The English “gentleman”
He looks like a kid himself. Fresh faced, must have been a choirboy. I am referring of course to Tim Henman. An English gentleman you say?
During one of his matches I witnessed perhaps one of the ugliest exchanges a player had during the tournament with a ball kid. We had one boy, a little chubby, who worked his tail off in 100 degree heat. Perhaps he was a step slower than most.
Mr. Henman would have none of it. Talked directly to the boy, told him he was slow, and asked him, how on earth did he become a ball kid? Then Tim went to the umpire’s chair and complained, pointing to the poor lad, and making it quite clear that he never wanted to see the boy on “his” court again.
We had to remove the boy who, by this time, was mortified and had burst into tears. That’s when being a mother really helps. You just wanted to pull him to you and tell him that everything will be all right. Would hate to have you as a father, Mr. Henman.
by Sandra Vincent
Sandra Vincent was a volunteer at the 2004 Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, and worked as a Ball Kid Coordinator. We thank her for sharing her unique perspective of the tournament and some of its stars.