Tennis Express serves a far-reaching and diverse base of tennis fans. Each of our customers has unique life experiences that have compelled them toward tennis and helped them fall in love with the game. Tennis superstars get plenty of attention for their contributions to the game — and deservedly so — but everyday players and fans are just as important to the health of the sport. With that in mind — and with tennis pros taking a break from the headlines this offseason — we asked our fans to share their favorite tennis memories with us. To no one’s surprise, they had many great stories (and photos!) to offer.
“In 1997, I was asked to drive the Bryan Brothers and their dad to their place of stay after a great day at the ATP event in Cincinnati. Of course, all of my girlfriends came along for the ride as well!” – Lisa M., Houston, TX
The Bryan Brothers are the #1 men’s doubles team of all time, with 1003 match wins and 112 ATP World Tour titles to their credit. Check out their player page here.
“I’m not sure if this is my favorite tennis memory, but it is definitely memorable one: While at the 2010 Farmers Classic, I found myself alone in an elevator with Michael Chang. Initially, I didn’t know it was him, but when things clicked, I yelled, ‘Dude, you’re Michael Chang! You have to sign my ball!’ I must have startled him, because he lurched backwards, gave a nervous nod, and made a pen-signing motion with his hand. I gave him a tennis ball and a Sharpie, he signed the ball, and then we went our separate ways. When I looked down at the signed ball, I saw that he had written ‘Jesus loves you’ next to his signature.” – Benjamin S., Huntington Beach, CA
Michael Chang retired from the ATP World Tour in 2003 and now serves as Kei Nishikori’s coach. Click here to visit Nishikori’s player page.
“The Wimbledon final ‘war’ between Andy Roddick and Roger Federer in 2009 was one of the best. The shots and the points were unbelievable. Andy should have won, but Roger somehow locked in and prevailed. It was a tremendous match.” – Steve G., Jacksonville, FL
Relive this match yourself with the Wimbledon 2009 Official Film, available here.
“My best tennis memory on court came in Montepulciano, a small town in Italy where they make great wine and live the good life. Being a tennis enthusiast who had never played on red clay, I arranged court time at a local facility about 30 kilometers from where we were staying in Tuscany. It was an adventure to find the place and that was half of the fun. Anyhow, we found it and had an incredible time on the red clay. The courts were professional, the surface slow, and we spent more than an hour just practicing sliding. The experience gave me a true appreciation for the clay game. You can be so patient and methodical on that surface. It is the ultimate tennis workout. Stretching, sliding, running, swinging—no, all I want to do is play on gorgeous red clay and drink sumptuous red wine!” – Gwyneth P., Riga, Latvia
“My favorite tennis memory is one from a coaching perspective. I started coaching high school girls tennis ten years ago and inherited a program that had struggled over the years. In my third year, I was watching a group of five seniors finish a career that had seen their chemistry run the gamut of highs and lows. Finally, they finished as a close-knit bunch. My #1 hadn’t won a match all year, and we were facing one of the top teams in our last match. After winning the first set and dropping the second, she buckled down and won the match in the third set and was rushed on court by her senior teammates. It couldn’t have been scripted any better and it’s a memory I’ll keep forever.” – Andrew S., Skowhegan, ME
“My favorite tennis memory is of Andre Agassi’s retirement speech at the 2006 US Open. I was so moved by his eloquence and how far he came in owning his emotions. Andre grew in humility and emotional intelligence over the many years, and that growth was on display when he said goodbye. I cried along with him. He’ll always be one of my heroes.”– Kim Z., Thousand Oaks, CA
Andre Agassi’s bestselling autobiography, Open, is available in paperback here.
“I can’t say that I have a specific match or a specific memory that stands about above all the rest. But I can say that I remember a time frame—late ’70s to early ’80s—when I was completely captivated by the Wimbledon and its personalities. Did I have a grass fetish? You betcha! When summer rolled around I couldn’t wait to see Breakfast at Wimbledon on NBC.
“35 years later, I would make my first trip to Wimbledon as a member of the press and get the chance to walk the grounds, wide-eyed with wonder. Yeah, I cried. Years have passed, but nothing can dilute the grandeur of this venue or of grass-court tennis. I saw Roger Federer on Center Court (gasp, laugh, cry); Petra Kvitova (emotions—what a champion!) on No. 2 Court; Venus and Serena winning the doubles title in fading light (soaking in the history!), late on the penultimate day of the Championships. The next day I sat in the pressroom and heard the deafening roars as Andy Murray won his second Wimbledon title. Wimbledon to me is tennis. Everything proper, sportsmanship, dignity, pomp and circumstance. It is what made me love tennis and it is what keeps me loving tennis after all these years.” – Chris O., New York, NY
Have your own tennis memory to share? Leave it in the comments, and you could be featured in our next round of stories!