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Whitney Reed: The Air Force, The Korean War, and San Jose State

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  • kenh
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    I was playing qualifying in the old WATCH circuit of the 70’s and didn’t have much money. I was living in a van, eating beans and stringing racquets to have some money. Left California with 20 cases of Coors at about $6 a case and quickly sold out in Florida at $20 a case. Whitney Reed was playing the circuit with Frank Frohling. I was told they were trying to get in shape for some national seniors event. At the time I was playing with the red Head racquet as was Whitney. I needed another racquet and thought I might be able to get a deal off him. As I was stringing a racquet in some tournament’s parking lot I saw Whitney walking my way. I was getting primed to ask him but before I could get a word out of my mouth he started working me for a free string job. He was quick.
    On one day we both had the same starting time. I had gone thru my pre match routine and as part of the routine and part of nerves I had to take a leak. Standing in the urinal next to me was Reed. What a contrast, I was nervous and going but Whitney had his racquets under his left arm. His right hand was managing himself at the urinal and in his left hand he had a 20 ounce beer and a lit cigarette between his fingers. What a contrast.
    My other memory of him on that circuit was watching him play a fascinating match. On his serve he would serve to one corner, put a first volley on the opposite sideline and then hit a winning volley back to the side he had served to. Very efficient and minimum effort. On the return games he wasted no effort. He tried to blast every return for a winner down the line. It was going to win or lose in one shot. He did not break and did not get broken. Then when he was returning up 5-4 he changed his tactics. He would hit a chip return down the center at the volliers feet . The vollier hit the ball out to one side or the other. Reed ran on full fly and without slowing down or setting up and he blasted a passing winners down the line. He kept running after hitting the shot giving no regard to getting back to the center of the court after hitting the ball and used the fence to stop himself. He than took a moment, leaning with his fanny against the fence and with his with hands on knees, to get his breath. He got the break and won the match 4&4 doing just that.
    “Whitney is it true you train on hot dogs and beer?” Whitney: “ I don’t know about the hot dogs.”

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  • flatflat
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    I saw Whitney play doubles for serious at the Pacific Coast International on Court 2 at the Berkeley Tennis Club. Big, heavy slice serve, and serve and volley. Crushing sitters and only using that famous touch for unbeatable topspin lobs. They beat their Australian opponents Bill Bowrey and partner in straight sets. Whitney did OK in the men's singles too. Got to the round of 16 or the quarter-finals thereabouts. This tournament was the only time I ever saw Whitney hit hard. Who knew he had power?

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  • bababa
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    Who won? Taht's pretty funny.

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  • Whitney Reed: The Air Force, The Korean War, and San Jose State

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