Everything in life is more so than it was. That is the basic premise we must live under in the world today.
Teddy Tinling said that to the Tennis Tyro one day, and the callow fellow listened and wrote it down because he had been advised that Teddy knew more about a number of things than just about anybody. Anyway, he said them better.
Apart from the fact that he has a large, shaved ovoid head, has a diamond in one ear, and wears pastel clothing and chains around his neck, Teddy would look the perfectly proper clubman. Teddy had a nanny, he was a lieutenant colonel in intelligence in the second war, and when he speaks, mellifluously in the tones God had in mind before the English tongue washed up on American shores, he talks most fiercely of grace and respect, those two crumbling pillars of the community of man. Though he resides in Philadelphia (in the same apartment building Pete Rose once called home), is a resident alien, has a dentist in Paris and checked in and out of 50 hotels last year, Teddy is decidedly an Englishman. ("For he might have been a Roosian,/A French or Turk or Proosian,/Or perhaps Itali-an./But in spite of all temptations/To belong to other nations,/He remains an Englishman.") And though he was unceremoniously booted out of Wimbledon 35 years ago for putting a lace fringe around a female bottom—"You have put sin and vulgarity into tennis," said a member of the Wimbledon committee—Teddy is now chef de protocol for the sport, oral historian of the game, guardian of its glory, keeper of its idiosyncrasy.
Teddy was there himself, with Don Budge and Gottfried von Cramm, just before they went out to play the greatest match in history, when Hitler rang up and Von Cramm said "Ja, mein F√ºhrer" 11 times. Teddy umpired the first match ever played at Roland Garros in Paris, in 1928. Teddy was on the ship when the Japanese player, Jiro Satoh, despondent over leaving his fiancée to play a Davis Cup tie in Europe, committed suicide by throwing himself overboard. Teddy was called to serve at Wimbledon in 1927, when some of the players felt alienated. Teddy was called to serve at Wimbledon in 1982, when some of the players felt alienated. Teddy was at the scene when Billie Jean King, in one of his dresses, beat Bobby Riggs. Teddy played Big Bill Tilden when Tilden was Wimbledon champion. Twenty-seven years later he played Lew Hoad when Hoad was Wimbledon champion. Teddy was even there in the Wimbledon draw four times, a good enough player to compete at that level, in doubles, anyway. Teddy was there, on the Riviera, in the Roaring Twenties, Suzanne Lenglen's favorite, her designated umpire. Teddy was always there. He believes in reincarnation, but does he need it?
Teddy may have been born in 1910, but he's a teenager. He's Teddy Tinling, but he's also Huckleberry Finn.
The bigger the outside is, the more fun it is to be on the inside looking out.
Teddy said that late one night, and the Tennis Tyro smiled and scribbled it on his notepad.
One thing that bemuses the British—oh, for goodness sakes, let's say it: annoys them—is the American predilection for beginning almost every conversation with a stranger with "What do you do?" So if you aren't familiar with tennis, you're surely saying to yourself, "What does this fellow with the shaved head do?" Well, here are some words the Tennis Tyro wrote down: liaison, communicator, host, catalyst, image, public relations. When Butch Buchholtz, the former touring pro, was recently putting together a two-week tournament for both men and women that will premiere next year, he called on Tinling because, as it turned out, Teddy was somehow connected with six internecine factions that Buchholtz had to satisfy. Teddy is the only person in history to work on the staffs of all four Grand Slam tournaments, as he has been paid to do these past two years.
The Daily Mail of London once said rather bitchily, "How sick can a sport be when it requires a dressmaker to solve its problems?" What Teddy does is make things gentler and more agreeable. "I'm often the court jester, someone to tinkle the bells," he says. Wouldn't you like to have terrific company like Teddy around your place of business? Everybody should have someone around who doesn't necessarily do, but just is, and is excellent at that.
Here is what Teddy told the Tennis Tyro one day as they chatted after Teddy had his daily Valium: "My destiny is to communicate, one person to another. I never forget that a large quantity of people have a very dull life. It's terrifying to consider that when I come back it might be as a Russian, for those people are so terribly dull. I know He's a forgiving God, and I really don't believe I've behaved necessarily bad—or good, for that matter, because I wouldn't know the difference—but He still probably feels I need another aspect next time."
"How's that?" asked the Tyro.
"Well, for example, I'm quite sure that He'll have me a great deal more virile next time. But Russian. So dull. It's a terrible thing to be dull, so when I am a presenter, an interpreter, an M.C.—whatever the proper word—there is an extra dimension I want to give to the people listening. Perhaps just a phrase will open the window a bit.
"I'm an incurable romantic, but then, I think most people are inclined toward romanticism. Not long ago, at Manhattan Beach, Martina and Chris were in the final. I stood up for the introductions and said, 'Ladies and gentlemen, as children we all thought, the week long, that Sunday would bring us something especially nice. Well, it's my pleasure to assure you that today is one of those Sundays when something nice has happened to us all.' And, you know, they all applauded. I was brought up in such a totally outdated era, but I still believe that people will respond to grace and graciousness."
The Tennis Tyro decided—and Teddy might never have figured this out himself—that what Teddy does best of all is employ the first person plural. Even before the Me Generation, this device was not widely in evidence. However, when Teddy takes the microphone, standing there at courtside, all 6'4" of him looming, to introduce the players at the couple of dozen tournaments for which he handles that assignment, he doesn't just ladle on the adjectives—delectable...extraordinary...beautiful...lovely...pleasant pleasure (the Tyro was so busy underlining that one he missed getting down the next two and a half adjectives)...-ful...ideal...magnificent. No, above all, he always makes us feel a part of things. When he introduces Navratilova, for example, Teddy doesn't say, "She's been playing 10 years." He says, "The 10 years she's been with us...." And when it's time to begin play, he simply says, "Thank you for being with us and sharing in all this pleasure."
Tennis is an assassin's game. I'm not just talking about the players. Tennis officials take offense very personally. But then, we shouldn't be surprised, should we? If you don't identify with your subjects, you can't govern, can you? So you see, in all that I do in tennis I'm surrounded by strong men, and virility is institutionally rivalistic.
Teddy explained to the Tyro how he came to tennis precisely 60 years ago this past Jan. 4. That was the day he was standing in a crowd in Nice, where his family had moved because he had bronchial problems. Though just a gangly 13-year-old kid, he looked so keen that he was invited to umpire Lenglen's next victory (Lenglen did not experience defeat). The rest is not history; that moment of divine intervention was history. The rest is love. Teddy has never been far from tennis since then.
However, most of you are Americans, so you're itching to know, well, what else has Tinling done, you know, outside of tennis? Here are some of those things:
•Prepared for a life as a musician. "If Suzanne hadn't come along," he says, "I'm quite sure I would've ended up as a bad concert pianist."
•Designed dresses. From childhood he had a "passion for making clothes." He was happily making scarves for British soldiers at the front when he was only five, and his mother gave him his first sewing machine when he was 15. By his majority he was in business for himself, and he was one of the leading designers in London for the carriage trade until Hitler started marching through Europe.
•Run a bad business. As his dear friend, Marilyn Fernberger, the Philadelphia tennis promoter, says, "Money is never a motivating factor with Teddy. If he gets started on a dress and decides he prefers 20 yards of pure silk to one yard of nylon, he'll use the silk and never think to charge the difference." The Tennis Tyro thought David Selznick probably had Teddy in mind when he observed, "There are only two kinds of class: first class and no class."
•Served in the army. He enjoyed being a colonel so much—and getting a regular paycheck—he thought about making a career in the army after the war. Teddy set up the interpreters' pool after V-E day. "In wars before that, we never had to worry about other languages," he says. "They all had to speak to us." He sighs. He can still recall growing up, in an Empire, in a house like the one in which Peter Pan lost his shadow. He is the son of a standard Edwardian gentleman and a mother who, he says, "had only three children because she didn't like sex." Teddy remembers looking at the map of the world, on which only the blue seas covered more area than the pink sections, and his governess proudly telling him, "All those pink bits are us."
•Gone to the opera a good deal.
•Taken up bowling. This was about 20 years ago, and imagine, if you will, Teddy striding into a bowling alley, one peopled by milkmen, mailmen, cops and cabbies—the very cross section, indeed, that joined him on one of his first teams, the Green Arrows of London. "Well," Teddy opines, "I think when first they saw me they said, 'It's worth sniffing.' They taught me a great deal. But then, I taught them a great deal, too."
Eventually he was made chairman of the British Association for Tenpin Bowling. "Bowling gave me more happiness than anything in my life," he says, "except possibly being taken back at Wimbledon two years ago." Even now, when he returns to England for the Fortnight, he makes a point of trying to get over to the alleys to share a bottle of champagne with the lads. A group of ladies' leagues is named after Tinling—the Double Ts—and he has come to be well acquainted with the pins as well.
"Every pin in the bowling deck has a different personality," he said one day.
"The pins do?" the Tyro inquired, unsurely, reaching for a glass of spirits.
"Oh yes," Teddy replied. "Some are quite obstinate, while others have no resolve whatsoever."
•Gossiped, waspishly. If he can talk that way about bowling pins, about laminated things, just imagine what Teddy can say about flesh and blood.
Everybody in England is a show-off. I'm just one who'll admit it.
Because the Fortnight is on and Teddy is back at Wimbledon taking care of whatever needs to be charmed, tinkling some bells, now is a fine time to relate what he said the other day to the Tyro on the subject of England and its erstwhile American pink bits: "I don't deal in regrets, but the single regret I have in all my life is that I didn't move to America right after the war. But I was chicken then, and I needed someone to tell me I'm good. I always do. In England, you see, you're taught that it's immodest to speak up about yourself. You shouldn't flaunt. There is the assurance that if you are capable at something it will show itself.
"But in America there is this enormous determination to make an identity—a desire to be somebody out of 220 million. That helps explain, I think, why so much more emphasis in America is placed on macho body-contact sports. There's a higher accent placed on virility, and with more rewards.
"Still, I can be so terribly startled when I'm with a good American friend, and I'm made to realize, once again, how insular so many intelligent Americans are. Now there's nothing criminal in that. What isn't right is the American inability to do as the Romans do. I can't tell you how many times, in some corner of the world, I've heard some American whine, 'Well, why the hell can't we get a hamburger?' But then, you've set the pattern in the world for comfort since before my mother's time, so you have good reason to believe you're right—only it really is time that Americans learned that it's not always very tasteful to say so.
"Yet whenever I'm in America I feel as if I've come off the side roads at last. Nothing is too big and nothing is unattainable. And if you don't attain it, it's your own bloody fault. I like that. The first thing I learned on my first visit here, in 1933, was that you've only got 30 seconds to make your number. I was on a chat show several years ago, and the interviewer said, 'Why are you Teddy?' Before I could answer, he said he was going to call me Ted inasmuch as that would save some time. On the other hand, a lot of England gives me more pleasure now. I find myself more English now when I go back, since Mrs. Thatcher has managed to tap the good side of England again, the spirit and the pride I grew up with.
"I never married, and both my brothers died last year, so I have no family. I have had a wonderful lady, Margaret Kirgin, working with me for 25 years. And I've never been lonely. I think I'd be very stupid to be lonely. Then again, I do live a terribly superficial life. I've spent time in almost every major American city, and I don't really know any of them. Maybe my experience is perfectly proper if you're going to be a citizen of the world. Perhaps you shouldn't penetrate any single place."
"That's very well put, Teddy," the Tennis Tyro said.
"Well," he replied straightaway, "that's my job."
The greatest advantage of my age is that I retain, shall we say, a great deal of inherited respect for respect. The saddest thing in life today is the loss of that, because the first thing you lose when you lose respect for respect is respect for yourself.
The Tennis Tyro turned to a fresh page because he wanted to frolic in reminiscences. Teddy's memory is exquisite. Phillipe Chatrier, who's president of the International Tennis Federation and as powerful as anyone in the sport, says, "Teddy is our term of reference. Always, when I need advice or have to make a decision, I like to listen to him because he knows so much background. Nobody would dare tell stories about tennis without thinking what Teddy would say."
He remembers everything, not just the Wimbledons and the cataclysms. "Teddy," the Tennis Tyro said idly, "when did players start grunting when they served?"
"That was 1959," he says. He then provides a long illustrative anecdote about an early grunter.
"When did players first stop holding two balls when they served?" the Tennis Tyro asked next.
"Bob Howe," he pops back, referring to the obscure Australian player of the late '50s. "Of course, the two-handed backhand sorts made it epidemic. Mrs. Lloyd is most to blame."
"Oh," said the Tennis Tyro.
"Now Suzanne, of course, she always served holding three balls," says Teddy.
"Three?" gasped the Tyro.
"Well, in the event she served a let."
"Since Suzanne rarely missed a first serve, most pictures of her, most of my memories, show her playing with two balls in her hand." He pauses to remember, to savor.
The one, the only, all French, All World. "Magnetic," Teddy says. "Suzanne changed my life." She was homely, but an insouciant butterfly on court, Tuesday's child forever, sipping cognac at the odd-game breaks. She was a transcendent figure who transformed women's tennis from a time when the steel-boned corsets the ladies were obliged to wear hung, dripping blood, in the locker rooms after matches to a time when the female figure could be scandalously silhouetted.
When she was in flowing stride, it wasn't unusual for one of Suzanne's breasts to pop out. They were, he recalls, even accorded names by the cognoscenti, left and right, Jane and Mary. The wealthy winter habitués of the Riviera who would watch Suzanne every day were given to inquiring at breakfast, "I wonder who we shall see today, Jane or Mary?" After Lenglen won her first Wimbledon, in 1919—the centennial is sneaking up on us, Teddy points out, only another 35 years—she entertained her fans in her bath.
This was the player, the eminence, that the young Tinling first encountered in tennis. In the two years after he met Lenglen, Teddy umpired 104 of her matches and was welcomed into her retinue. "I was brought up in beauty," he says with a sigh. "Those were the days."
"I never knew them," said the Tennis Tyro, with regret.
"I did," says Teddy, with pride. "The movies are all wrong, you know. The only one that ever came close to getting the '20s right was Pete Kelly's Blues. All the others haven't the foggiest idea about the '20s. People were simply different then. They stood differently then."
"You mean, just standing around, they stood differently?" the Tyro asked.
Through Suzanne, Teddy met her doubles partner, Elizabeth Ryan, who was to become his great pal. She was an American who settled in England. "Why, Teddy?" the Tyro wanted to know.
"Snobbery," snapped Teddy.
Elizabeth could never beat Suzanne, but she was a superb doubles player and she achieved a Wimbledon record of 19 titles—12 in women's doubles and seven in mixed—that stood for 45 years, until Billie Jean King broke it in 1979. Elizabeth simply would have none of that. Out of the blue, she dropped dead the day before Billie Jean won No. 20. "I can still remember being with Elizabeth in a tea room in Cannes after she had lost a match, and her screaming, 'I have just been beaten, and I must be taken care of,' " Teddy recalls. "Oh, that was my upbringing."
Tinling has a sweet tooth, and he and Elizabeth used to go from ice cream parlor to ice cream parlor, rather like pub crawling, ordering peach ice cream at every stop. "Now, of course, peach ice cream doesn't taste like peach ice cream anymore," he says. "So what's the point? But then...."
Elizabeth liked to throw the peach ice cream down, so it would get her nose all cold inside. You know the way eating ice cream too quickly can do that to you? On this particular day, she ate a huge spoonful like that, and was catching her breath when a horrified woman said, "If you wouldn't eat so much so fast it wouldn't do that to you."
Elizabeth sneered and said, "Oh, and why do you think I eat peach ice cream?"
The Tennis Tyro thought that may be Teddy's best story because it catches everything so perfectly. With that anecdote it's easier to understand how the people stood around then, differently.
Teddy has known all the great players since Lenglen, which helps, he says, because, "People don't know how to handle stars anymore," as he does. After Lenglen came Helen Wills Moody: "Absolutely beautiful." Alice Marble: "The first real jock, carefree." Maureen Connolly: "The first whiz kid; the ideal body for a woman tennis player—a mosquito torso on piano legs." Althea Gibson: "I would always hand it to a pioneer, especially because I was a pioneer myself." Maria Bueno: "Dazzling; the closest to Suzanne in her grace." Margaret Smith Court: "As magnificent as she was, she never played her best at Wimbledon, but saved her finest for Forest Hills." Virginia Wade: "What luminous eyes; it's very important, I think, to have luminous eyes." King: "Madame Superstar." Evonne Goolagong: "Nature's sprite." Evert Lloyd: "The most gracious of all our champions."
