New Issue
  Advanced Tennis
  Stroke Archive
  Patterns Archive
  HighSpeed Archives
  Famous Coaches
  Classic Lessons
  Tech in Teaching
  The Heavy Ball
  Tour Strokes
  Your Strokes
  Physical Training
  Mental Game
  Teaching Systems
  High Performance
  Future Stars
  Tennis Science
  Tennis History
  Tour Portraits
  Features and Notes
  Ultimate Links
  Contact Support
  Privacy Policy

Mr. Nasty: Part 2

Steve Tignor

Printable Version

What made Nastase the first casualty of the Open era?

That Illie Nastase would be the first casualty of the Open era wasn't all that surprising. He had come to stardom midway through his career and been caught unprepared.

Mobbed by teenage girls at Wimbledon one year, he shook his head incredulously, "I don't understand it. I'm 31 and very ugly."

Inhibited and innocent in his early days on tour-his friend and mentor Ion Tiriac had to pay for Nastase to lose his virginity to a Paris prostitute-and with no map laid out for him by any professional predecessors, when he did hit the big time, he had played too much, spread himself too thin, and overindulged in the temptations of the road.

"Tennis is a sport where there's no shortage of girls willing to sleep with a player, just for the hell of it," he said.

Still, just because he slept with one in one city didn't mean she got to travel with him to the next. "When you visit a beach each week, why take a bucket of sand with you from the last beach?" he asked.

Want to study the rest of this article?

Click Here to Subscribe!

Steve Tignor is one of the most experienced, well known and respected authors, reporters, and commentators on professional tennis, present and past. A senior writer for Tennis magazine, he is also a columnist for and He is based in Brooklyn, New York.


High Strung is the untold story of the golden age of tennis, focusing the legendary rivalry between John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg and the 1981 U.S. Open final. As the brilliant excerpts published on Tennisplayer covering the life and career of Ilie Nastase show, however, it is much more, as Steve's vignettes bring to life the other stars of this great bygone era, including Jimmy Connors, Vitas Gerulaitis, and Ivan Lendl among others.

Click Here for More Info or to Order!

Tennisplayer Forum
Let's Talk About this Article!

Share Your Thoughts with our Subscribers and Authors!

Click Here

Contact Tennisplayer directly:

Copyright Tennisplayer 2005. All Rights Reserved.