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West Side Stories

A Tosa resident for almost 20 years, Karen is a mom and freelance writer, addicted to playing tennis. When not on the tennis court, she spends the fall and winter in the stands at Green Bay Packer and Marquette basketball games.

Karen is the author of “Grab a Bite,” a dining out column and the former community columnist for the Wauwatosa NOW newspaper.

Melanie Oudin and How Tennis Saved My Life

Sports, Personal

Seems like the whole world has fallen in love with 17-year old tennis sensation Melanie Oudin. Me too. She’s so gosh-darn cute and has that refreshing “gee whiz” quality that is sorely lacking in most of today’s teenagers. Even my mom, who NEVER watches tennis, mentioned to me her admiration of Oudin. That’s my barometer of whether somebody’s hit the big time – if mom has heard of them.

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Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word


The other day, I was watching two college tennis players squaring off in a tournament match. It was a close one. The player that lost the first set was actually ahead in the second set. That is, until he self-destructed. First he yelled at himself for playing poorly: “Stop playing like my MOTHER!” he shouted. Then he’d kick the tennis ball when he missed a shot. Finally, his frustration built until he threw his racquet. The chair umpire calmly said: “Code violation. Racquet abuse. Game, set, match to (the other player.)” Sound familiar?

While watching this tennis match, I couldn’t help but think of Serena Williams and her own R-rated brand of bad behavior that lost her match point in a semi-final match in the U.S. Open. That also made me think of Roger Federer chastising the chair umpire and tossing a profanity in between games. Then, of course, there’s Kanye West, who used to be known for his brilliant rap recordings and will now just be known for stealing Taylor Swift’s thunder…and microphone.

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