The best writing from the first three years of Racquet magazine.
When the popularity of tennis peaked in the late ’70s and early ’80s, the sport was populated by buccaneering talents with outsize personas, such as Borg, Evert, McEnroe, Navratilova, Gerulaitis, Austin, King, and Connors. The game was played in every park, and tennis clothes became appropriate attire for cocktails as well as for a match. With success, however, came polish, and tennis–if not the game itself, then how it came to be represented in the culture–got boring. Having a big personality was no longer a virtue. Tennis went back to being a bastion of the elite.