Category Archives: Author updates

“Tennis Posters” by Steven White

As previously posted in earlier blogs, my illustrations and drawings are now available at Fine Art America.

I happy to announce that my illustrations of the world’s best tennis players are also now available as posters. Here’s a sample of what’s available…

Juan Martin del Potrohttp://fineartamerica.com/profiles/4-steven-white.html

 

Sponsored page — <a href=”http://fineartamerica.com/art/all/french+open/prints” style=”font: 10pt arial; text-decoration: underline;”>french open prints</a>

Sponsored page — <a href=”http://fineartamerica.com/art/all/tennis/posters” style=”font: 10pt arial; text-decoration: underline;”>tennis posters</a>

Leave a comment

Filed under Author updates

Framed Art — “Tennis Legends” by Steven White

As previously posted, I have tennis art for sale on canvas at Fine Art America. http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/4-steven-white.html

I’m happy to announce that my drawings and watercolors of today’s top players are now also available as framed art. Here’s a  sample of what’s now available…

Raphael Nadal

Also, I’ve sponsored this page at Fine Art America…

<a href=”http://fineartamerica.com/art/all/tennis/framed+prints” style=”font: 10pt arial; text-decoration: underline;”>tennis framed prints</a>

<a href=”http://fineartamerica.com/art/all/wimbledon/prints” style=”font: 10pt arial; text-decoration: underline;”>wimbledon prints</a>

1 Comment

Filed under Author updates

Tennis stars on canvas

ANNOUNCEMENT — It seems that I’ve been doing more drawing than writing these days and the work seems to be paying off. As of last week, my tennis illustrations are now for sale at Fine Art America. http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/4-steven-white.html

Here’s a sample of my work… “Juan Martin del Potro” by Steven WhiteJuan Martin del Potro

Also, I’ve sponsored the page that follows the link below. Take a peek…

<a href=”http://fineartamerica.com/art/all/tennis/canvas+prints” style=”font: 10pt arial; text-decoration: underline;”>tennis canvas prints</a>

<a href=”http://fineartamerica.com/art/all/us+open/prints” style=”font: 10pt arial; text-decoration: underline;”>us open prints</a>

1 Comment

Filed under Author updates

Just entered a 600 word short story contest

Hi! Just as the title reads, I just entered a 600 word short story contest on Lulu. So just for my readers and followers, I’m going to post my entry on this website. Read it here, and post a review. Thanks a bunch!

“A Flight-weary Mouse” by Steven White

On his way home from Kitty Hawk, Buttermouse, as he came to be called because of his butterfly-wing-shaped ears, is blown off course by one of the nastiest storms he had ever seen. It had been hours since he’d seen land, and he suspected he was lost somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean. “If I only had a compass,” he thought.

 Tired and thirsty from thrashing about the skies and struggling against the storm, the flying mouse was beginning to believe that the balance of his existence could be measured in minutes.

 And then suddenly, Buttermouse’s ears began to hurt from a deafening sound that seemed a thousand times louder than the storm’s worst burst of thunder. At that instant, he momentarily seemed to be frozen in time and space, and the sky opened up in front of him in the form of a gaping hole. It was as if the entire universe began to churn, trapping him in its gravitational pull. Simultaneously, the immediate world around him transformed into an egg-shaped region of distorted space, and not unlike a celestial black hole, the dark core of the opening began to swirl and rotate, pulling everything in its grip to the center of the cavernous break in the sky – including the flight-weary mouse.

 “This is impossible!” Buttermouse shrieked as the blackness swallowed him whole. 

 To resist the wormhole’s pull was useless, Buttermouse thought, so he braced himself for an uncertain landing on the other side – he hoped. As he faded from the real world’s view, all visible light vanished with him. Truly, the force was so great that even light could not escape.

 Then, as quickly as the wormhole appeared, dispelling all myths about black holes or wormholes in space-time, the unpredictable marvel spat Buttermouse out the other side into what must have been another dimension, or perhaps another time in history.

 As the rodent regained his balance and orientation in the new world, an image began to take shape over the distant, foggy horizon. The closer Buttermouse flew to the figure, the clearer it became. Unfortunately, the clearness of vision was in direct proportion to an uneasy feeling creeping into his thoughts. There was something very strange about the object before him.

