Over at Slate, June Thomas serves up a consideration for tennis great Billie Jean King, with this one caveat:
My devotion wobbled on a few occasions–when she suggested in one of her autobiographies that we Brits were destined for tennis mediocrity because our dependency on the welfare state rendered us unsuited to the individualistic demands of the sport; or when she put me through months of misery by naming Atlas Shrugged as her favorite book. But this was a crush that endured long after my other adolescent passions faded.
At the start of this year's U.S. Open, the United States Tennis Association named its HQ after King. Whole thing here.
Official U.S. Open site and results here.
Back in 2003, Reason named another tennis standout, Martina Navratilova, one of our "35 Heroes of Freedom," noting, "As the first superstar athlete to admit she was gay and the first woman to play tennis like a man, Martina did more than inspire movies like Personal Best; she smashed stultifying stereotypes like so many poorly hit lobs." The whole list–certainly the only ranking to include the Czech refugee, Margaret Thatcher, Willie Nelson, and Robert Heinlein (among others), is online here.
And back in 2005, Reason Contributing Editor Cathy Young took the measure of "Ayn Rand at 100" and the staff compiled "Rand-O-Rama," snippets from the past half-century that testify to the controversial novelist's astonishingly "long shelf life in American culture." Check both out here.
Cheap tennis-related fashion trivia that everyone probably knows: It's a crocodile, not an alligator, on "alligator shirts" from Izod-Lacoste.
Cheaper logrolling for Reason stories about unauthorized culture: A shout-out to JC Penney's old "fox shirts"–the perfect complement to a pair of "plain pocket jeans" for a family on a budget–and the triumph of vulgarity here and here, respectively.