tennis

The dying art of sports commentary

3 July 2021 9:00 am

Wimbledon is here at last, after its absence in 2020. What struck me watching the French Open on television a…

Forget football – rugby is the real beautiful game

26 June 2021 9:00 am

The question is surely destined to become a pub quiz staple: ‘Who moved a bottle 18 inches across a table…

In praise of chastity

12 June 2021 9:00 am

New York It’s party time in the Bagel, or at least private party time. Yours truly is an extra man…

Have tennis players always been expected to give interviews?

5 June 2021 9:00 am

Game, set, chat Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open after being fined $15,000 for failing to…

In defence of Naomi Osaka

2 June 2021 12:03 am

‘Kawaisou’ or ‘wagamama’ (poor thing or spoiled brat)? That’s the question Japanese tennis fans have been asking ever since world number…

Dear Mary: How can we use our neighbour’s tennis court without inviting him to play?

17 April 2021 9:00 am

Q. Our neighbours have a tennis court which, under the property’s previous owner, we enjoyed playing men’s fours on. The…

The science of tennis grunts

5 September 2020 9:00 am

How grunting helps players win

I went to hell and back to meet my new granddaughter

6 June 2020 9:00 am

Wolfsegg, Austria I have finally understood what’s wrong with the modern world: motorways. These dehumanising slabs of asphalt covering our…

Croquet is the perfect sport for social distancing

9 May 2020 9:00 am

In Mr Alton’s absence, I thought readers might want a column about sport. The problem is that I’m largely indifferent…

How tennis went socialist

28 March 2020 9:00 am

Desperately boring times but very healthy ones. No parties, no girls, not too much boozing, lots of smoking and reading…

The appeal of ugly men

15 February 2020 9:00 am

Gstaad Lenin Moreno is in trouble, despite his very unchristian first name. For any of you unfamiliar with the name,…

Coco Gauff won fair and square, but she played terrible tennis

13 July 2019 9:00 am

Martina Navratilova has never been shy about telling it like it is. She came out when other athletes were hiding…

What the new generation of tennis players could learn from Rocket Rod Laver

13 July 2019 9:00 am

A chum was in Waitrose a year or two back, and was bending down with some difficulty to look at…

Boris is the only one who can save the Tories

15 June 2019 9:00 am

A lady once offered to go to bed with me if I could ensure that she would write The Spectator’s…

Roger Federer during his fourth round match against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the 2019 Australian Credit: photo by Jack Thomas/Getty Images

My hero Roger Federer

26 January 2019 9:00 am

Asked how he was feeling as he was about to give a speech to a ladies group, Mark Twain, looking…

Is it possible to draw Serena Williams without being racist?

15 September 2018 9:00 am

I have spent the morning trying to draw a cartoon of a black person without it being racist. It’s bloody…

The white DJ: permissible only in Palm Beach, Biarritz or on the Riviera

My faux pas at the Duke of Beaufort’s bash

15 September 2018 9:00 am

A letter from a reader in South Africa mentions that the writer’s father insisted a white dinner jacket was permissible…

Why suburban ladies really play tennis

5 May 2018 9:00 am

Because my mother is always telling me everything will be all right if I join a tennis club, I’ve joined…

Toby Young: I’ve been unmanned by a tennis brute in bright pink

27 January 2018 9:00 am

As regular readers will know, Caroline has developed a fanatical interest in tennis and is currently captain of the ladies…

Mix and match: Emma Stone as Billie Jean King and Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs in Battle of the Sexes

It will amply satisfy all your comeuppance needs: Battle of the Sexes reviewed

25 November 2017 9:00 am

Battle of the Sexes recreates the famed, culture-changing 1973 tennis match between 55-year-old Bobby Riggs, a self-proclaimed chauvinist, and 29-year-old…

The rivals: Shia LaBeouf as John McEnroe and Sverrir Gudnason as Bjorn Borg in Borg vs McEnroe

No balls

23 September 2017 9:00 am

Borg vs McEnroe is a dramatised account of one of the greatest tennis rivalries of all time — between Bjorn…

My wife’s revenge has me at break point

15 July 2017 9:00 am

Fifteen years ago, when I was The Spectator’s drama critic, Caroline used to complain that she had become a ‘theatre…

‘Tennis’, 1930, by Eric Ravilious

Match made in heaven

8 July 2017 9:00 am

Tennis is best played with a wooden racket on a shady lawn somewhere close to Dorking. There is no need…

McEnroe serving in a mixed doubles match with Steffi Graf at Wimbledon, 1999

Always the Superbrat

8 July 2017 9:00 am

John McEnroe’s father calls. In fact, he calls McEnroe’s manager’s phone, presumably because dad doesn’t have a direct line to…

Why I won’t be watching Wimbledon

4 June 2016 9:00 am

Write about things you really know was the advice Papa Hemingway offered wannabe writers, so here goes: the French Open…