A Courtly Player

Much has changed in tennis in half a century. And some things haven't. What's the biggest change? Power. As a guest at last year's Wimbledon Championships, Ashley Cooper noted the path of the men's serves from his premium seat. When an ace was delivered down the middle of the court, he says, the ball would still be climbing when it crashed into the backboard. "In my time," he says, "a serve that reached the backboard on the first bounce would draw a gasp from the crowd." The biggest server in Cooper's day was the American Pancho Gonzales, who...

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