Author Archive


By Bill Simons A PRESIDENTIAL REFLECTION—ADAMS ON SERENA AND RACE: During the Australian Open, when IT asked Katrina Adams, the first African-American President in the 134-year history of the USTA, to talk about the 2001 incident with Serena and Venus Williams at Indian Wells, she said, “It has nothing to do with the tournament. It […]

The Buzz: The End of Magic and Other Reflections From the Worldwide Tour

By Bill Simons JUST WONDERING: Now that the best players in men’s and women’s tennis—Djokovic and Serena—have prevailed at the Aussie Open, what are the chances that we will get a true Grand Slam winner this year? … Can Djokovic replicate the dominance he showed in 2011, and can Serena capture the French Open and […]

Serena: The Long Road to Indian Wells

A 14-YEAR-OLD TALE OF LOUD JEERS, DEEP WOUNDS, PUSH-PULL QUESTIONS, BEHIND-THE-SCENES LOBBYING, CLEVER RUSES AND THE ARC OF THE MORAL UNIVERSE By Bill Simons Serena did it. She won the 2015 Australian Open, a historic triumph. As a journalist, I was neutral. Inside, I was thrilled. After all, I’ve followed Serena since she was a […]

Riffce Rules: From Johnson Ranch Racquet Club to Two Huge Junior Wins

By John Huston The first junior player since Grigor Dimitrov to win the Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl back to back, Sam Riffice got his start on the courts of Spare Time’s Johnson Ranch Racquet Club in Roseville, where his mom Lori has been a pro for 22 years. Lori Riffice knew she “wanted to […]

Reconciliation and Understanding: A Remarkable Conversation With BNP Paribas Open CEO Raymond Moore On Serena Williams’ Return

Inside Tennis Editor and Publisher Bill Simons spoke with BNP Paribas CEO Ray Moore about Serena Williams’ return to the tournament, how it happened, and her remarkable growth over the years: This is quite stunning news about Serena. What was your reaction? I was elated. Carried away—it was fantastic. Still is—I’m still excited, still haven’t […]

Serena to Return to Indian Wells: The Long and Winding Road to Forgiveness

In one of her first press conferences at the Australian Open, I asked Serena Williams if she was going to play Indian Wells. She responded, as she often does, with a twinkle in her eye. “I don’t know,” she quipped, “I like my vacation time.” Then, just after she won the title, I spoke with […]

Australian Open: Novak Djokovic, the Happy Warrior, Wins the Happy Slam

By Bill Simons “Supposing truth is a woman, what then?” —Friedrich Nietzsche Listen up, guys. No doubt about it. The two finalists in the 2015 Australian Open were guy’s guys. But truth be told, fellows, much of the pizzazz at this year’s Aussie Open related to woman. The opening day story was the departure of […]

Australian Open: Serena Slaps Sharapova to Gain Historic 19th Slam

By Bill Simons MELBOURNE, Australia—We see a lanky, rail-thin blond: she’s elegant, beautiful, and except for her sounds and adventurous serves, almost flawless. Perhaps she’s from central casting. The supermodel who bangs a tennis ball. She’s an entrepreneur and risk taker who has her own cleverly-named (laden with sugar) candy company. What we don’t see […]

Australian Open: The Slam Champ Who Reminds Us of the Church Group Doing a Stage Version of Barbarella

THE MADONNA OF MELBOURNE, BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS, IS 2015′S FIRST GRAND SLAM WINNER By Bill Simons MELBOURNE, Australia—The Madonna of tennis, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, may have had a losing record in 2014. Her best-ever singles ranking may only be No. 30. And when we ask her burly and likable husband about her earnings last year, he may […]

Australian Open: Serena Wins, but the Rock Island Rocket Has Launched

By Bill Simons MELBOURNE, Australia—The other night, everyone was recalling the late, great Vitas Gerulaitis‘ defiant boast after defeating his nemesis Jimmy Connors: “Nobody beats Vitas Gerulaitis 17 times in a row.” After all, Tomas Berdych, who’d lost to Rafa Nadal 17 straight times, finally triumphed over the Spaniard. “Nobody beats Tomas Berdych 18 times […]