Author Archive

THE DAVID HAGGERTY INTERVIEW – A Conversation with the ITF Chairman on Gambling and Tennis

Bill Simons Melbourne—The tennis industry is a small one. I’ve known Dave Haggerty for 25 years or so. It’s been incredible to see him evolve from a chief executive at tennis companies like Dunlop, Prince and Head to become the head of the USTA, the Tennis Industry Association, and now, incredibly, the President of the […]

The Art of the Professional – Novak Djokovic, Master Craftsman

Bill Simons MELBOURNE—Donald Trump wrote a book, “The Art of the Deal.” Roger Federer’s career has been all about the art of the game. Now, Novak Djokovic’s path can be called “the art of the professional.” In fact, says Jim Courier, Novak was “professional before he was a professional.” When he was just a village […]

Australian Open: Karma, Humility and the Wolf – The Words of Champion Novak Djokovic

After Novak Djokovic won his third Grand Slam in a row, his eleventh overall (drawing even with Rod Laver and Bjorn Borg) and his record-tying sixth Australian Open, he waved to fans in Rod Laver Arena, was hailed by hundreds of (primarily Serbian) supporters in the garden outside the arena, and then went to the […]

Australian Open: Kerber’s Truth – ‘Do What You Love, Your Dream Will Come True’

Bill Simons MELBOURNE—It was elemental and profound. Shock – pure shock – gripped us. The moment – well, it was almost unthinkable. Sages and fans alike were almost certain the Aussie Open final would be a one-sided blowout. Conventional wisdom whispered, “Let’s just hope this final will be competitive.” Maybe it will last 90 minutes […]

Australan Open: An Appetite for Learning – A Pre-Match Interview With Serena’s Coach

  They call it the Mouratoglou Miracle. Since the charismatic and charming Patrick Mouratoglou took over coaching Serena Williams, wonders have happened. Never mind that Serena was well past 30 when she teamed with the celebrated Frenchman. Since then Williams has dominated, winning eight of twelve Slams and an Olympic Gold. Just 75 minutes before […]

Australian Open Buzz: The Thrill of Vika and the Azarenka of Defeat

Angelique Kerber has reached her first Grand Slam final in Melbourne. Photo: Getty Images OUR FAVORITE T-SHIRT: A Brisbane woman sported a T-shirt that revived Oscar Wilde’s suggestion, “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” BALLSY COMMENTARY: After a linesman was hit in his private parts by a serve, a voice in the press room […]

Australian Open: Federer Wins the Battle, Djokovic Wins the War

BILL SIMONS MELBOURNE—Thanks to Serena, there are no rivalries in women’s tennis. There are many in the men’s game, but none better than Roger Federer vs. Novak Djokovic. Forty-four times they had battled. Each had won 22 times. Simply put, the match-up is sublime. And on this mild Melbourne evening, the Rod Laver Arena crowd […]

Australian Open: Betgate Investigative Unit Announced, Questions Linger

Bill Simons MELBOURNE—One phrase comes to mind – “Tennis anyone?”  After all, the Australian Open is one of the game’s great events. All the focus should be on some scintillating semis.  But, never before has an off-court development so impacted a tournament as has the “Betgate” gambling story here at the Australian Open. The troubling narrative […]

Australian Open: Serena – “Like a Monster Truck That Crushes Volkswagens”

Bill Simons MELBOURNE—Woman’s tennis is all about rivalries – spicy, in-your-face and unrelenting. It all goes back to 1926, when an unblinking, 20-year-old hotshot from Berkeley, California – Helen Wills – went to Cannes to challenge the preeminence of France’s elegant diva, Suzanne Lenglen, who had won Wimbledon six times. Their exhibition drew international attention […]

Betgate: Simmering Gambling Suspicions Ignite

Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena  Photo: Getty Images Bill Simons MELBOURNE—The blockbuster BBC broadcast on gambling in tennis was odd. It wasn’t because it was a story on betting that barely talked about odds. It was odd because arguably the most respected news organization in the world, the BBC, teamed with BuzzFeed to air an inflammatory “gotcha” […]