Welcome to Tennis Elbow, the column that looks back on the week that was in the world of tennis. This week, Charles Blouin-Gascon closes things on a wild adventure.
If you’re reading this it’s too late and it’s been, as they say, quite a blast.
We are writing a new Tennis Elbow column for the very last time in this space. This adventure that started all those years ago is coming to an end today. The least we can say is that we’ve had fun. Diehard fans of our column may remember the times?
Remember back in 2012 when we started right on the cusp of Novak Djokovic’s dynasty? Remember the 2012 Australian Open men’s final? We had stayed up all 5:53 of the match to write our match recap the next morning after the best possible sleepless night.
It’s a little minor miracle that this column existed at all, let alone that it lasted a full decade.
Looking back on all that’s happened
We started writing it all 10 years ago while studying at Ryerson University’s School of Journalism. We were in Toronto then, and for a school assignment we were writing a feature on Milos Raonic. The lanky Canadian was by then the new bright hope of the sport in our country, and we explored what it meant that he showed so much promise. (This is neither here nor there, but Raonic has by and large fulfilled the potential he had hinted at all those years ago. It’s awesome.)
The feature that came from this exercise probably lives somewhere out there on the Internet, but the important thing to note is that while we did our reporting, we met and interviewed our esteemed editor-in-chief. We interviewed Nima Naderi and used some of what he said as background for our feature, and from there we both struck a friendship. We’ve met in person maybe only a handful of times, but the love and affection from messenger or text messages, phone calls and Facetimes have always been genuine.
What’s happened since?
In the time since, we’ve witnessed quite a few wonderful things. On the men’s side, there was the most dominant decade in history from Djokovic. There was all this time we needed to act like Andy Murray, because of a few timely wins and runs, was truly an equal to the Big Three–or, for that matter, that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have been equal to the Serb. Lately, there were all the injuries, the goddamn injuries, that have torpedoed many different seasons. Just this year, there was the near-calendar-year Grand Slam and the emphatic answer as to who is the best player in ATP history.
On the women’s side, there were all the Serena Williams triumphs, followed by her pregnancy and then frustrations. There have been a number of different champions, from the overwhelmed to the most deserving, as well as the many near-misses. Then we were lucky enough to witness the arrival of the next crop of great champions, from Naomi Osaka, Bianca Andreescu, Ashleigh Barty, and plenty more.
That’s not all. There was the time we watched Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard play Pete Sampras in an exhibition match in Toronto. Also, there were all the Rogers Cup matches we witnessed in person, both in Toronto and in Montreal. There were, too, all the player interviews in both Toronto and Montreal. None of it would have been possible if we hadn’t been a writer for Tennis Connected.
Why stop now?
In short, we’re stopping now, because we feel like it’s time. We’ve continued this column through two different iterations of this site, through about five or six different moving days (including one where we moved provinces), and now we feel like we’ve said everything we have to say. We don’t have quite as much time now, in 2022 and moving forward, to invest in tennis as we did a decade ago while we were in our mid twenties.
So this is goodbye for now, but I won’t be far away. You can still read everything I wrote on the website at my column archive, or even yell at me on Twitter about anything from rap music to tennis–and everything in between.
Come say hi. I’m right here.
Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG