Tennis and the Art of Losing

As great as Hingis was, she was 5-7 in Slam finals.

By Richard Osborn

Baseball is a game of failure. Always has been, always will be. Ted Williams, The Splendid Splinter, the last man to hit .400, once confessed, “Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of 10 and be considered a good performer.”

Fellow slugger Mickey Mantle concurred, asserting, “During my 18 years, I came to bat almost 10,000 times. I struck out about 1,700 times and walked maybe 1,800 times. You figure a ballplayer will average about 500 at bats a season. That means I played seven years without ever hitting the ball.”

Tennis has its failures, too. After all, there are 127 losers in every Grand Slam draw. Only one player can be crowned the champion. But I


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