June 1982:
Junior Davis Cup Tryouts

Barry Buss

Davis Cup: the original team tennis.

The Davis Cup. The original team tennis. One of professional tennis' most lauded events, an international competition pitting nations against nations since the beginning of time. Each country fielding its best players. Bring the Davis Cup home and you're a national hero. But that was for the big boys, the guys on TV. We were Davis Cup for the junior set.

Seated with my fellow campers, I looked about me. There were pictures on the walls of America's greatest players: Ashe, Smith, Gerulaitis, McEnroe, Connors. All in their USA jackets, all playing Davis Cup.

Rivals Foes Friends Enemies

I was surrounded by America's top 36 junior tennis players, America's next wave. Aaron Krickstein, Richie Reneberg, Jim Grabb, Jim Pugh, Kelly Jones, Lawson Duncan, Tim Pawsat, Larry Scott. By week's end, a lucky few of us would walk out of here the latest members of the United States Junior Davis Cup Team, wearing with pride the letters USA on our backs.

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Growing up in Boston and Los Angeles, Barry became a national ranked junior player at the age of 12, and a member of the elite USTA Junior Davis Cup Team. As a college player he tied the legendary Jimmy Connors 22 match win streak at UCLA. He is now an independent teaching pro working in Franklin, Tennessee.

You Can Get There From Here

The harrowing tale of an American junior tennis standout's descent into alcoholism, addiction, bipolar disorder, and eventual hospitalization and his journey toward healing and recovery. Essential reading if you care about alcoholism, recovery and mental health, with competitive tennis forming the backdrop of Buss' life.

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