1. James Blake: Let Me Stand Next To Your Fire!

    "...How long is he going to come out here and play these matches and be irrelevant?!" Pam Shriver commenting mid-match on James Blake They were shoveling dirt on my brotha over on ESPN2 during their Day-One Wimbledon coverage at the All England Club...

    Julian Johnson Written by Julian Johnson about 4 years ago 553 reads 41 comments

  2. For Francesca Schiavone, Life Is Beautiful

    "What is the highest form of technique? To have no technique." Bruce Lee. Oh, Francesca! She grunts, instead of squealing like her pubescent competition. She sweats rather than perspire...

    Julian Johnson Written by Julian Johnson about 4 years ago 307 reads 4 comments

  3. Dear Venus and Serena...

    We hate you. We hate your brown skin and your mindless athleticism. We hate the fact that all of that talent sprouted in South Central Los Angeles, a community nurtured and sustained ...

    Julian Johnson Written by Julian Johnson about over 4 years ago 712 reads 19 comments

  4. An Open Letter to James Blake

    James, You have mad talent, son! A fast set of wheels, wrapped around a concussive forehand, a solid, potent backhand, a mighty serve, fundamentally sound volleys. But so far, the parts are far greater than the sum...

    Julian Johnson Written by Julian Johnson about 5 years ago 531 reads 54 comments

  5. Tennis Great "Whirlwind" Gets His Due: Inducted Into the Hall of Fame

    It's 1:30am and I can't sleep. My grandfather, Dr. Robert Walter "Whirlwind" Johnson, is being inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island. TOMORROW! Like I said, I can't sleep...

    Julian Johnson Written by Julian Johnson about 5 years ago 376 reads 16 comments

  6. Roger Federer: Party Of Three?

    The great NBA center, Moses Malone, when asked about his team's playoff chances back in 1983, coolly predicted: "Fo', fo', fo'," as in three, 4-nothing sweeps of their playoff comp...

    Julian Johnson Written by Julian Johnson about 5 years ago 1,720 reads 13 comments

  7. Art vs. the Assembly Line

    The words of Margaret Smith Court, calendar Grand Slam winner in 1970, struck me recently as I pondered their implications: Although she no longer played, Smith Court still followed tennis, particularly the Grand Slams...

    Julian Johnson Written by Julian Johnson about 5 years ago 247 reads 17 comments

  8. What a Match, What a Man!!

    Like a prayer, like Jimmy Hendrix kneeling over his instrument with lighter fluid and match, this was no mere Grand Slam final. This was a spectacle, an exorcism, a coronation. Definitely maybe...

    Julian Johnson Written by Julian Johnson about 5 years ago 572 reads 8 comments

  9. Brush With Greatness: Bjorn Borg

    Welcome to a new series called "Brush with Greatness." We look forward to your tales of meeting or rubbing elbows with your sporting heroes and sheroes. Here's my story: My dad was our coach more than our father...

    Julian Johnson Written by Julian Johnson about over 5 years ago 351 reads 23 comments

  10. Excessive Celebration vs. the Spirit-Killers

    "When we say it's a game, you say its a business and when we say it's a business, you say it's a game." - A character in the pro football film, "North Dallas Forty." Football is a game, but it's a business...

    Julian Johnson Written by Julian Johnson about over 5 years ago 186 reads 9 comments

  11. George Preston Marshall's Strange Fruit

    STRANGE FRUITSouthern trees bear a strange fruitBlood on the leaves and blood at the root Black body swinging in the southern breeze Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees Pastoral scene ...

    Julian Johnson Written by Julian Johnson about over 5 years ago 874 reads 15 comments

  12. The Only Thing Wrong with B/R Writers' Rankings Is That They Exist

    "I AM THE GREATEST!" —Muhammad Ali “I say, play your own way. Don’t play what the public want—you play what you want and let the public pick up on what you doing—even if it does take them fifteen, twenty years...

    Julian Johnson Written by Julian Johnson about over 5 years ago 289 reads 57 comments

  13. Giant Killers: The Chip & Charge Artist

    "Chip and Charge." You've probably never heard that phrase before if you were born after 1975, not even on the Tennis Channel or ESPN Classic...

    Julian Johnson Written by Julian Johnson about over 5 years ago 1,285 reads 31 comments

  14. Two Aspirin For Amelie Mauresmo

    The California Bear sports bar is on (not so) Grand Avenue in Oakland, CA. A stone's throw from Lake Merritt, the Bear is the place to go if you want to watch your favorite team from the beer ...

    Julian Johnson Written by Julian Johnson about over 5 years ago 172 reads 9 comments

  15. So Long, Roger: My Resignation From The People's Temple Of Roger Federer

    I was lying in bed having decided that I wanted to learn the outcome of the Federer/Nadal Aussie Open final in the morning. I had to work the next day, Sunday, and the match was on at 3:00am Pacific...

    Julian Johnson Written by Julian Johnson about over 5 years ago 664 reads 66 comments

  16. New BR Feature: The Nutsack Report!

    In an effort to provide equal time for those who prefer jock straps to g-strings, here is the first installment of a new, ESPN'esque series here at BR, the Nutsack Report...

    Julian Johnson Written by Julian Johnson about over 5 years ago 181 reads 12 comments

  17. James Blake: Inside an Enigma

    Two scenes from a career. Scene One: US Open 2005. Blake plays Paul Bunyan to Andre Agassi's virgin forest for two and one half sets...

    Julian Johnson Written by Julian Johnson about over 5 years ago 630 reads 25 comments

  18. Althea Gibson Vs. Arthur Ashe: A Contrast

    Saraswathi has asked me to answer a series of questions about the relative contributions of Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe to the game of tennis...

    Julian Johnson Written by Julian Johnson about over 5 years ago 667 reads 20 comments

  19. Memo to Tennis Officialdom: Need Change

    Tennis must have a Commissioner/Commission This one development will determine whether tennis develops a logical, ethical governing body that oversees and guides the sport with wisdom ...

    Julian Johnson Written by Julian Johnson about over 5 years ago 270 reads 8 comments

  20. Why I Would Never Join the United States Professional Tennis Association

    Zina Garrison sues the United States Tennis Association (USTA) after being dismissed as Federation Cup Captain. Two referees of color sue the International Tennis Federation for alleged discrimination in assignments and opportunities...

    Julian Johnson Written by Julian Johnson about over 5 years ago 409 reads 11 comments