Drama at the ‘Rama

The New York Times recently did a story on the cyclorama in Atlanta. There are a bunch of cylcoramas still left around the world, but the Atlanta one is huge (the largest oil painting in the world).




This brought back one of the great events in U.S. racquet sports history, the finals of the 1984 Boston Open, Jahangir Khan v. Mark Talbott, 18-16 in the fifth. It was played in the cyclorama in the South End that is now a part of the Boston Center for the Arts. Hard to believe but it has been almost exactly twenty-seven years since the U.S. started putting on portable glass court squash tournaments. 


Late Night

Just played in the Haddon Tomes, the member-guest court tennis tournament at Tuxedo. The theme was Prohibition. (Last couple of years have been Eighties, Seventies and masquerade.) There were a lot of fedoras and spats and flapper dresses and secret passwords.

The event, just a decade old, has really grown and now is so well-subscribed (twenty teams, each with three matches guaranteed) that the last scheduled match on Friday—scheduled—was for 12:45am. It went on court around then and finished at 1:30am. (There was even a spectator, a loyal plus-one as the English pro said.) The 12:00am match in fact involved a team that also was scheduled to play at 8:30am the following morning; they were a bit lucky in that, as the first match of the morning was at 7:00am.

It all reminded me of the old Atlantic Coast Championships, the squash singles tournament, where they also scheduled matches into the night. In fact matches were scheduled all night on Friday, with full galleries and a lot of late-night hilarity.

The ACC event is still being played—in fact, the 2011 event is this weekend, at the Greate Bay Racquet & Fitness Club. From the schedule, though, it appears that Friday’s matches at the ACC end at 7:00pm.

Atlas Lives (the shot)

Dick Druckman has captured hundreds of classic sports moments with his camera: Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit; Michael Phelps capturing his first gold medal, Lance Armstrong winning his seventh Tour de France. So what does Druckman pose right off his shoulder when he is being interviewed by ABC World News? 

The photo of Gustav Detter after winning the Atlas Lives match from five and a half years ago. 


U.S. Open

Finally, Philly gets a portable-court tournament. The U.S. Open at Drexel.

It has been getting people talking: the dragon sculpture outside the facility, the one hundred-plus volunteers smoothing the way, the eighty-four players, the upsets (watched Nicol David go down in the quarters last night) and everyone, and I mean everyone, giving it a whack on the radar gun. Johnny White got it up to 160-mph on his backhand. Wow. 

Pretty nice description of the tournament by Tracy Gates:



It even got noticed on the left coast: