Rutherfurd on Rutherfurd


Tennis

Q. What was your ambition as a child?

A. To be a professional tennis player.

Q. What caused that?

A. One of the kids at my school discovered you could volunteer to be a ball-boy at the All England championships - which used to be an important event that took place during the spring school holidays. They were played on clay courts and all the great players came: English names like Christine Truman, Roger Taylor, Anne Hayden-Jones, Americans like Billie-Jean Moffat, as she then was, Rod Laver and Roy Emerson for Australia. I've been on court many times with them all. I got the tennis bug seriously.

Q. Do you still have it?

A. God, yes.

Q. You said you wanted to be a professional; but in those days the game was still mainly amateurs.

A. Correct. You went on to become a professional. But during my time as a ball boy, they changed the rules at Wimbledon and the professionals came to the All England tournament too. The first year was amazing because all these other players we'd read about but never had the chance to see turned up. Pancho Gonzales, Ken Rosewall, Lew Hoad, even Drobny.

Q. You were on court with them too?

A. Every one of them. It's as close as I've ever been to heaven.

Q. But you didn't become a tennis professional.

A. I played, but not well enough.

Q. If you'd had the talent, would you have chosen writing or tennis?

A. Tennis.

 

 

 

 

Did You Know?
Lost Island. About 1,000 feet south of the Rockaway shores, off the coast of Queens in New York City, a one mile long island which I make mention of in NEW YORK – called Hog Island - had by the late nineteenth century became a favourite getaway “back room business” gathering spot for some of the city’s most powerful Tamany Hall politicians, and even attracted beach resort businesses and developers. But following the infamous Hurricane of 1893, which made landfall in New York City in August of that year, the island all but disappeared under the sea, and was lost entirely by 1902. Almost a century later, following two particularly devastating storms, hundreds of artifacts from the late nineteenth century washed up on the shores of southern Long Island, believed to have come from Hog Island.




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