Recently in the Wall Street Journal, Tom Perrotta examined the rarity of professional tennis families—unlike the Mannings and the Earnhardts, there are few pro-tennis players who have children who also go pro. For one, reaching the top 50, where money can be made, is extremely difficult. Truly excelling in this globalized sport (hence, more competition) is a one-in-a-million shot. The problem, says one ex-pro, is that the parent thinks his child is that one-in-a-million.
And about those parents—tennis fans are aware of Jim Pierce, the father of Mary Pierce, who was banned from games, as well as the famously difficult Richard Williams, father of the Venus and Serena. But you probably haven’t heard the story of Christophe Fauviau:
In 2006, Christophe Fauviau, a father of two junior players in France, admitted to slipping drugs into the drinks of his children’s opponents. He was convicted of manslaughter by a French court in 2006 after one of these opponents fatally crashed into a tree while driving home after a match with Fauviau’s son with traces of the drug in his system.
At which point, you might as well have Sensei Kreese from the Cobra Kai be your coach.
Photo courtesy of Vladsinger at en.wikipedia