 A dark misty cloud hovering above the heights aided the deception, giving the air of a thing uncanny, unwholesome, and dangerous. But whatever the object was, Buttermouse had to find a place to rest his ears – lest he become fish food.

 The ocean phenomenon baffled Buttermouse’s fatigue-ridden intellect. He wondered if the strange cloud above the mysterious thing was a carrier of moisture. Often, the wind would drive away the mysterious cloud, only to be pushed or pulled back together with a howling of air that sounded like lost souls or demons.

 Buttermouse didn’t know what to do. “I must find a place to rest!” he said to himself. “I have to keep flying toward that thing in the water.”

 Swallowing his fears, he made a beeline for the mysterious thing, until finally, the vision before him became crystal clear. “It’s a pirate ship!” he shouted.

 The heyday of pirates was supposed to be a thing from the past, but when Buttermouse saw the Jolly Roger at the top of the ship’s mainmast, he thought to himself that he was either dreaming, or he had traveled back in time. But it made no difference – the ship was there.

 Only time would tell if he could survive life on board the Sails of Plunder!

Copyright © 2011 Steven R. White

All rights reserved.

3 Comments

Filed under Author updates, Steven's posts

Five Greatest Matches in US Open History

Sports writer and tennis enthusiast Paul Fein says that a classic tennis match is an event so momentous that the world almost stands still and watches, an episode so fascinating that we remember, even savor, it for years. The U.S. Open has treated us to several such dynamic and often career-changing duels. Let’s take a walk down Memory Lane and revisit these legendary matches.

1980 Final – John McEnroe def. Bjorn Borg 7-6, 6-1, 6-7, 5-7, 6-4

“I want to be remembered as the greatest champion ever,” declared Bjorn Borg after he out-dueled John McEnroe in the thrilling 1980 Wimbledon final. Many experts considered the 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-7, 8-6 smorgasbord of scintillating shot-making the greatest match ever. With his fifth straight Wimbledon crown seized soon after his fifth French Open title, the stoical Swede needed two more majors, the U.S. Open and the Australian Open (then played in December), to achieve a rare Grand Slam and his “greatest ever” ambition.

Borg and McEnroe have been forever linked after their two 1980 epic battles at Wimbledon and the US Open.

On the opening day of the U.S. Open, defending champion McEnroe said, “I just want to win the tournament, but if I knew beforehand that I’d win, I’d rather play Borg in the final. Say 22-20 in the fifth set.” Perhaps the irascible New Yorker should have been careful what he wished for since the tireless Borg had won his last 13 five-set matches. But pundits could also favor the sinistral McEnroe because lefthanders had captured the previous six men’s singles titles, and Borg had been frustrated in his previous eight tries to win the Open, losing six times to lefties.

This time, after a disastrous second set, Borg gamely fought back by whacking five clean winners in the third set tiebreaker and then grabbing the fourth set. Could McEnroe, who had outlasted Jimmy Connors in a grueling five-set, four-hour marathon the night before, finish off the fresher Borg and avenge his Wimbledon loss?

 Neither combatant matched their sublime Wimbledon performances. But Mac attacked relentlessly and intelligently to notch the crucial service break for 4-3 with a crosscourt backhand, and then served and volleyed with near perfection to finish a stretch in which he took 17 of 20 service points. Afterward, the exhausted McEnroe confided, “I felt my body would fall off.”

With his dream of a 1980 Grand Slam dashed, Borg skipped the Australian Open, which like the U.S. Open, he would never win.

1995 Final – Steffi Graf def. Monica Seles 7-6, 0-6, 6-3

Classic matches feature a riveting rivalry, star appeal, a premier event, contrasting playing styles and personalities, competitive balance and brilliant tennis. The 1995 U.S. Open women’s final offered these dynamic elements and even more drama because of the highly unusual circumstances.

Click photo to view on website: Monica Seles had dominated the women’s game before a deranged fan stabbed her in the back during a changeover at a Hamburg tournament and kept her off the tour
for 27 months.

In May 1993, Monica Seles had won seven of the previous nine Grand Slam events and dethroned arch-rival Steffi Graf before a deranged Graf fan stabbed her in the back during a changeover at a Hamburg tournament. The once-innocent and exuberant Seles underwent 120 sessions with a psychotherapist and left the pro tour for 27 months. While Seles had finally escaped her traumatic past, star-crossed Graf was trying to forget her troubled present, namely the imprisonment of her father on tax evasion charges.

