Here's a true story for you courtesy of a true gentleman by the name of Alan Trengove. This particular fellow was the Editor and Co- publisher of the Australian Tennis Magazine well before TA got their grubby hands on the publishing rights and decided to monitor everything that was written about the sport in this country.
Alan is well renowned for his journalism expertise and his ability to source some rather interesting stories. I am sure Alan won't mind me relaying the following story which will undoubtedly be in Western Australian Tennis folklore.
Now when I was a kid of age 13 or 14 beginning to play some Perth junior competitions there was a rather handy player by the name of Michael Christmass who played at a South Perth club, perhaps Hensman Park, not 100 per cent certain though. Mr Christmass was no World beater but he could play the game and was a strong performer at many events around Perth but his name was the thing that stood out the most. How many people owned the surname of the World's most popular day do you reckon ?
The City of Perth held a tournament over the Christmas period in the 80's and in 1984 it was sponsored by Magic Toyota. I never played this tournament personally however it was a well received tennis tournament by all reports.
Murray French was another handy tennis player from Perth who entered the 1984 event and it just so happened that Mr French was drawn to play Mr Christmass in the first round. This is where all sorts of confusion began, not because of the 'Frenchman' but because of Mr Christmass.
When Mr French checked the draw around Xmas time to see who he was playing he saw that he was up against M Christmass, pretty simple really, everyone knew Mike, or did they ? The problem was this, Mr French was not aware of Mr Christmass so he actually thought that he had received a bye through to the next round. You getting the picture ?
If you had seen your name drawn next to M Christmass around Xmas time what would you think ? Yep that's what Murray French assumed, that he was receiving a bye, hence the words 'M Christmass' next to his name. He thought it was short for 'Merry Christmass you aren't playing first round'.
I wonder how many players would have thought the same thing and perhaps also wouldn't have turned up ? If nothing else but for the simple reason that no one on this earth was playing a Xmas tennis tournament with the surname that matched Santa's travels.
Apparently Mike went through to round two, the rest is a little unclear as it was in fact 30 odd years ago. Yes a very old story but a good one that I felt should be replayed. Thanks Alan for the story and well done on your journalism exploits not only in tennis but in others as well including the Olympic Games. The Australian Tennis Magazine will never be the same again now that it is put together by an organization that lack any real originality whatsoever.
If ever you read this Mr Trengove well done on your input for many years writing about a sport in this country that actually had a very different way of presenting it back then.
Perhaps the thing that was most evident back then was the diplomatic approach to certain issues that did not own a 'head up one's own bum' presentation.
I used to buy the Australian Tennis Magazine back then, it was actually well written, thanks Alan.......