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Adrian Margaret Brune is a native Oklahoman who lives, works, writes, runs and tries to play tennis in Manhattan.

Blake Bailey wrote about misogynists for years. The establishment never even stopped to think he was one.

In early 2014, I had started shopping around a few chapters of a memoir, when a fresh-faced agent turned up in my Inbox wanting to represent me. Not knowing the literary world back then, I agreed. Followed by the signing papers came a suggestion to read The Splendid Things We Planned by Blake Bailey.

Wanting to please my agent, I bought a copy and settled down to the story of the Oklahoma-bred Bailey and his nuclear family, comprised of an obtuse, yet well-meaning lawyer, a self-serving and neglectful German mother and a degenerate older brother, whom Bailey both despised and…


If Serena builds it, will they come?

“Ultimately I really cannot wait to return to New York and play,” Serena Williams, said as part of a USTA videoconference last week to formally announce plans for this year’s US Open, to be held in early September — sans fans and ultra-sanitized.

Serena has a reason to go for it: tying Margaret Court’s record 24 Grand Slam singles title record — and then smashing it. Some other pros are considering other options for their return to the courts — Serena’s coach Patrick Mouratoglou’s Ultimate Tennis Showdown — while others are not waiting…


Eye off the ball and you probably missed it: in early May, the ITF’s Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) banned Egyptian player Youssef Hossam, 21, from professional tennis for match-fixing, permanently excluding him for life. It was a rare rebuke in a polite, conciliatory sport.

The TIU hardly issues life bans. Hossam, who had slid to №810 in the ATP singles rankings after reaching a career high of №291 in December 2017, had received an initial suspension. But the charges proved too great: eight cases of match fixing, six of facilitating gambling and two of soliciting other players not to use…


ATP’s World №3 gets lashed by unlikely opponent, WTA’s №602, Ines Ibbou

At minute six in the nine-minute film “Dear Dominic” she posted on Instagram on 8 May, Ines Ibbou, the top female player in Algeria, walks behind the scenes at the Qatar Total Open — past posters of Ashleigh Barty, Karolina Pliskova, and Belinda Bencic — and sets her bag on an empty court. Once ranked №23 in the ITF juniors, Ibbou, whose open video letter to Austrian pro, Dominic Thiem, has gone viral, asks Thiem what it’s like to have “a coach who assists you on tour? A personal trainer? A physiotherapist? A mental coach? A dedicated staff?”

By this…


While the Aussies labour down under, see Wimbledon and the U.S. Open outside the lines.

One of the first things a spectator at the All England Lawn Tennis Club notices, when walking into the Wimbledon Grand Slam on any given day, is their fellow spectators — those of us standing on our toes, looking through perfectly manicured flora, craning their necks over various gates and lines just to get a glimpse of the action… any action. To be frank, seating is sparse at the AELTC, and while in New York, Americans might shout some choice words at someone in the way or climb on top of an ivy-coated wall to get a better view, the…


In New York, in the time of COVID-19, it is rough — no deco-turf coating, here — for people who live for being on the courts. On something like March 13 (the days all blur) Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered people indoors and social distancing when we ventured outside of our 600-square-foot apartments for the basics. The guys behind the Play Your Court site had this advice, among other suggestions to play social distance tennis:

  1. Players are advised not to change ends during play.
  2. … No hand shakes or high fives.
  3. …Each player could have their own tennis balls identified by…

The second week of August 2018 — as the pro-associations WTA and ATP prepped for the hard courts of the the US Open — the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club (LLTC) a nine-court sanctuary in the middle of bustling Lagos Island, had its own big announcement: a new name and a new logo for the Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship. After spending nearly 30 years as a an International Tennis Federation (ITF) Futures Tournament — an entry point for pros seeking ranking points — the Lagos government wanted an upgrade.

“We are moving the tournament up to the Challenger Circuit,” announced…


Lockdown and Isolation in Two Different Eras of Fear

Before the novel corona virus hit U.S. soil, Americans were only set to commemorate one anniversary in 2021: the 20th of the day forever known as 9/11. Now, we will likely add the one-year observation of the March day that COVID-19 became a pandemic in New York. Both will focus on a city that represents America to the rest of the world; both will also recall two eras in which New Yorkers had to accept a degree of vulnerability that we don’t necessarily like. …


New Yorkers complain about Central Park crowding. But a subway-ride away…

Who doesn’t want to belong to the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, Queens. Am I right? It’s a gorgeous, legendary facility with tons of displayed history and panache, not to mention clean locker rooms. But the fact of the matter is this: most New Yorkers cannot afford West Side ($5,000 to join, about $300 per month in fees) or most of the other clubs in town. The parks have about 500 courts city-wide; the ever-lasting gripe is that there are not enough for the 2,000 permit holders… or they are too crowded… or they are not lighted… etc…


These players may still lag behind Gauff, but they are hitting on the rise…

Who doesn’t love a fairy tale? An outlier? A diamond in the rough who grabs a hold of the magic wildcard, sees the path and then blazes through in a fortnight before fans can figure out who or what just hit them. Disney has made billions on this perennial story. And Malcolm Gladwell, well… significantly less, but still.

One outlier on the women’s circuit hit pay dirt two weeks in Mexico on the road to the BNP Paribas Open, known more commonly as Indian Wells — before it was cancelled at the 11th hour on Sunday night due to fears…

Adrian Margaret Brune

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