In August 1995, the hyper-competitive Seles came back with a vengeance. She routed five opponents to capture the Canadian Open, and then at the U.S. Open blitzed No. 10-ranked Anke Huber, No. 4 Jana Novotna and No. 3 Conchita Martinez. That set up the most eagerly anticipated women’s showdown since the flamboyant Suzanne Lenglen, an idol of Seles, beat Helen Wills in 1926.

The “dream final” more than lived up to those great expectations. Powered by passion and pride, the two queens fought ferociously. Graf, renowned for her potent forehand and athleticism, staved off a set point to grab the sensationally played opening set, but Seles’ double-handed groundstrokes steamrolled Graf in the second set. Graf then outplayed her exhausted archrival to finish the 7-6, 0-6, 6-3 masterpiece that Graf called “the biggest win I’ve ever achieved.” After her victory Graf burst into tears, and the tournament’s most emotional moment came when the two champions embraced at the net.

Graf’s 18th career Grand Slam singles title tied her with Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert and made her the first player—male or female—to win four singles titles at each of the four Slam tournaments, an extraordinary achievement. For Seles, simply being back, rather than winning, meant everything. She had exorcised the demons that had so long beset her and declared she was “ecstatical.”

2001 Quarters – Pete Sampras def. Andre Agassi 6-7, 7-6, 7-6, 7-6

The best men’s rivalry of the 1990s ironically showcased its best match in 2001 when all-time greats Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi were in their 30s. Before their epic, Sampras said, “Andre brings out the best in me.” Indeed, Agassi often did, especially at the U.S. Open where Sampras whipped him in the 1990, 1995 and 2002 finals.

Pete Sampras raises up in celebration after beating arch rival Andre Agassi in perhaps the greatest match in US Open history.

In their 32nd clash, an astonishing array of thunderous serves, dazzling returns, pinpoint passing shots, and athletic volleying, as well as fierce battling for every point, elicited roars of appreciation and several standing ovations from the electrified Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd of 22,911. All told, Sampras and Agassi belted an amazing 178 winners (out of 338 points) against only 59 unforced errors.

In the first of four tiebreakers, Sampras built a 6-3 lead but couldn’t convert three set points–thanks to an Agassi winner and two Sampras unforced errors–and eventually succumbed 9-7. Agassi, a supreme frontrunner, had amassed a 49-1 Open record after winning the first set, but Sampras regained his composure quickly.

Incredibly, neither player lost his serve during the 3-hour, 33-minute duel, so the outcome hinged on tiebreakers. Serve-volleyer Sampras constantly pressured baseliner Agassi with 137 net approaches (versus only 21 for Agassi) and captured the next two tiebreakers 7-2.

Before the fourth set tiebreaker, the crowd gave both valiant warriors a standing ovation, which Agassi later called “chilling … I’ve never experienced that.” Down 2-3 in the breaker, Sampras whacked 116 and 128 mph aces to lead 4-3, but Agassi lost the most crucial point when he blew an easy backhand to fall behind 6-3. Even though Agassi survived two championship points on Sampras’ serve, the end came at 12:14 a.m. when he netted a forehand.

“The atmosphere was phenomenal. Awesome. I thought going into the match, this could be a classic. And I think tonight it was,” Sampras said afterward. CBS analyst John McEnroe, a four-time U.S. Open titlist, raved, “It was one of the most phenomenal matches I’ve been a part of in all my years of broadcasting this great game.”

1977 Final – Guillermo Vilas def. Jimmy Connors 2-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-0

The last U.S. Open staged at the historic West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills and on clay was the most bizarre because of all the firsts. The point penalty system and a 42-year-old transsexual, Renee Richards, made Open debuts along with an anti-apartheid demonstration and the notorious double-strung “spaghetti” racket that was soon banned. A spectator was mysteriously shot by an unknown sniper, another slashed his wrists, the women’s locker room had a bomb scare, and fans, angered by a program change, threw rubbish on the court.

In the last US Open played at the historic West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hill (and the last one played on clay), Guillermo Vilas defeated Jimmy Connors for his only US Open win.

