Sport: The Master

On a cloth untrue

With a twisted cue,

And elliptical billiard balls.

—The Mikado

If a group of inspired idiots sat up nights trying to devise a game that would be almost unplayable, and even more difficult to follow, they would have a hard time improving on the 700-year-old game of "court tennis." In fact, there have been some noble tries. There have been court tennis players who used champagne bottles for bats, or played the game while riding ponies. And an 18th Century Frenchman went so far as to serve while crouched in a...

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