At 9 years old, J. C. Roddick, the nephew of Andy Roddick, was forging a path of his own in tennis. After years of showing promise in lessons at home in San Antonio, where he used a traditional racket, court and balls, he entered a local United States Tennis Association tournament in January 2012.
“They put him in this orange ball tournament and I thought, ‘What is that?’ ” said J. C.’s father, Lawrence Roddick.
On Friday, before the women’s singles semifinals at Arthur Ashe Stadium, two Grand Slam champions will be crowned at the United States Open. But most fans will have no idea who they are.
The ballad of mixed doubles.
With Andy Lehren, our NYTimes scoop on Patrick McEnroe’s exit as head of USTA Player Development.
On a recent weeknight in Greenwich Village, amid the circus of New York University dive bars, comedy-show hecklers and the drummers of Washington Square Park, there was a different sort of chaos.
It was at the tables of the Uncommons, a board-game coffee shop just south of the park that claims to be Manhattan’s first.
“He’s really tall!”
“Wow. That’s him!”
“He’s even cuter in person.”
The Elvis of tennis, Roger Federer, had entered the practice courts.
With Andy Lehren, a deep dive into the interconnectedness of American tennis. Come for the prose, stay for the graphic.
Times Insider asked me to reveal the contents of my bag. Mayhem (+ Muppets) ensued.
The Best American Sports Writing 2014
When I arrived at the NYT’s newsroom in the fall of 2011, I was new to sports journalism and I was completely terrified. One of my first acts was binging on the Best American Sportswriting series. If you haven’t read them, they’re a great assemblage of writing through the years, for sports nuts and novices alike. I leafed through the pages with a sense of joy, inspiration, and, yes, intimidation.
So I was completely honored and humbled to learn that Tomato Can Blues was selected to be included in the 2014 collection. You can read the full list of submissions here. Congrats to all!
The aftermath of a failed relationship: Rory McIlroy walks 18 holes; Caroline Wozniacki runs 26.2 miles.
Read more about tennis, love and running here.
While visiting my hometown, I learn of a composer’s efforts to create a soundtrack for a 10K at iconic Hayward Field.
The pop violinist Vanessa-Mae was perhaps the most unlikely athlete at the Sochi Olympics. A former child star in Britain, she competed in the giant slalom ski race for Thailand, her father’s home country.
On Friday, ski officials in Slovenia announced that Vanessa-Mae, 35, never should have been allowed to compete in the Olympics because the results of her qualifying races were rigged. Read more.
In honor of my upcoming high school reunion, I recently unearthed @kringle shot of 17-yr-old me MEETING DAVID BOWIE!! #tbt #almostfamous #ziggystardust #omg #TheMomentIBecameAWoman
It turns out that women’s sumo wrestling is real, but has struggled to attract American female athletes. I went to nationals in Wyoming (?!) to investigate. Don’t miss the fantastic video from Patrick Farrell and photography from Ben Rasmussen.
After covering the Winter Olympics in Sochi, I went to yoga’s capital in India and turned my cell off for 10 days. In Sunday’s Travel section, read about what happened.
LA, San Francisco, Boston and Washington make the short list of potential US Olympic cities for the 2024 Summer Games.