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Wed, July 17

Column: Wait a minute, who said what?

The game of tennis has helped create more than a few interesting characters in its relatively short lifespan, and these well-known players/coaches have had some quotes and insights.

You get to guess: "Who said that?"

See how you do.

1. "The best thing that came out of the loss to Tracy (Austin) was Renee Richards. We started working together unofficially during the tournament and she became my coach right afterward. She made a difference in my career."

2. "When people boo, I have a hard time not taking it personally. It's one of my biggest problems. I feel isolated out there in the first place, but if anyone's against me, I find it incredibly difficult. The crowd can be for me 99 percent, but if there are a couple hecklers, I get bent out of shape. Not my finest trait."

3. "And in the back of my mind, I'm going to remember that unforeseen events might alter the course of my life at any time - who knows what net posts might be lurking up ahead?"

4. "When her career ended, she played on the women's professional golf tour, did some singing, gave tennis demonstrations before Harlem Globetrotters games, had a bit part in a John Wayne movie, and later gave tennis lessons at parks and clubs on the East Coast."

5. "Secretly I wanted John to act badly again so that I could lower the hammer on him and forfeit the match. No one had ever stood up to McEnroe, and I was sure that his behavior would have been different if someone had done so when he was younger."

6. "He shouts at top of his lungs: You're a tennis player! You're going to be number one in the world! You're going to make lots of money. That's the plan and that's the end of it."

7. "Your game plan will tend to follow your emotions. Create positive ones and rid yourself of negative ones. Start by feeling no emotions at the end of a point. Then learn to conjure up positive emotions before the next point starts."

8. "All I ask is that you believe in yourself. No negative thoughts, no excuses. Lose like a man and win like a man. If you're injured, don't play; if you play, you're not injured. Always give 100 percent and I'll be happy."

9. "Toni has never received any money from me or from anyone in the family for the lifelong attention to me, but he's been able to do it because he owns half of my father's business and takes half the profits, without doing any of the work. It's been a fair exchange - I'd never had anything like the same hours of coaching if my father had not worked with such a purpose all his life."

10. "I like to measure tennis players not by how many matches they win, but by how hard they work to improve their game."

Key: 1. Martina Navratilova 2. John McEnroe 3. James Blake 4. Althea Gibson 5. Arthur Ashe (Davis Cup coach) 6. Mike Agassi to son Andre 7. Allen Fox 8. Pancho Segura to Jimmy Connors 9. Rafael Nadal about his father and Uncle Toni 10. Vic Braden.

Chris Howard is a local USPTA Tennis Professional with over 40 years in the racquet and fitness industry. He can be reached at 928-642-6775 or

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