My name is Sjoerd and I live in Groningen, The Netherlands. I was born in 1977, the year that John McEnroe was named Rookie of the year by Tennis Magazine. Pete Axthelm wrote the following in Newsweek:
‘He is a young man who raised perfectly placed strokes to a high art form, only to resort to tantrums that smear his masterpieces like graffiti.’
That year McEnroe was the youngest player to have ever played in the semi-final at Wimbledon.
I’ve been playing tennis since I was ten years old. At that time I also loved to play soccer, just like all of my friends. Spending a lot of time also playing football meant I was never really able to give tennis my all. That could be one of the reasons I never became a great tennis player and to be honest, I regret that now.
I’m a left hand player and I would like to think that left hand players are a bit different. Maybe it’s because they’re not easy to predict. Often a ‘lefty’ will choose a different solution than expected, making him hard to beat.
When I was a child I tended to look at tennis in a different way than my friends did. My friends supported Sampras, Becker and Edberg, whilst I supported Wilander, Muster, Corretja and Medvedev. These were the fighters, warriors even. I especially liked watching games on gravel: long rally’s in which the players fought for every ball. My mother sometimes wondered if there was something wrong with me. It wasn’t normal for a ten year old to be so mesmerized by Roland Garros matches. I would sit and watch them for hours and hours. Afterwards I would go to the tennis court and try to imitate the rally’s I’d seen, not just focussing on how the winners had played.
One of the first great tennis matches I remember watching is the last 16 match [link naar Youtube-film] at Roland Garros in 1989. The match was between the world’s number one, Chech Ivan Lendel and 17 year old Michael Chang from the US. Chang suffered from cramp at the end of the fourth set, after he’d lost the first two. From that point on the match completely changed. Chang started hitting ‘moonballs’ to buy himself more time, giving him the chance to recover. I remember he even hit an underhand service, turning the match into not only a physical battle, but also a mental one. At match point, when it was Lendl’s turn to serve, Chang stood as close to the service line as possible completely throwing off his opponent and making Lendl double fault. What a match, and such courage for a 17 year old! Chang went on to actually win that French Open, beating Stefan Edberg in the finals and becoming the youngest player to ever win a Grand Slam till this day.
Stories like this are the reason I love tennis. I can remember a thousand great stories that each deserve to have a book written about them.
In this period I became really fascinated by the tennis players most important tool besides their bodies; their tennis rackets. The first ‘real’ racket I bought was a Head Radical Twin Tube Zebra, Andre Agassi’s racket. I remember how proud it made me to hold that racket.
These days when I watch tennis, the first thing I do is look very closely at the rackets. What brand is it? What type is the player using? Is it the racket the manufacturer wants us to think it is? I know I’m not only one who does this.
I set up this webshop because of my passion for tennis, tennis rackets and tennis stories. Using my network of like-minded people around the world, I carefully created a collection of rackets for demanding tennis players. I’ve created a place to buy all sorts of rackets; the top new rackets, new old stock, second hand, or even accidentally – pro stock. Have you always wanted a certain racket? Let me help you find it! And if I can’t find it, well, then probably it isn’t to be found!