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Andrea Canella

Tennis Chalk has the pleasure to host a curious, imaginative, vivacious and perhaps indelicate chit-chat between the fab four, where new perspectives about time trip through tennis ages have been discussed and explored, assuming the roles of the main characters of fortunate saga Star Trek, starring:

Roger Federer as James T. Kirk,

Novak Djokovic as Spock,

Rafael Nadal as Dr. Leonard H. McCoy,

Andy Murray as Montgomery Scott.

From top left to bottom right clockwise:
William Shatner and Chris Pine as James T. Kirk , Roger Federer Sources: geekvibesnation.com gq.com Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto as Spock, Novak Djokovic. Sources: wikimedia.orgquotesgram.compeople .com cropped James Doohan and Simon Pegg as Montgomery Scott, Andy Murray Sources: davecsimpson.wordpress.comgeekvibesnation.comgq.com.au DeForest Kelley and Karl Urban as Dr McCoy, Rafael Nadal. Sources: wikipedia.orgwikipedia.orgtwitter cropped

Captain Kirk. So here we are!!! Hope all of you are well!!

Spock. Logical

Dr McCoy. Some injuries, but I can survive, with my drugs!

Scotty. Oh very kind from you.

Captain Kirk. Well, I would like to propose the exploration of Tennis Planet 70, where people were used to play tennis with strange rackets made of wood, balls were normally white, tournaments prize money were acceptable but not even like these days!!! And last but not least no players were used to wear baseball caps backwards.

Spock. Audacious and fascinating idea!!!

Dr McCoy. Well during that time there were also pandemics. We would better take some vaccinations

Spock. I can use my logic to deal with, Doctor!!!

Scottie. I am more concerned about our real condition, once we arrived to Tennis Planet 70!!!

Captain Kirk. Hold on! Scottie, you do believe that we might be able to arrive fit to this planet, so that we can adapt quickly to the different tennis customs in comparison to the usual ones of planet earth, don’t you?!

Scottie. Well, if I set the tele transport properly, I have hopes, that we might bring our best physical and technical versions.

Captain Kirk. So do it. In half an hour let’s meet in the tele transport room, since T-enterprise is now orbiting within Tennis Planet 70.

After half an hour the four meet as agreed, in tele transport room, ready to land in the new planet. The landing is successful, and the group facing the expected new reality, reveals a sort of feeling, which is a mix between astonishment, curiosity and incredulity. The welcome is very passionate, since everybody knows them. Ball boys and ball girls are so enthusiastic and launch them flowers. They follow some friendly and nice messengers to a T shape skyscraper, where the advisory board of the planet would like to meet them. Once they are brought to the last floor in the top center of the T building, they finally meet the 5 members of the board ruling the planet. They all wear long white togas, and have a gold laurel crown on the head, sign of respect, wisdom and prestige. The name of the members are: Jack Kramer, Philippe Chatrier, Pancho Gonzalez, Harry Hopman and William E. Hester. The guests from T-enterprise are informed, by the voice of Philippe Chatrier, primus inter pares of the committee, that they have to overcome some trials, to gain the right to leave the planet. Then Mr Gonzalez pulls a vertical string, and magically a big placard hanged to the opposite wall is displaying the matches, that the four foreigners must face:

Scottie Vs Jimmy Connors at Australian Open Final in 1974

Dr McCoy Vs Guillermo Vilas at Roland Garros Final in 1977

Captain Kirk Vs Bjorn Borg at Wimbledon Final in 1978

Spock Vs John McEnroe at US Open Final in 1979

Then they are invited to follow the paths that lead to the correspondent year islands, with rules remembering that balls, equipment, garments, shoes must be the same used during the seventies. “Play the matches, and if you win at least two, you gain the right to leave the planet, otherwise you have to stay here for 20 years“: warns Philippe Chatrier.

Contests results.

Australian Open Final 1974 – Scottie Vs Jimmy Connors – 6-4 5-7 6-3 3-6 6-8

Roland Garros Final 1977 – Dr McCoy Vs Guillermo Vilas – 7-5 3-6 6-3 6-2

Wimbledon Final 1978 – Captain Kirk Vs Bjorn Borg – 3-6 7-5 6-3 4-6 10-8

US Open Final 1979 – Spock Vs John McEnroe – 3-6 6-4 4-6 7-6 6-7


The four after finishing, rejoin to talk about their matches.

Captain Kirk. So did you enjoy the experience, of playing tennis in the seventies?

Spock. Well it took to me a set to find the right timing with wood racket, but then I was able to display all my flexibility to arrive on time to hit the ball. Fact is you have to be very precise when you use this type of racket. Nevertheless I lost the match, since that young American was so talented, especially by following his serve. What about you Scottie!!!?

Scotty. Well, somehow I hit the ball off the wood, and it happened due to the fact that I was not used to play tennis with these wooden tools. Anyway I managed to win the first set because Connors was a little bit too nervous, but afterwards he started hitting the ball earlier, playing in advance and reading my game. I suffered particularly rallies on my forehand diagonal, due to his early two-handed backhand particularly flat. Tell us your experience captain!!!

Captain Kirk. My opponent was very tough and played in a physical style. I had some problem in hitting perfectly balls in the first set, but then I started playing my game, following my serve and playing next to the net. From the baseline it was hard to win a point, so I decided to use the serve and follow it to close the points volleying. I also broke some strings and I managed to change my racket regularly. And you Dr McCoy, how was playing at Roland Garros in the 1977?

