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Q&a With Tim Mang:

Plenty of memories

TENNIS: CdM coach, who is stepping down, is thankful for all his achievements that came in high school tennis.

May 15, 2008|By Matt Szabo

Well, I guess they have changed it, because it used to be big serves but they cut that down. They made the grass longer at Wimbledon, they made the courts slower at the U.S. Open and the Australian Open and that made the points longer. That’s probably a positive, but that’s nothing to do with my high school coaching career. What I do is I come up with these freaking negatives and try to figure out how to change them.

The other thing is that we have all these foreigners who are playing in college tennis, so a lot of the high school players can’t play at top Division I schools. That really bothers me, so that’s one other reason why I started this [National High School All-American] tournament.

Q: And the racquets used to be wooden, right?

A: I used a wood racquet in college. I still have my Jack Kramer autograph, and that was the greatest tennis racquet in the United States.

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When I was a ball-boy at the Balboa Bay Club, and I was captain of my high school team at Newport Harbor, Dorothy Yardley was social director of the Balboa Bay Club. She got the tennis pros together, we had Pancho Gonzales, Lou Hoad, Pancho Segura, Jack Kramer all these guys had a tour. She got me and six other kids from Newport Harbor, we got to be the ball-boys for Pancho Gonzales and Lou Hoad and these guys. It was unbelievable. We got to have lunch with them, and then she got the Davis Cup team, we’d also ball-boy for the Davis Cup players. Then we got a free tennis racquet, any kind we wanted, we’d drive into LA to pick it up. I picked up my Jack Kramer autographed tennis racquet from Wilson. Things like that, you don’t forget.

Another thing I’ve really liked is going to Ojai every year since 1959. One thing they don’t do is give you the fresh cups of orange juice at Libbey Park anymore. They used to give you the cups and you could drink them all day.

Q: Who would you say is the best player you’ve ever coached?

A: Taylor [Dent]. My top players have been Taylor Dent, Parker Collins, Jed Weinstein, Cameron Ball, Carsten Ball, Brian Morton, Wesley Miller and Garrett Snyder. What’s incredible about that is I think I had four of those kids on one team in one year. An incredible team.

Q: Do you have a favorite team win over the years, where you look at that win and say it’s a pretty special win?

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