Jimmy Connors, the brash rebel from the wrong side of the tracks in Belleville, Illinois, usually relished controversy and chaos. But it would prove his undoing at this Open. Guillermo Vilas ignored the distractions by talking only to his coach, Ion Tiriac, saying, “I must concentrate completely or I go crazy.”

While both were 25-year-old lefthanders, the similarity ended there. Defending champion Connors blasted flat groundstrokes, especially with his deadly two-handed backhand, contrasting sharply with the handsome Argentine’s heavy topspin style. Vilas, the introspective French Open champion who wrote poetry, had beaten 41 straight clay-court opponents, but Connors hit through the gusting winds and overpowered him 6-2 in the opening set.

After Vilas overcame 0-30 and 0-40 deficits to save his serve in the first and third games of the second set, he relaxed and began turning the match around. He shrewdly sliced backhands to exploit Connors’ vulnerability on low forehands. Showing mental toughness again in the third set, Vilas rebounded from 1-4, 30-40 and saved two set points serving at 4-5, 15-40.

When Vilas, buoyed by hundreds of boisterous Latin American supporters, took the pivotal third-set tiebreaker, Connors looked demoralized and tired. Then the muscular Vilas, renowned for his eight-hour training sessions, stepped up his attack—highlighted by dazzling backhand passing shots—and routed Connors 6-0 in the final set.

The fourth championship point ended the final controversially. The noise of the crowd drowned out the call of a linesman who seemed to hesitate at first. A confused Connors thought his forehand had been good. It wasn’t. Vilas verified the call. Infuriated, Connors skipped the awards ceremony and quickly tried to escape a berserk crowd overrunning the court. While some of Vilas’ overjoyed fans carried him on their shoulders around the arena, an angry Connors punched out a fan during his ignominious getaway.

2010 Semifinals – Novak Djokovic def. Roger Federer 5-7, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 7-5

Many observers believe Novak Djokovic’s Davis Cup Final heroics last December became the springboard for his phenomenal 2011. But the more likely turning point in his career can be traced to the 2010 U.S. Open. After Djokovic demolished Gael Monfils in the quarterfinals, ESPN analyst Darren Cahill commented: “Djokovic and Murray have been the two Robins to the two Batmans, Nadal and Federer. So it’s about time Novak put on his own cape and came through and won it [the Open]. He can do it. He’s playing much better. He has the belief now.”

Click photo to view on website: At last years Open, Djokovic was not afraid to trade forehands with the mighty Fed.

Djokovic would need that belief because he hadn’t beaten a top 10 player all year and The Mighty Fed had easily ousted him the past three years at Flushing Meadows. He would also need to play aggressively, particularly on crucial points, and pressure Federer’s second serve and vulnerable backhand. The 23-year-old Serb did all of that plus served better than he had all season and played superb defense. He also executed a smart but potentially dangerous tactic.

In the spectacular deciding set, Djokovic frequently traded powerful forehands mano a mano with Federer, like two heavyweight boxers, even though the 29-year-old Swiss boasts the most formidable forehand in tennis history. The highly partisan crowd cheered loudly for Federer, and it looked like the five-time U.S. and 16-time Grand Slam champion would come through for them yet again.

But Djokovic, trailing 4-5, 15-40, courageously staved off two championship points with winners—a swinging forehand volley and a rocket forehand. Then he smacked two more forehand winners to hold for 5-all. Ironically, Djokovic forced Federer into seven forehand errors in the last two games to pull off the upset.

Afterward, an ecstatic Djokovic said, “It’s one of those matches that you will remember for the rest of your life, not just because you won against one of the best players that ever played this game, but coming back from match points down and playing good tennis to win in the end. I am very proud of myself.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Author updates

“Bring Your Racquet” by Steven White on Approach Shots

Steven White is a professional tennis instructor and former satellite tour player who has been teaching tennis for almost twenty-five years. He is certified with the Professional Tennis Registry, the worlds’ largest international organization of tennis teachers and coaches. White has written four books on tennis, his latest – Bring Your Racquet: Tennis Basics for Kids for which he is both author and illustrator.

The latest work  is geared towards teaching the fundamentals of the game  to children, from basic strokes to tennis vocabulary.

Tennis Panorama News: What led you to write the book?