Teddy felt no need to say anything more about Navratilova, for last year he said of her, "Finally, I have seen someone who can play better than Suzanne." Those words didn't come easily. "But I have no regret," Teddy told the Tyro, "because I'm quite sure that if Suzanne were here, she would say, 'Teddy, dear, that's perfectly all right of you, so long as I have the opportunity to play her and prove you wrong,' which Suzanne might very well do."
Unlike many old people who revere the past, Teddy doesn't carry it about with him. The reason may be that he has so much tennis jammed into his satchels, and sport, unlike so much else, can never stay in the past. Games never stop, as wars and lives and empires do. "Tennis is the ongoing thread in my life," says Teddy. "One absorbs the tone of life"—and here he gestures toward his heart, which today is beneath a gold chain under a checked suit—"and with that, one accommodates to what has now become appropriate. The peripherals. Some things are immortal, so then it's all a matter of updating the peripherals. Why, any moment now, it's actually going to be fashionable again to say that you like Wimbledon."
I never understand people analytically until I dress them. After all, at cocktail parties, doctors don't go round taking pulses.
The Tennis Tyro wanted to hear about clothes. Actually, only after the war did Teddy turn to tennis fashions. He had made just one tennis dress—for Suzanne, of course, but she died of pernicious anemia in 1938 without ever wearing it. When the war was over, in a country where it was hard to come by ties and scarves, there was precious little demand for ball gowns. So it was logical for a designer who loved tennis to begin to design tennis dresses. Logical, except—remarkable as this may sound to a suburban generation that has grown up wearing tennis clothes to the supermarket and for periodontal surgery (or giving same)—at the time there simply was no such thing as tennis fashion. Most of the women players wore boyish and utilitarian outfits, while the men favored baggy Navy surplus shorts and T shirts. "The most knowledgeable tennis audience ever was that at Wimbledon in the 1930s," Teddy says. "Those people wanted nothing of frills, nothing on the periphery."
After the war, the hoi polloi finally began to infiltrate the Wimbledon stands—"people my mother would say were 'right off the street,' " says Tinling—showing up in bare midriffs and God knows what all. But the attire on the court remained pretty much the same until 1948, when Teddy ran into trouble with the establishment for daring to add some light-colored trim to a couple of players' dresses. This desecration of tennis's virgin whiteness produced shock waves, and the dresses were banned. That was nothing, though, compared with what happened the following year, when he designed a dress for Gertrude Moran.
Gorgeous Gussy, as she would become known because of all this, was from Santa Monica, Calif. She had often played at Charlie Chaplin's fabled Beverly Hills tennis parties, and she was what newspapers daintily referred to in those days as "well endowed." In fact, Gussy was—and is—a dear, self-conscious, almost reclusive woman, and she was no more prepared to be the centerpiece of a cause célébre than was Teddy. "Above all, I'm probably self-seeking," he says. "I just don't want to be unhappy. And I did the fatal thing once. I disturbed."
He made Gussy a dress, but she came back to him and said that because she had never worn anything but shorts on the court, she needed some panties as well. "I do not think your underclothes are my responsibility," Teddy said. However, Gussy prevailed, and with the leftover fabric he had his assistant dash off some panties. When the aide returned with a pair that Teddy called "heavy and dull," he added the notorious lace.
It's difficult to imagine, 35 years later, what an absolute fuss the entire civilized world made over Gorgeous Gussy's modest underwear. For his imaginative angle work on the front lines at Court One, an AP man won Photographer of the Year honors. Gussy was so besieged that she took to walking around with a racket held up before her face. When the dust had cleared, she was signed to a professional contract and rushed onto the Bobby Riggs and Jack Kramer tour as the headliner, even though she was ranked only seventh among U.S. women. Tinling still hears questions about Gussy and her drawers wherever he goes, even from people who weren't born at that time and therefore cannot possibly comprehend how a glimpse of frilly underwear could unsettle mankind. But then, it's not stretching a point to say that Miss Moran's Tinling panties were the first bloom in the modern British cultural garden, which grew from Court One to Carnaby Street, miniskirts, King's Row, unruly hair and Johnpaulgeorgeandringo.
