Tennis Community Bulletin: Help Wanted

Rob YorkSenior Writer ISeptember 30, 2009

Hello all,

This is more a community bulletin than an “article” per se.

Since I became Community Leader in the past month and a half, several of you have offered suggestions on articles or series you’d like to see written in the tennis domain.

In the interest of giving each of you the chance to take part (and not giving myself more work than I can handle!) I've decided to inform you as to the possibilities available.

Here are a few of them:

* The price of grinding—Over the past year and some change, Rafael Nadal won his first two majors off clay and reached the No. 1 ranking, but his results since then have suffered due to his grinding style of play.

He is, however, not the first player who also had to work exceedingly hard to win (say, Jim Courier in 1992 or Mats Wilander in 1988), but has done so and paid the price later. What we’d like is a piece comparing Nadal to these players (and possibly others).

* The greatest tennis nicknames (Rocket Rod Laver, Iceborg, Pistol Pete, etc.)—How did they get these names, and how fitting were they? This could be either an article or a slideshow.

* An article on the tennis golden age (late-70's to early-80's) to the current era—In this era, thanks largely to Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe, tennis really grew in popularity around the world. What could today’s players, or maybe the tour that organizes them, learn from that era? Then again, in what ways is this era offering a better product?

* A series on near misses—A loser's perspective on tight losses, and as the name suggest, there must be a feeling for the viewer/reader that it was a "miss" for the loser rather than an earned victory for the winner (near tie-breakers? plundered break points?). The person who suggested this said that one article every fortnight would be a good target.

This series would require not only articles, but a coordinator. 

* A series on the tennis archives: An article each on matches over 50 to 100 years old. As this would require some significant digging into the archives, the one who made this suggestion said that it could be written once a month.

As above, this project would probably require more than one writer and a coordinator.

* Book club:’s writers do this, in which they read a book about tennis and discuss its content and their impressions through a series of posts back and forth. With Serena Williams having recently released a memoir and with Andre Agassi’s coming, I felt this was the time to broach the possibility with you all.

I am unclear as to how it might work, but would love to hear your suggestions if more than one of us are willing to acquire the same book. I plan to buy both; I’m also willing to look into the idea of having a discussion on books that are older.

If you have any interest in these subjects, please say so on the comments section here. As I am still coordinating the “Zone” series and J.A. Allen is doing the Power Rankings, I think coordinators for those series will have to come elsewhere.

Also, if you have another idea you haven’t run by me (or have, and I’ve forgotten it) you can also use this space for leaving your suggestions.