Transformation is change from one thing to another, but I started as nothing. I didn’t transform, I formed. When I broke into tennis, I was like most kids: I didn’t know who I was, and I rebelled at being told by older people. I think older people make this mistake all the time with younger people, treating them as finished products when in fact they’re in process. It’s like judging a match before it’s over, and I’ve come from behind too often, and had too many opponents come roaring back against me, to think that’s a good idea.
Surprisingly good book that was interestingly recorded as a series of conversations then edited.
Tennis uses the language of life. Advantage, service, fault, break, love, the basic elements of tennis are those of everyday existence, because every match is a life in miniature. Even the structure of tennis, the way the pieces fit inside one another like Russian nesting dolls, mimics the structure of our days. Points become games become sets become tournaments, and it’s all so tightly connected that any point can become the turning point. It reminds me of the way seconds become minutes become hours, and any hour can be our finest. Or darkest. It’s our choice. This is why we’re here. To fight through the pain and, when possible, to relieve the pain of others. So simple. So hard to see.
Like the phrase that Andre is a thermostat, not a thermometer, the atmosphere of the room changes when when he arrives!