The Wimbledon Final That Never Was . . .: And Other Tennis Tales from a By-Gone Era


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In our day, to be chosen as one of your country's two Davis Cup singles players was every player's ultimate hope. As a married, depression-years' breadwinner from the time I was 21, paying the rent came before putting trophies on the shelf. Most all of my top-ranked U. Most years, I would head east for our late August National Championships from my California gold and sulfur diggings, barely ahead of the first day of the tournament, figuring to adjust to the grass during the first round or two.


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But let me tell you, more than once I got bounced before I knew where I was. The clanking, metal-body passenger Ford tri-motor planes, replete with sick bags, and ammonia capsules, rarely made it in even twice the 29 hours advertised, usually with risky Rocky-Mountain weather sleepovers on wooden benches at tiny airports.

The Wimbledon Final That Never Was . . .

No alibis, only reciting one of the reasons I thought of myself as an underdog against my more frequently competing peers -- though I now may just consider re-writing my epitaph! Striving to maintain whatever tennis eminence one managed to attain in those no-pay-for-play years can't sound too glamorous, but I wouldn't trade a single season's memory for whatever goes for achievement and camaraderie today.

I don't remember much about the years before moving to California, but I was told that I spent four years on my back. I was a very sick young man with a variety of childhood diseases that in today's world of medicine is not serious. But back in the days when I was an infant, they were often fatal.

My father owned a mine out in Arizona which called for my early family life to be spent out West. As a youngster, I started to play tennis because I couldn't play other sports competitively.

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My mother took me out to play. I remember the first court I ever played on was at the mining camp made of crushed stone. I don't know if that influenced me to develop a short swing but that was the only way you could hit the ball. My first racquet that I used to practice against the house wall, or I should say the windows and I broke one occasionally , was one that my uncle Watson Washburn left in the closet when he went to Australia to play on the U.

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Davis Cup team with Bill Tilden. Uncle "Watty" subsequently became captain of the U. Davis Cup team.

His racquet was sitting there in the closet and I picked it out. That heralded my departure from being a budding pianist my mother was teaching me music at that time. I was never sure if she was totally happy with the change, but I was. My tennis was played almost all in California until I was about My first real competition was in California and one of the most thrilling prizes I won was a turkey, which probably described the way I played in those days, but, this was a handicapped mixed doubles tournament in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, and I lived in Berkeley.

I won the prize to everyone's dismay because I was literally as high as the net. I was an infant in size.

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The Wimbledon Final That Never Was . . .: And Other Tennis Tales from a By-Gone Era by Sidney Wood

I brought the turkey home by ferry, which was then the means of transport between San Francisco and Berkeley, as the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge or even Alcatraz had not been built yet! I remember my mother completely broke up.

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She already had a turkey cooked, but nobody could believe that I was going to bring home the bacon, if you'll forgive the mixed metaphor, or simile. That was a big thrill because it was really an upset that I should win anything at that size. It was a grown-up mixed doubles tournament and I was the only "infant" in it. I literally lived in tennis shoes at that time. This is what happens when you have had health problems.


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  8. You're just dying to excel at something to bring you out of the rut that you have been in. To give you a little philosophy, Glen Cunningham, who was the greatest miler for many years, and whom I sold bonds with on a tour once, had his legs severely burned. He was told he would never walk again.

    He, of course, went on to become the world's greatest miler. There are repeats of stories like this down the line with so many people who are handicapped who overcome their disabilities and become great achievers. Now with so many luxuries — it's hard to get children to do what we found easy to do. Schoolwork was very sporadic. I never learned multiplication tables, how to write correctly and other things that children ordinarily learn. Going up to the blackboard was always an embarrassment and a struggle. I would finally get sick with worry that I would stay out of school and have to have a tutor, which taught me nothing because you can always con a tutor.

    In summary, I really learned nothing in school. I finally went to school in New York one winter, when I was I suffered so much that I lost 14 pounds in the space of three months and was immediately rushed to Arizona because I developed some problems with my lungs. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. If you have an interest in s tennis players and Hollywood celebrities, you might even enjoy the book.

    I was tethering on 1. Mostly I skipped the ones that were heavily edited by Wood's son.

    The Ten Greatest Men’s Wimbledon Finals In The Open Era

    Nadiya Rudenko rated it it was amazing Nov 14, Tom Lopez rated it liked it Jan 31, Dolf rated it did not like it Dec 22, Kate marked it as to-read Sep 07, Angelo added it Dec 30, Akanksha Chattopadhyay marked it as to-read Aug 19, Morgan McAslan marked it as to-read Nov 26, Marnie marked it as to-read Jul 07, Balraj Shukla marked it as to-read Feb 03, There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Tennis Association not to compete in the championship match so that he could rest his injured knee in preparation for an upcoming Davis Cup match.

    Also included are a compilation of short stories that deliver fascinating anecdotes of the s and a signature document of the play and styles of 20th-century tennis legends. Wood's tales of the now and then famous is delightful, and at times sobering. A rich source of stories about tennis history. Help Centre.

    The Wimbledon Final That Never Was . . .: And Other Tennis Tales from a By-Gone Era The Wimbledon Final That Never Was . . .: And Other Tennis Tales from a By-Gone Era
    The Wimbledon Final That Never Was . . .: And Other Tennis Tales from a By-Gone Era The Wimbledon Final That Never Was . . .: And Other Tennis Tales from a By-Gone Era
    The Wimbledon Final That Never Was . . .: And Other Tennis Tales from a By-Gone Era The Wimbledon Final That Never Was . . .: And Other Tennis Tales from a By-Gone Era
    The Wimbledon Final That Never Was . . .: And Other Tennis Tales from a By-Gone Era The Wimbledon Final That Never Was . . .: And Other Tennis Tales from a By-Gone Era
    The Wimbledon Final That Never Was . . .: And Other Tennis Tales from a By-Gone Era The Wimbledon Final That Never Was . . .: And Other Tennis Tales from a By-Gone Era
    The Wimbledon Final That Never Was . . .: And Other Tennis Tales from a By-Gone Era The Wimbledon Final That Never Was . . .: And Other Tennis Tales from a By-Gone Era
    The Wimbledon Final That Never Was . . .: And Other Tennis Tales from a By-Gone Era The Wimbledon Final That Never Was . . .: And Other Tennis Tales from a By-Gone Era

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