Varsity Tennis

Bjor Borg

Making the Team

I grew up in a small fishing village in Washington state. In my small town at the time there was one stop light, party line telephones, and not a lot for a teenager to do. My family joined the local tennis club and I began to play regularly.

When I started high school it was announced that try outs for the tennis team were going to happen. I decided to try out but was unsure about making the team. I was encouraged by a friend to at least try. On the day of the first try out our coach had us perform grueling exercises. I was exhausted but kept going. The second day of practice fewer people showed up. I kept trying to make it through his workout routines which had so far not involved tennis at all. By the end of the first week only a handful of us were left. We were the team. Finally the following week we began to play tennis.


Once I made the team my life was spent at school or on a tennis court. I played after school and at the tennis club on the weekends. Summers were spent playing tournaments and trying to improve my game. During tennis season at high school I often had to skip my last class to leave for a match against another school. Most of my friends were tennis players as well and many of them went to other high schools.


Bjorn Borg was my tennis hero of the 1970’s. He seemed to win everything he played. At the time Jimmy Connors was his main rival. I went to see professional tennis matches in Seattle. It was for me like going to a rock concert.

I decided in honor of my tennis hero that I would paint a portrait of him. He will forever be the rock star of the tennis courts of the 1970’s. Listen to the podcast here .


Published by wendy brown

I am an artist/writer living in Southern California.

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