How would you describe Maria Sharapova’s tennis career, or anyone else’s for that matter, in six words or less?
Just before that Ray Davies piece in The New Yorker, there’s a story about a new book called Not Quite What I Was Planning, a book of six word autobiographies. Not Quite What I Was Planning, get it? It’s a six word autobiography.
If I were to write my own six word autobiography it might look like this: “Honest, I’ll eventually get it right.” What about tennis professionals? What would theirs look like? Instead of exactly six words, we’ll allow six words or less.
Maria Sharapova is finally developing a net game or, maybe it’s safer to say, her allergy to the net has improved much as I can now drink milk without, well, you don’t want to know. Still, her game is power so I nominate the following for her career autobiography: “If I could hit it harder…” The obvious unsaid ending is “I would” but we’re only allowed six words.
Roger Federer’s might be “Fly like a butterfly sting like a bee” which is more than six words and is completely stolen from Muhammad Ali, so how about this: “Most dominant except for Tiger.”
Pete Sampras, poor guy, he gets so much grief for his charisma shortcomings so we could go with this: “Everything was boring but my game,” but I prefer, “Will throw up for a win.”
Martina Hingis has now retired to her horses and her boyfriends, but when she was playing, there was no smarter player out there and that little grin of hers let you know that she knew it. Therefore I give you: “The cerebral assassin strikes again.”
In this month’s issue of Tennis View, a new lifestyle magazine by Teresa Thompson, Teresa asks James Blake to complete the following sentence: “I wish journalists would stop asking me…” I’ll let you guess his answer but I will offer you this as his six word tennis autobiography: “Stop asking me about my goals.”
When Daniela Hantuchova turns her back to her opponent at the beginning of each point to psyche herself up, I always assume she’s singing the refrain from the Pointer Sisters song, Yes We Can Can. I imagine her singing, repeatedly: “Yes I can can, can can.”
Many six word autobiographies could describe Ana Kournikova and most of them would focus on her many assets, but here is one that highlights her assets without directly mentioning them: “Who needs titles to be famous?”
Lastly let’s tackle one of the best ever, Chris Evert. She was a conservative little miss in her earlier years. That changed over time as only it could if you were thrown into a locker room with rabble rousers Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King, but one thing that never changed was her dominant will. I offer this with all due reverence: “Less than perfect, don’t be ridiculous!”
As you can see, this kind of thing is not exactly my forte so help me out here in two ways:
1. Give us your autobiography in six words or less.
2. Give us an autobiography in six words or less for your favorite and least favorite player.
Best set of autobiographies gets a copy of the book, Not Quite What I Was Planning. For real.