"Tennis Gods" Thumbnail Sketches

most recent update... June 28, 2008

The "Tennis Gods" are nine immortal and all-powerful beings who oversee and direct with a sometimes-invisible hand all aspects of professional tennis in the past, present and future from their seats on the Supreme Court of Tennis. Anything that happens in the sport is because of them. If it does not happen, it is because they wish it to not be so. The Gods have often been referenced in Backspin through the years, so here is an exclusive thumbnail sketch about each of their personalities:

GOOLAGONGIS: The female Goddess who oversees the happenings at the Australian Open. She has a touch of an imperial, condescending attitude toward "mortals." as well as a hot-blooded temper. Although, She WAS the first of the Gods to guest author an edition of WTA Backspin. Australian great Evonne Goolagong was named after Her.

The Goddess Goolagongis (authenticity unconfirmed)

BORGUESE: The very proper God who handles things at Wimbledon. He has a bit of a flair for the dramatic, though... which sometimes leads to very odd occurrences throughout the two weeks of play at the All-England Club. Of course, Bjorn Borg was given his name as a way to honor this God.

CONNORSICAN: A bit of a rogue character. He's a known cut-up who likes to keep his fellow Supreme Court of Tennis Gods members up late into the night discussing humorously nonsensical issues... but He can be a tough guy, too, if the mood strikes Him. His specialty is U.S. Open heroics... hence Jimmy Connors' string of memorable performances there.

LENDL: The most antagonistic, arrogant God on the Court. He holds vendettas against players He doesn't like for whatever reason he deems important that day, and sometimes gets revenge by having things happen to people/players close to the individual He has a problem with... just to be a S.O.B. about it all. The other Gods don't like or care about Him, but are forced to live with Him anyway... at least until His age forces Him to retire from the bench. They snidely call Him "Scalia" behind His back, something which He typically views as a compliment. Czech great Ivan Lendl was given his name by Lendl... and he must have done something wrong along the way, since he was never able to win Wimbledon and was the subject of a Sports Illustrated cover that called him "The Champion Nobody Cares About."

EVERTIENNE: The calm but cutting Goddess who looks after things every year at Roland Garros. She cuts a striking, breezy figure in God public, but Her private opinions are often downright bloodless, if only because She cannot help but speak the truth. Wanting a champion in Paris that She could take pride in, She made sure Chris Evert was the tournament's all-time champion during her playing days.