge welcome from the crowd (along with Clijsters.

tenisbebe Says:

madmax Says: “Federer looking like Tarantino? – slightly. But Federer is so much better looking!”

But that’s not the point – the fact that someone noticed the many, many (I would say it’s more that “slightly”) facial similarities b/w the two is noteworthy & amusing from the viewpoint of Tarantino’s dark cinematic themes. I was hoping you would view this a compliment (not an insult) to Roger. I mean, in reverse, I think Colin Farrell is much better looking that Kiefer but the resemblance b/w them is uncanny! Just goes to show that a few small differences in facial features (the line of the brow, distance b/w the eyes or even a haircut!) can make the difference b/w heavy and handsome.

andrea Says:

still thinking about woods getting athlete of the year over roger.

you’d think that with so much noise being put on the number of major titles each has won (with nike going so far as to creating a 30 second spot out of the woods-federer title rivalry), it seems a tad audacious that woods would be viewed as the champion in this regard, since roger clearly has him beat. the numbers don’t lie.

the number which is probably the biggest thrill to the voting committee of “athlete of the decade” though is the 1 billion dollar income mark that woods surpassed this year. that number also doesn’t lie and speaks volumes to the capitalist crowds.

these types of accolades always end in quibbles though – very much like the one i stay away from – GOAT – which is equally worthless.

tennis is just not high profile enough in the US to warrant roger winning it despite the ridiculous achievements he has made. you can bet your sweet patooties that if roger was american, the results would have likely been different.

of course i’m biased, like most everyone else on this site. how can you disregard the fact that roger beat the 7 year old record of most GS’s won – which is, if anything, the toughest standard in which the sport of tennis is judged?

and even though you don’t want to drag personal demons into the conversation about sporting achievement, i guess us fed fans can at least be smug inwardly knowing that roger will end his life free of such smutty scandal.

that being said, you can say that both roger and tiger brought much needed personality, pizazz and increased exposure to their respective sports and for that, we as tennis fans, should be grateful for.

tenisbebe Says:

andrea says: “…and even though you don’t want to drag personal demons into the conversation about sporting achievement, i guess us fed fans can at least be smug inwardly knowing that roger will end his life free of such smutty scandal.”

God, let’s hope so! And Rafa too. But if it’s one thing we have all learned from this and other sports scandals this decade, it’s “Never say ‘Never'”. Heaven forbid but, should one of the current tennis great’s encounter a similar personal scandal, let’s hope they have the brains (& benefits of this cluster ****) to come clean quickly and not play hide-and-seek with the tabloids. It’s been 4 weeks now and still front page news. What a mess!

madmax Says:

tennisbebe – i do see the similarities between tarantino and the mighty fed – simmering, dark, brooding good looks (the fed), simmering, dark, brooding (tarrantino) – THAT’S, where the similarities end.

Andrea, an interesting post. But from what I have read about tennis (being too young to remember them at the time they supposedly happened), tennis has not been without its scandals. Boris Becker, Bjorn Borg, (in terms of affairs, drugs, etc.), though I dont know the full details – you may do?

Heather – this was the youtube ad kimmi and I were talking about – in case you havent seen it, I found the link:


tenisbebe Says:

madmax Says: “tennisbebe – i do see the similarities between tarantino and the mighty fed – simmering, dark, brooding good looks (the fed), simmering, dark, brooding (tarrantino) – THAT’S, where the similarities end.” Yes, it’s strange to me – never would have compared the 2. But the one that struck me most was Ancic and the Karate Kid – God, priceless!

tenisbebe Says:

Re Nike commercial:

I remember seeing this about 6 months ago or so. Although somewhat sinister (a maniac breaking into your home) it is SO much better that others we’ve seen – much more clever. Hopefully the admen can come with more material worthy of tennis & Fed.

madmax Says:


I thought apart from the vid being hugely funny, it was also extremely clever – almost a parody – the fact that everyone but everyone who knew anything about tennis, was crying out “C’MON fed, you NEED A COACH” – so it shows the Nike and also Fed had a great deal of humour, if not a mischievous streak, to do a video of the “alleged new coach” – extremely clever marketing ploy!

bravo Nike and Fed! Ad of the decade!! haha!

madmax Says:

was very ‘tongue in cheek’.

tenisbebe Says:

maxi – yes, a great spoof on the now-silent “coach” debate. Fun to see Raja in a worthy commercial. Some of them have been SO weak….

On another note, did you happen to see the Andre Agassi appearance on BBC’s Friday Night with Jonathon Ross this past Friday night? Not sure yet as to whether Andre is happy or not that Tiger’s woes have pushed him off the front page.

