Jon Wertheim’s “Inside Tennis” Olympic Wrap-up is entertaining reading for tennis fans. View it – HERE
This is an excerpt from the posting.
Random player story — well, maybe not so random, but still worth sharing. I was working in the press office at the Fed Cup zonal tie in Eilat, Israel, in February 2011. On the very last day, on a back court with about 20 people watching, Elena Baltacha was playing an Austrian girl. By beating her, team GB would qualify to the WGII playoffs for the first time in forever. Laura Robson was sitting on the sidelines and cheering on her teammates. A young girl, maybe 12 years old, asked her whether after the match they could hit a few balls together. Laura smiled politely and replied: “Let’s see after the match if I have time.” I thought it was a nice way of saying thanks, but no thanks.
When Baltacha went on to win the match, the whole team, including team captain Judy Murray, leapt onto the court in jubilation. The same young girl went onto the court and asked Laura if they could hit a couple of balls. With no hesitation, when all her team was hugging, celebrating and talking to the press, Laura moved to the next court to play with this young girl. She then proceeded to round up all the other kids who wanted to play too, gave them all her own rackets and played with the kids for about 30 minutes, encouraging them and giving them tips.
Again, back court, huge win for GB, cold night in Eilat, no press watching her, no reason to care. I’ve been around all the Grand Slams, seen many players, but never someone so kind, gracious and generous as what I saw from Laura Robson. Class act! Consider me a fan.