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Tut's Take Vol. 1, No. 3: What is the value of playing college tennis for an aspiring pro?
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Q: What is the value of playing college tennis for an aspiring pro?

A: College tennis is a great proving ground for pro tennis.
With the level of college tennis, you get a good idea of if you can succeed as a pro. If you cannot dominate the college players, you're not ready for the pros.

John McEnroeJohn McEnroe at Stanford and Jimmy Connors at UCLA each turned pro after one year of college, where both won NCAA singles titles, and both went on to become highly successful pros. David Pate and Sandon Stolle, who were both my players at TCU, both turned pro before their junior years, and both went on to win Grand Slam doubles titles [Pate and Scott Davis won the 1991 Australian Open; Stolle and Cyril Suk won the 1998 U.S. Open].

Also, playing college tennis gives you a valuable degree to fall back on if you cannot make it on the pro tour.

Tut Bartzen, the legendary TCU coach whose 16-0 record in Davis Cup play remains unequalled among Americans, lives in Fort Worth. He coached TCU tennis for 25 years, and the varsity courts are named after him. Send your questions for Tut's Take to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Monday, 02 March 2015 12:52
 
Tut's Take Vol. 1, No. 1: How were you introduced to tennis?
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Q: How were you introduced to tennis?

A: There were lots of kids in my neighborhood, and we played the sports as they came in season. A wealthy oilman named Preston Northrop built a very nice court two blocks from my house [in San Angelo], and he allowed the neighborhood kids to use it. They had a nice backboard as part of the court, and I nearly wore it out. I was 10. If Mr. Northrop had not built that court, I would not have started playing tennis. My parents bought me my first tennis racket at Sears and Roebuck for $2.50, so that's some other good trivia for you.

George Richey, a good college player, took an interest in me and helped develop my game. Later, he became a top pro and helped me the rest of my career. He was nine years older than me.

Closer to home [in Fort Worth], Preston Northrop was partners in the oil business with Robert Carr. Carr Chapel at TCU was named after him [after a donation from the Carr family in 1953].

Tut Bartzen, the legendary TCU coach whose 16-0 record in Davis Cup play remains unequalled among Americans, lives in Fort Worth. He coached TCU tennis for 25 years, and the varsity courts are named after him. Send your questions for "Tut's Take" to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Last Updated on Monday, 02 March 2015 12:51
 
Vol. 4, No. 5: Send Your Tennis Questions for Tut's Take... PDF Print E-mail
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Q: What was it like playing for the U.S. Davis Cup team that beat Cuba, 5-0, in 1952 in Havana?

A: Gardnar Mulloy was the coach of the Miami tennis team, and Pancho Segura was on the team
and won the NCAA three times. It was the kind of a deal where the player is as good as the coach. Segura always called him coach, which he was. So when I got the chance to play with Mulloy on Davis Cup, I called him coach.

Mulloy and Hugh Stewart played doubles, and I played singles. Stewart played the other singles. The idea was that all three of us were going to play. There were only three on the team. That worked out all right.

Cuba was not very threatening to us, although they weren't bad. They had two brothers on the team named Garrido, and of course I played both of them.

Orlando (L) and Reynaldo Garrido, played on Cuba's 1952 Davis Cup team. The pair later won the Canadian Open in 1959.The funny thing about this was that the more talented one [Reynaldo] was younger, but he was built more like a fullback--although very coordinated and fast. He was well-known in the states. They called Reynaldo "the beach ball," but not to his face. That's how we all knew him.

His brother, Orlando, was the better of the two at that time. Before my match, Mulloy said, "Just remember this: When you come to the net on the guy's backhand, he's going to go down the line every time." I thought, "Good to know, but I don't know how many times I'll go to the net on this guy."

So I take the lead and finally get an approach shot and go down the line--and he goes crosscourt on me. So I look at Mulloy and say, "What the hell?" and he just spits on the clay court. It's amazing that you remember that.

Tut Bartzen, the legendary TCU coach whose 16-0 record in Davis Cup play remains unequalled among Americans, lives in Fort Worth. He coached TCU tennis for 25 years, and the varsity courts are named after him. Send your questions for Tut's Take to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Last Updated on Monday, 02 March 2015 13:06
 
Tut's Take Vol. 4, No. 4: Your old friend Gardnar Mulloy is 100... PDF Print E-mail
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Q: You may be 86, but your old friend Gardnar Mulloy is 100 and going strong. What is it like for a pro as competitive as you or Gardnar, especially with such long, impressive tennis careers, to deal with aging? Also, tell us about some of your peers from back in the day.

Gardnar Mulloy is going strong at 100 years of age.A: I heard about Gardnar [turning 100] on the Tennis Channel. If anybody could turn 100 and still dominate, it would be Gardnar. He was just a super athlete, and so, as everybody else's talents dwindled, even if his dwindled proportionately, he would still be way ahead of them.

Really, I don't even think about age. It doesn't come into my thinking at all. I feel pretty much the same as I always did, you know, except my knee is in bad shape. It's a little awkward at times, but I'm using the cane, so that makes up for it. But the age itself doesn't affect me.

I know I'm lucky to be where I am, because I know a lot of my contemporaries are gone. From my Davis Cup days, [Chuck] McKinley is gone and [Barry] MacKay is gone.

[William & Mary partner] Gardy Larned is gone; the war took a lot out of him. He was in [World War II's horrific] Battle of the Bulge and suffered damage to his feet. He eventually got fairly normal, but he never said much about it. He never really discussed the war. That phase was awful. He was a smoker, and that didn't help.

Pancho Gonzales was another one. He was smoking while he was on the tour. Some of those guys were good and strong enough that they could tolerate bad things better than a lot of people.

Gardy Mulloy wrote a book called "As It Was," which is a military term, but it has a lot of tennis stuff, too--and some of the tennis stuff is really funny. It talks about his relationship with Ted Schroeder and how they were rivals and how Schroeder was on the overbearing side and really rubbed Gardy the wrong way. Schroeder wanted to be friends with Mulloy and wanted to stay with him while he was traveling, but Gardnar wouldn't have any of that. It's a good book. You should read it.

[Editor's note: I did read it, and you should, too. You'll laugh a lot and learn a lot.]
Tut Bartzen, the legendary TCU coach whose 16-0 record in Davis Cup play remains unequalled among Americans, lives in Fort Worth. He coached TCU tennis for 25 years, and the varsity courts are named after him. Send your questions for Tut's Take to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Last Updated on Monday, 02 March 2015 13:05
 
Tut's Take Vol. 1, No. 2: What was your best surface?
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Q: What was your best surface and why?

A: My best surface was clay, even though I didn't play [regularly] on clay until I went to college at William & Mary [in Virginia]. At that time, all the tennis in college was played on clay.

My first high school experience on clay was when we went to Austin for the state meet at Penick-Allison Tennis Center. My game adapted very easily to clay, as I was primarily a baseline player growing up in San Angelo.

Tony TrabertThe first time I played on clay, I won the doubles state championship in my sophomore year and the singles the last two years of high school. I also won the national interscholastic singles my senior year.

Barry MacKayI think I was temperamentally well-suited to be patient and wait for the opening. I won the national claycourts four times. I also lost the finals once to [Tony] Trabert and to [Barry] MacKay. I won the doubles twice, too.

Tut Bartzen, the legendary TCU coach whose 16-0 record in Davis Cup play remains unequalled among Americans, lives in Fort Worth. He coached TCU tennis for 25 years, and the varsity courts are named after him. Send your questions for Tut's Take to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Read about TCU awards, Mountain West honors...

Last Updated on Monday, 02 March 2015 12:51
 


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