An Extension

Well, this is what every contractor likes to hear – “you’ve been extended.”  Although relatively short, it means that between the gig, taking care of family, and supporting users of the Freehand Drawing Library, my lack of blogging will also be extended for a while.

On a personal note, I hope to get back into tennis after being out of practice since April due to a foot injury.  Looking forward to hitting this afternoon instead of just watching the US Open 🙂

Texas Tennis Open

If you live in the D/FW area, the Hilton D/FW Lakes is hosting the Texas Tennis Open in less than two weeks!  This is an exciting women’s pro tour event, featuring a number of well-known top-100 players in the world, and about a dozen of the top-50.

For more information and tickets, visit the tournament site at

Hope to see you there!

Tennis At 360 Flex

If you’re going to 360|Flex, I’ll be meeting with Paul Taylor (guyinthechair) for tennis some time during the conference.  Just casual hitting.  If you are a tennis player or are interested in some exercise, trying out tennis, whatever, send me an email at theAlgorithmist[at]gmail[dot]com.  We can all try to get out at the same time or over multiple days.  I’ve already scouted local courts and tennis centers and will have a car as well as multiple racquets in case someone needs a loaner.

Even if you’re not interested in tennis, make sure to say hello.  I’ll probably be the only bozo at the conference wearing tennis gear 🙂  See you in D.C.

Grapevine Tennis Classic Wrapup

I was really pleased to be in a position to sponsor this year’s tournament.  Although the single’s final was not as dramatic as last year, I’d actually have to rate the overall action as better than the prior year.  Numerous improvements to the organization and process lead to a smoother operation.  Night matches and covers for the stands were greatly appreciated.

Many thanks to the other sponsors and people like Tom Coyle who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to keep the tournament moving smoothly.  Chris Giordano and the Hilton D/FW Lakes put on another great pro circuit event.

Good news is that we get to do it all over again in November, which becomes our regular date on the pro circuit calendar.  If you live in the D/FW area and missed the action this year, check out the official tournament web site for more info and follow them on twitter to stay up to date.

See you in November!

More Indoor Tennis in D/FW Area

Do you play tennis in the D/FW area and live relatively close to the airport? Bummed out by the bad weather this winter? Well, the Hilton D/FW Lakes has the solution for you. They have reopened indoor courts. The court area alternates between meeting space and tennis, so it’s important to check ahead for availability and make a reservation.

Rates are very reasonable for indoor courts, $15/hour for sports club members and $20/hour for non-members. I’ll post some pics or video whenever possible. In the mean time, contact the sports club for more information at 817.481.8444.

Black History Month Robert Walter Johnson

Over  the past two years, I profiled several black mathematicians, many of which had an indirect influence on my own career.  I’ve been very busy taking care of family issues as of late, so blogging has gone off my personal radar.  Even so, I recently realized I have yet to profile a single black contributor to the sport of tennis.

Modern players like Blake and Monfils capture the public eye with their incredible talent.  Who has not heard of the Williams sisters?  Some of us may even remember greats such as Arthur Ashe and Althea Gibson, the first male and female black winners at Wimbledon.  Whatever the Williams sisters achieve on the road of success, that road was paved by athletes such as Gibson.  In 1950, she was the first black woman to compete at the US Open. Gibson achieved the same status at Wimbledon in 1951.

But the history goes back even further than that.  Black tennis players have a godfather whose achievements paved the way for players like Gibson and Ashe.  Both these players were coached by Robert Walter Johnson.  Johnson was a physician by trade, but an intense tennis player.

Due to segregation, black tennis players in the South had no access to public courts and often little if any money for lessons.  Johnson established a tennis camp for African-American children where expenses and instructor fees were paid.  In some cases, blacks were denied access to hotels, so Johnson offered his house as lodging to distinguished African-Americans passing through the Lynchburg, VA area.

In 2002, the house and tennis court were added to the National Register of Historic Places and in 2007, Dr. Johnson was nominated for inclusion in the International Tennis Hall of Fame to which he was inducted in 2009.

While you enjoy the success of modern black players in the time, I hope you also make time to search the web for more on “Whirlwind” Johnson, the person on whom much of the foundation of black tennis can be firmly pinned.

Prince EXO3 Black Review Part 2

My recent two hitting sessions were against a heavy, cold wind.  I was quite pleased with how the frame held up against the wind.  Here are some pics of the racquet, courtesy of Tom Coyle (Hilton D/FW Lakes).  The EXO3 Black is shown by itself and compared right next to the O3 Speedport Black (both with the exact same string job).

EXO3 Black is on the right, Speedport Black on the left (with the blue grommets).  I have to keep the pic sizes small for the blog.  Contact me if you want the full-size images.

The racquet has the same 16×19 string pattern and head size as the O3 Black.

Here is a side view.

Yes, that’s me – sorry, we were going low-budget on this production 🙂

Now, here’s the frame straight on.

And last, the two side-by-side.  BTW, the EXO3 Black is shown with the stock grip; the O3 Speedport Black has an overgrip.

Sorry about the left hand over part of both frames, but it was *very* windy when these pics were taken, so it was pretty difficult to keep the two racquets steady for the camera.