Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How Well Do You Know Your Tennis Super-Stars?

Dear George,
The Western & Southern Tennis Tournament starts in Cincinnati in a couple of days.  It’s bigger than ever.  All 20 of the top-ranked men will be here, as will 19 of the top-ranked 20 women.  Outside of the four grand slam tournaments, there are only five events in the world that feature both the men’s and women’s tours combined.  We’re rooting for Roger Federer, wonder if Novak Djokovic can regain his top status, are hopeful that Venus Williams can continue to overcome her medical problems, and look forward to seeing Maria Sharapova in person.  It’s amazing the extent to which these world-class sports celebrities become significant people in our lives.  Sometimes, because of all the media coverage, I think I know more about what’s going on with the top tennis pros than I do with many friends and acquaintances.  To check this out, I made up a quiz composed of quotations from prominent tennis stars, past and present, to see whether people could match a given quote with one or another of several players.  Katja tried it and did pretty well (13 of 20 correct – perfect on the men, but only 1 of 8 on the women).  Our friend Paula D., a long-time tennis buff, did still better (18/20, with correct answers for all the women players).  I hope people will try it out.  See how you do (and let me know).

INSTRUCTIONS:  Below are groups of four male or female tennis stars (listed in alphabetical order and numbered 1-4, etc.), followed by four quotations from one or another of these players (randomly ordered and designated [a] to [d]).  For each grouping of four players and four quotes try your best to match each player with one of the quotes.  Write your answers down.  (For example, if you think Player #1 said quote “c”, write down 1-c.)  Don’t skip any items – guess if you need to.  The correct answers will be given at the end of the quiz.   


1.  Arthur Ashe
2.  Bjorn Borg
3.  Jimmy Connors
4.  John McEnroe


(a) My greatest point is my persistence. I never give up in a match. However down I am, I fight until the last ball. My list of matches shows that I have turned a great many so-called irretrievable defeats into victories.

(b) Do you have any problems, other than that you're unemployed, a moron, and a dork?

(c) New Yorkers love it when you spill your guts out there. Spill your guts at Wimbledon and they make you stop and clean it up.

(d) True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.


5. Chris Evert
6. Billie Jean King
7. Martina Navratilova
8. Venus Williams


(a) I've been in the twilight of my career longer than most people have had their career.

(b) It wasn't like I was self-motivated. My dad started me. It was his dream before it was mine.

(c) I was very, very shy as a younger girl, just petrified of people. Tennis helped give me an identity and made me feel like somebody.

(d) Ever since that day when I was 11 years old, and I wasn't allowed in a photo because I wasn't wearing a tennis skirt, I knew that I wanted to change the sport.



9. Andre Agassi
10. Boris Becker
11. Ivan Lendl
12. Pete Sampras


(a) I had moments of my actions and words not reflecting who it is I am - if that defines a punk, then yes, absolutely.

(b) I was between 2 and 3 in the world for two, three years. That's not exactly where I wanted to be.

(c) People know me. I'm not going to produce any cartwheels out there. I'm not going to belong on Comedy Central. I'll always be a tennis player, not a celebrity.

(d) The eyes of some of the fans at Davis Cup matches scare me. There's no light in them. Fixed emotions. Blind worship. Horror. It makes me think of what happened to us long ago.

13. Steffi Graff
14. Anna Kournikova
15. Maria Sharapova
16. Serena Williams


(a) I'm just like every other girl who likes to shop, likes to look good, likes to spend time with friends.

(b) I had a lot of different thoughts and ideas and always to transform, but I'm trying certain things that I feel my heart is really going for and that was one of the things that I initiated a few months ago.

(c) Family's first, and that's what matters most. We realize that our love goes deeper than the tennis game.

(d) At this year's Open, I'll have five boyfriends.



17. Novak Djokovic
18. Roger Federer
19. Rafael Nadal
20. Andy Roddick


(a) I can't stay No. 1 for fifty years, you know. We'll see what happens.

(b) The last two years when I was coming here, I was playing very, very bad ... but the worst moment in the year (was) when I come to the U.S. Open. I think now is a little bit different, no?

(c) I am very skinny.

(d) You know, you can only throw in so many haymakers before one misses and you get knocked out.

ANSWER KEY (give yourself one point for each correct match):
1d, 2a, 3c, 4b
5c, 6d, 7a, 8b
9a, 10d, 11b, 12c
13b, 14d, 15a, 16c
17c 18a 19b 20d 

G-mail Comments
-Phyllis S-S (8-9):  Dave,  Welcome back.  I want to hear all about the trip and visit with your family.  This Tennis information was fascinating - what a lot of work I think you must have done…  Phyllis

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