Dr McCoy. Yes James, I had great time, since the central court of Roland Garros was spectacular, packed to the limit. At beginning it was tough, since my Argentinian opponent was athletically fitted. Then, little by little, I started to dominate rallies, and by using my forehand, I managed to close the match in 4 sets. But I often broke strings during the match, so I tried to hit the ball on time, since I could count only on a set of 10 rackets!!!!!

Then they are brought to the same hall, where they met the 5 members of the planet board. Now they sit once again in front the five wisemen. And an unforeseen setback happens. Mr Chatrier takes the floor: “So the gentleman agreement was that if you draw the series, you could have left the planet. But now the problem is, that the roll of honor must be rewritten. After speaking with the other members of the grand jury, we do believe that you Captain Kirk and Dr McCoy, must stay here in this planet for the remaining 20 years!!!”.

Captain Kirk. Hold on!!! This is out of questions. Look we could find a compromise.

Jack Kramer. Tell us, what your proposal is!

Captain Kirk. Let’s say that you cancel my and Dr McCoy victories from the roll of honor, in a way, that this was just an exhibition and replay the final with other players. Then you will allow us leaving the planet.

Harry Hopman. Ehmm!!!! But Roland Garros and Wimbledon results will be figure out with one more match!!

Captain Kirk. Nope. You can consider the two matches played by me and Dr McCoy as pure training before the real final, even if we won.

Spock. It sounds also logical!!!!

Mr Chatrier. Fine. We have to come together once again in order to discuss your proposal.

After half an hour they were waiting for the verdict, the five members of the board come. They stand up, and discover their votes, one by one, leaving Mr Chatrier as the last. So Mr Hopman and Mr E. Hester express a refusal of the proposal, whereas Mr Krammer and Mr Gonzalez are in favor. So it stays: 2 -2. All they are waiting for the final vote with trepidation. Finally Mr Chatrier says: “Yes I have decided to accept your proposal!!! You can leave the planet, if you wish!”

Captain Kirk. Thanks Mr Chatrier. You proved yourself to be a wise and a correct man.

Then Captain Kirk takes the radio mobile to say: “Here it’s Captain Kirk, please tele transport us once again to T- Enterprise!!!!”. So they leave Tennis Planet 70.

Teletransport call. Credit to discovermagazine.com

During one night in Wollerau near Zurich.



Mirka Federer: “What’s going on, Roger!!!! It’s 4:00 a.m. in the morning. Children will be waked up.”

RF: “Nothing, nothing, nothing!!!! It was just a glimpse of past glory!”


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1 year ago

Finally, Andrea, you have left yourself go!!
That’s a hylarius story… I am only skeptical with

  1. Dr. McNadal being actually able to down Vilas in his prime with a dominant 3-1… playing with a small-sized wood racquet. How could he whip his trademark banana forehand with a heavy, 80sq stick?
  2. When Scottie Murray says: “I suffered particularly rallies on the backhand diagonal, due to his backhand particularly flat”… well it can’t be since there is no backhand diagonal between him and Connors, the latter being left-handed! Jimbo’s flat shot would meet Muzza’s forehand, as heavy as ever due to the wood racquet.

I hope not to have “spoiled a good story” 😉

Reply to  Unforgiven79
1 year ago

Hi mythical , I quite like exchanging opinions with you, because your opinion are valuable and worthwhile.

  1. The first Nadal was physically an animal. I never seen in my life an athlete like him on clay. Maybe Bjorn Borg could play an even match with him, but he was unbelievable. So I really think that even with old wooden racket, there would be no contest against Vilas. I am pretty sure that Nadal, could have found tactical and technical keys to overcome difficulties, because Nadal at the apex, made few unforced errors, especially from the baseline.
  2. Concerning the second point, you are right. I wanted to say that Muzza suffered the flat  two-handed backhand against his forehand. Reason is that Connors was a forerunner, with reference to the two handed backhand, by hitting early the ball on the rise. Beside he was using at the time steel frame racket, the “Wilson T2000” , which utilized a method for stringing that had been devised and patented by Lacoste in 1953.In my opinion in 1974, with that game, that racket and considering the rest of opponents, he was unstoppable and he could have done the grand slam, but he was excluded by ATP and FFT at Roland Garros. Anyway I am going to replace backhand diagonal, with forehand diagonal. Then of course the best shot of Muzza has always been the backhand, and in that diagonal he could have prevailed easily on Connor weak forehand.
Reply to  Unforgiven79
1 year ago

Finally, Andrea, you have left yourself go!!

Yes having left myself to go, it costs a lot in terms of research and also for creating the right frame of our four heroes embedded in a Star Trek story. A study of each character must be carried out and adapt for each member of the group.
The same when I wrote the article “Some tennis Girls“, as finding the right cover and right images to create the context for linking music and tennis via the Stones cover and the words embedded within the cover, was not easy.
So eventually, it turns out that this is another way for researching, in order to create enjoyable and funny contents.

1 year ago

Bellissimo racconto!
Curato nei minimi dettagli, con un’inventiva fuori dal comune. Bravo Andrea!

Reply to  Beatrice
1 year ago

Grazie mille Beatrice. Seguici su tennis-chalk.com, anche perchè i prossimi racconti, cercheranno di essere originali, seguendo il filone di altri articoli come questo e di “Some Tennis Girls”. Un caro saluto. Andrea

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