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?
In Manhattan in the early to mid nineteenth century, scores of pigs roamed the streets – about 20,000 of them at peak population in the early 1820’s, a ratio of roughly one pig to every five humans ! Many of them belonged to families. The city was quickly growing in the nineteenth century – in population and wealth disparity. Despite rapid urbanization, non-wealthy New Yorkers continued raising hogs as a means of surviving. A family could always slaughter one of its pigs to feed itself, or sell one of them since pork was a staple of the American diet. Why pigs? Other animals weren’t quite so compatible with urban life. People could let their pigs wander the streets, rummage through trash for the piles of spoiled food that was left out on the street during the day, and count on them to return home in the evening !




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