Tommy Tang (唐福順‏)

tommy tang, 唐福順‏, tennis, taiwan tennis,

Tommy Tang (唐福順‏) in his heyday

My friend Patrick Cowsill mentioned on his blog the other day that I was getting a piece together on tennis in Taiwan. That’s the plan but I still have a fair bit of legwork to do before I have the material I need. 

The inspiration for the piece  is the last of Taiwan’s so-called “three kings” , a lovely chap named Tommy Tang (唐福順‏) who a friend of mine bumped into by chance at his little shop in Yuanshan. Tang was Taiwan’s No. 1 well into his late 30s, before Lu Yen-hsun was even a glint in the biandang delivery man’s eye. He took a couple of games off Ivan Lendl in 1980, in the short-lived ATP Taipei carpet tourney and bashed some friendly balls around with the likes of John Newcombe and Pancho Gonzalez. 

He’s credited with being the first power-server in Taiwan and told me: “I copied my serve from Arthur Ashe, the great black American.” 

Anyway, watch this space …

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