Kimmi Says:

maxi: Very true, it is great times for women tennis again. I love watching women tennis, especially when top players are playing together. Since the retirement of the Belgians and injury of sharapova..Serena did not have competition.(OK, sharapova was not providing much competition to Serena, but still..) I love Kutzy too but as you mentioned she is weak mentally, and Safina, is even worse. I was happy for kutzy when she won her 2nd grand slam and beating Serena on the way, must be satisfying for her.

Henin, great talent…she has 7 GS, I am sure she could have had more RGs, she was just above everybody else over there. Kim, great talent too but was so weak mentally in her first career, She had let Serena/venus/henin back in big matches few times after being close to winning it. Can’t forget that AO semi (can’t remember the year), Kim was like 5-1 ahead of serena in the third set and went to lose the match..must hurt. Motherhood must have made her stronger..Loved it..She can win at least a couple more now if she is determined.

It should be OK for players to take a break, this tennis life must be tough..some players cannot live it year after year, they should be allowed to take a break and come back..Its healthy. Federer looked like he needed a break in 2008, the guy looked pale at times, sometimes looked like not enjoying himself.. I was even surprised he still manages to reach GS finals. Roddick looks like he needs a break too, Nadal etc.
Let’s hope they are all rested enough to give us fans something extraordinary in the next season.

Kimmi Says:

tenisbebe: I watch agassi clip (i think when he was talking to BBC) were he said people should not jurge Tiger.

“Eight-time Grand Slam winner Andre Agassi says it’s irresponsible to jump to conclusions on Tiger Woods without the full facts after recent claims about the golfer’s private life.”

tenisbebe Says:

Kimmi – I did not see this clip, muchas gracias!! Andre, at this point, knows how to say “Don’t judge”…..


madmax Says:

Hi Kimmi! Hi tenisbebe!

In answer to your question tenisbebe, yes, I did see interview with agassi and J.Ross, and I thought he came across as gracious, humble, very sweet. Also, he said he was ‘surprised’ at the fuss over the drugs issue as it was only referred to in his book over a page and a half, and that it was a very unhappy time in his life, he was in an unhappy marriage, and at a very low point in his life – I am going to go buy the book today (I went a few days ago, and it was sold out!), so hopefully they have more copies in today.

But I think Agassi came across as really cool, singing the praises of his “amazing wife” and he was now in a “happy place” in his life.

Certainly, if he had taken performance enhancing drugs, I dont feel my reaction would have been the same, I would have felt that he would have “stolen” grand slams from others – but this was crystal meth, non-performance enhancing, and I just feel it was a time in his life that he felt he needed to escape from. It was a very good interview and I am glad I stayed up to watch it.

Kimmi, yes. The women’s game will be more the better for the return of henin. Not long to go now.

Gordo Says:

I can’t believe no one has mentioned the Humphrey Bogart connection – albeit an odd one – to our favorite sport.

Just prior to moving to Hollywood in the ’20’s, where his career took off and he became an icon of the silver screen, Bogart appeared in a small drawing room comedy on Broadway in New York, where he interupted a conversation by bursting into a room with a cardigan draped about his neck, holding a tennis racquet and blurting out “Tennis anyone?”

The line – Bogart’s only one in the play – always got a huge laugh and when the actor went into film and landed decent roles he was still teased at parties and at functions by friends when he would walk into a room, greeted with “Tennis, anyone?”

The popularity of the two word sentence is credited to Bogey’s attachment to it.

Jeffery Nielsen Says:

I have an old Metallica documentary from the 80’s filming Lars Ulrich (the drummer) hitting some balls with his dad, Torben ( a former Wimbledon quarterfinalist, I believe). I think the videotape is buried somewhere in an old cardboard box with my collection of 80’s hair metal concerts.

Dan Martin Says:

Jeffrey – The Metallica connection is a good one.

Gordo – I like the one you brought up but I have to plead ignorance as my excuse for omission.

Mike Says:

Personally, I enjoy when tennis gets mocked by the entertainment industry. The Onion does so with some regularity-here’s the most recent example:

Surely there are other amusing jabs at our favorite sport…

Mike (Swanquis) Says:

Oh yeah…and Merry Xmas to you and your growing Martin clan, Dansome Dan!

RZ Says:

If mentioning tennis and pop culture, how about mentioning the Nintendo Wii Sports pack? Tennis has taken off because of it.

Dan Martin Says:

The Wii has popularized thge sport. I also forgot King of the Hill – Hank Hill never let an opportunity to attack tennis slide.

Glad to see Mike posting. I owe you an email.

Top story: Shaky Djokovic Gets His Revenge On Musetti, Gets De Minaur Next; Sinner v Rune