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Luke and Murphy
by RJH

My wife and I had the pleasure of attending the RCA Championships in August 2002. A particularly unusual doubles match consisted of Jeff Tarango and his partner, (sorry I've forgotten his name), vs. Luke Jensen and his brother, Murphy. Watching the warm up, we knew it was going to be a different kind of match . All were left handers except Luke. Luke started returning balls with his one handed, (right handed), forehand. Then he would return some with his one handed, (left handed), forehand. Then he would return with his one handed, (right hand) back hand. Finally, warming up his serve, he served some right handed, then served some left handed.

During play, Luke generally used a rightys forehand and backhand and served with his right hand. When he thought a change up was in order, he served left handed or used his left hand for a forehand . Now, I don't mean he just got the ball in play. His left handed serve seemed just as good as his right. And his left hand forehand drive was very pretty. I did notice if starting serve with his left hand he would serve that whole game with his left hand, though I don't belive the rules require this.

Murphy wasn't having a good day. He is about 6 ft 5 in but, was having difficulty with his serve and keeping the ball in play. Finally, he could contain his frustration no longer and he broke his racquet, ... over his foot! He simply bent the frame in an arc over his foot with one severe blow. This brought a warning from the umpire for racquet abuse.

To this, Tarango shouted quite loudly from across the net, "That's not racquet abuse! Not from a guy as big as that!"

The next changeover as Murphy and Luke took their side, Tarango walked past Murphy's bag from their bench, stopped and rummaged around inside it, as the umpire gazed down on him. He found the bent racquet, pulled it out, and proceeded to smash it on the court! This brought an outburst and plea to the umpire from Luke and Murphy but no warning was given. Apselfly it's all right to smash your opponents racquet, but not your own.

The Jensen's lost the match in straight sets but it was great fun to watch.

After it was over, Luke very kindly signed autographs and graciously talked to the fans at length . He seemed in no hurry to get back to his hotel. Luke is a colorful tennis announcer but, he is also a tennis gentleman and a credit to the sport. Thank you, Luke. I look forward to seeing you play again.