Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Looking Back: Roscoe Tanner, Tennis Bad Boy 27

Posted on August 09, 2009 by JA Allen
Roscoe Tanner won the 1977 Australian Open and was a finalist at Wimbledon in 1979.

Roscoe Tanner won the 1977 Australian Open and was a finalist at Wimbledon in 1979.

Blond, beautiful, athletic—filled with untapped promise, Roscoe Tanner should be among our heroes in tennis.  Instead he sits atop a rare list of tennis gone-bad boys.

Tanner remains one of the finest tennis players of the 1970s. In 1977, he won the Australian Open and in 1979 played Bjorn Borg to a trauma-inducing final at Wimbledon, extending him to five sets before finally falling to the mystique and iron will of the ice man.

The significance of that match goes beyond the intensity of its level of competition. It was the first live broadcast of Breakfast at Wimbledon, now a tradition to tennis loving fans in the United States.

NBC had prayed for John McEnroe or Jimmy Connors to meet Borg in the finals. Instead, they got Roscoe Tanner, who played the match of his life. We owe the continuation of the early morning live broadcast to him for making it memorable.

Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

      Read more »

    • RSSArchive for Vintage Athlete of the Month »
  • Follow Us Online

  • Current Poll

    Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
  • Post Categories



↑ Top