- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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Marion is going back to the States today. She'd started to climb the walls the last couple of days because the tennis scene has gotten to her. She can't understand how I do the same thing every day. The horrible thing is, I didn't realize how monotonous my life in tennis is until someone else came along and told me.
It rained today, so they moved our doubles final with Helena Sukova and Claudia Kohde-Kilsch off center court. That meant only about 150 people watched us become the first team ever to complete a run of eight straight Grand Slam tournaments. It was difficult, too, but after we lost the first set we won the next two rather easily for our 99th win in a row.
There was only one sticky moment. That came in the second set after I botched an easy volley and we heard one person clap enthusiastically. Martina looked past my shoulder to where the clapping was coming from. "It's Kohde's father," she said, and cursed.
I turned around to see Mr. Kitsch standing on the balcony, laughing and smoking. Tennis parents can be such a pain when their kids are playing. Mr. Kitsch is Claudia's stepfather. When he adopted her, she took his name to go with her blood father's, and now Mr. Kilsch travels everywhere with her.
Anyway, after the match, I passed by Mr. Kilsch, and before I knew it I'd called him a jerk. In the locker room Claudia questioned my behavior, which she had every right to do, and we called each other a name or two. Then everything settled down, and I went off to collect my prize money. Wouldn't you know it, of all the people in the world, who's there but Mr. Kilsch, picking up his daughter's check.
This time I told myself not to say a word, and I didn't. Only he started to scold me. "You are just another ugly American," he said.
That did it. "Oh? You want to talk about an ugly heritage? Let's start with the Germans." Then we started to go around, until finally I left. I'll have to apologize to Claudia.