Steven White: First of all, I’d like to say that I have always been a lover of tennis books and magazines. As a teenager in the seventies, beginning with World Tennis and Tennis Magazine, I practically taught myself to play using these fine publications. In a nutshell, I used them to mold my strokes and develop a game style that suited my capabilities. I remember staring at the photos of the world’s best players of that time, Borg and Connors, and then imagining myself in those positions and hitting stances. But I was a late bloomer and had always wished I had started playing at an earlier age. So, as an author, I wanted to explain the basics of the game in terms the average young or inexperienced player can easily follow — in conjunction with fun and interesting illustrations.

TPN: What makes your book different from other instructional books?

SW: Too much written tennis instruction is overly detailed and unnecessarily complicated for young readers. “Bring Your Racquet” allows intermediate readers to learn the basics of the game from easy-to-follow instruction with simple sentences and word repetition to more sophisticated sentence structure, and new vocabulary. Simply put, it’s a fun and easy read. But what really makes this instructional guidebook fun is the blend of instruction with Manga characters. “Manga” is a Japanese art form loved by children and young adults all over the world. And truly, with the accompaniment of  these fresh illustrations, each lesson piques the reader’s interest in learning not only the strokes themselves, but it also promotes their reading skills and drives them to understand what they are reading – the instruction relative to a game they wish to learn.

TPN: What advice would you give to parents trying to get their children to learn tennis?

SW: During the many months that I worked on this project, I came to the inescapable conclusion that the young readers of this book will want to make their own simplifications of the game and personalize their own approaches to improvement. In a nutshell, they will begin to take responsibility for their own games – and that’s a good thing.

And finally, as you read and apply the tips I’ve provided, I hope you realize that this book is not meant to replace the teaching of your local certified professional. It is extremely difficult for anyone to teach himself tennis. There is simply too much to learn about the game. In fact, your teaching pro may even disagree with some of the ideas presented here, but that is nothing to worry about because, literally, there is no one way to play the game. You may even experience some difficulties in executing the strokes properly at first, but that shouldn’t concern you either. Allow yourself some time to gain confidence in your new strokes. You may even drop a match or two as you learn your new techniques. But if you are not willing to accept this, you will not improve. Above all, the one thing I hope to teach you, is that improvement comes only with hard work and patience, as I know all too well.

TPN: You’ve written other books on tennis, could you tell us about them.

SW: Yes, I’m also the author of “Teaching Tennis: Protocol for Instructors”. It was released in 2008 by Equilibrium Books, a division of Wish Publishing. As we all know, tennis is a difficult sport to play, but it can be an even more difficult sport to teach. Helping other players to develop their skills can be more difficult than developing your own. Teaching Tennis is a guide for both established instructors who want to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their teaching abilities and for players who want to become teachers.

TPN: Are there any future books or projects in the works?

SW: Funny you should ask. I’m almost finished with the follow-up to Bring Your Racquet. Haven’t titled it yet and I have a few more illustrations to create, but when it’s finished, Tennis Panorama will be the one of the first to receive a review copy.

Bring Your Racquet is a good primer for children learning the basics of the game. More importantly, it’s written in a way that both parents and children will understand. It’s straightforward in its approach,  yet very detailed in descriptions and instruction.

The book may be purchased online at Kirk House publishers’ website,   Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Borders.

To follow Steven White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tennisauthor

Leave a comment

Filed under Author updates

Trenton Times Review of “Bring Your Racquet”

GOOD READING: A new book for kids, “Bring Your Racquet: Tennis Basics for Kids” by Steven White offers some good advice for everyone’s mental game.

“The first thing you should do if you ever find yourself choking is to slow down,” White writes. “Slow down your breathing, slow down your walk, and, most of all, slow down your tendency to play fast. Attempt to clear your mind of all unwanted thoughts. Take a deep breath and recommit your thoughts to the challenge of the match. Long, deep, slow breathing can send a message to the mind, telling it that the body is relaxed and back in control.”

A different fundamental of the game is introduced on each of the book’s 112 pages, starting with how to hold the racket, progressing through the strokes, footwork, and other insights into playing tennis. This structure allows it to be used as a reference book or a cover-to-cover read. An easy online search will give you easy options on purchasing this easy-to-follow book for anyone looking to learn or improve — Ann Loprinzi, United States Tennis Writers Association and columnist for the Trenton Times.

 Available @ Amazon and Barnes and Noble

www.kirkhouse.com/books/bring-your-racquet

Leave a comment

Filed under Author updates