Sunday Reading: The Extraordinary Game of Tennis


As final week’s U.S. Open finals made plain, the sport of tennis is in a second of dramatic transition, with older stars feeling the load of time and new stars ascending. This week, with recollections of that event lingering, we carry you a range of items on the sport and a few of its most vivid personalities.

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In 1973, Herbert Warren Wind, recognized in his day because the premier author about golf and tennis, reported on a wild exhibition and media extravaganza billed as a “Battle of the Sexes”: Billie Jean King, then the highest girls’s participant, towards Bobby Riggs, who was a prime participant and a wily hustler. King’s decisive triumph, which was broadcast in prime time from the Astrodome, lives on as each a lift to the ladies’s recreation and as a form of pop-culture milestone within the motion for equality in sports activities.

In “A Tennis Fairy Tale in New York,” Louisa Thomas writes in regards to the beautiful ultimate between the largest new names within the recreation, Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez. In “The Third Man,” Lauren Collins profiles Novak Djokovic, who had hoped to finish a calendar-year Grand Slam, however fell brief within the finals. (“His play is plasmatic,” Collins writes. “He seems to flow toward the corners of the court.”) In “New Racquet,” from 2013, Reeves Wiedeman writes about one other lion of the lads’s recreation, Roger Federer. Finally, Gerald Marzorati displays on probably the most extraordinary profession in fashionable tennis, that of Serena Williams: “She is, clearly, the greatest of all time: the most dominant for the longest stretch of years; the most influential on the way the game has come to be played.”

David Remnick


A Tennis Fairy Tale in New York

In a U.S. Open ultimate with no precedent, the qualifier Emma Raducanu held her nerve to see off Leylah Fernandez.

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Billie Jean King playing tennis in front of a crowd of spectators

Tracing Tennis to Its Roots

From Victorian Britain to the Battle of the Sexes, the game’s first hundred years.

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Serena Williams as she tosses a tennis ball up in the air

The Best Way to Watch Serena Williams at the U.S. Open, Where She Has Nothing Left to Prove

Fans wish to see Williams win a twenty-fourth main and make historical past. But that’s the unsuitable approach to watch her play now.

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An illustrated face focused on serving an airborne tennis ball.

The Third Man

Novak Djokovic has emerged from the shadow of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, however can he be taught to behave like a champion?

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An illustration of Roger Federer, his tennis racquet in hand

New Racquet

An evening with Roger Federer.

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