At the time, though, in 1949, Teddy had disturbed. Since 1927, when he had joined the Wimbledon staff, he had served as what he refers to as a "call boy" (a term borrowed from the theater), escorting the players onto Centre Court and Court One. For 23 years he had been a fixture. Indeed, a decade earlier he had been offered a full-time position that was intended to lead to his becoming secretary—which in American terms means executive director—of the tournament. After Gussy, however, Wimbledon had no use for Teddy. He was bounced, sent to Coventry, for 33 years as it turned out, before the tournament began to fall out of favor with the players again and Teddy was asked back.
A few years ago, Moran's mother died, and in the house in Santa Monica where Gussy had grown up, she started going through the effects. She came across the panties in a trunk. They had been there for 30 years. She considered them for a moment, and then, without a second thought, pitched them into the trash with the other junk she was throwing out.
"But they could have gone into the Hall of Fame," said the Tennis Tyro to Gorgeous Gussy.
"Is that where you'd like to have your underwear?" she said.
Tennis is an offshoot of life. Anything you do now must be a part of your life. There's no such thing as leisure anymore. Everything is organized leisure.
Of course, even during his long exile, Teddy's dresses continued to appear at Wimbledon. His clothes were always absolutely original; he never made any lines with frogs or possums or rhesus monkeys on the left breast. Says Gladys Heldman, a former player, the founder of World Tennis magazine and the person most responsible for creating women's professional tennis, "A Tinling dress always fit perfectly, with the perfect fabric. Plus, it had style and flair." In the '70s, he was hired to be the designer for the Virginia Slims tour. One year he had to create 95 dresses, no two of them alike. "Of course, I'm lucky in that the women in tennis are much more unlike each other than the men," he says.
"And better," said the Tyro.
"Oh, no. They only make us think they're better because they please us so."
"You see, when you dress a player you must take into account both her personality and the way she hits a ball. I would never dare dress a player without seeing her play. And sometimes the person and the player can be quite contradictory. I originally objected when Billie Jean wanted frillier dresses, but I went along with her and put her into the sequin business—I called it my firefly collection—because she was big enough to pull it off. They said she looked like an aging rock queen, but in the context of her majesty, that was a compliment."
Teddy doesn't design anymore; he has found other ways to communicate than through dresses. Then, too, he's appalled at the standard issue all the women now wear on tour. Putting aside that most of the players choose ho-hum little skirts instead of shorts, the pervasive separates style has returned, a throwback to the spare '30s. Tinling, raging, attributes this homicide of glamour to two factors. First, commerce. Tennis fashion today is, he says, "an Italian and German war fought on American soil with government subsidies." The main continental clothing firms have under contract the most visible stars, who in effect appear as mannequins for the firms. That any star would wear anything unique is, of course, antithetical to the whole idea. Rather, the point is to get the stars to dress in the lowest common off-the-rack denominator so that consumers can purchase the exact same outfit. In many respects, people don't even wear clothes anymore; they wear threads that are coincidentally attached to a logo.
Second—bombs away!—Teddy Tin-ling holds the feminist movement responsible for this regressive androgynization. "America's influence has produced a mentality of misguided equality, the idea that if you serve and volley like men, you can be equal to men," he says. "I've never thought anybody should copy anybody else. Instead, you should promote what is different. But it's not just the women. The first time I was in Japan, they wanted me to design something. So I started talking about using cherry blossoms and all the other beautiful indigenous effects. They looked at me as if I were crazy. They had in mind something that would make them all look like third-class American cowboys. But that symbolized progress to them." He shakes his hairless head in disgust.
For now then, while the Philistines continue to dress tennis players, Teddy would prefer to look at the clothes that skaters and skiers wear. "But someday," he says, "someday soon some new genius will come along, and she will be so talented and so independent that she will change everything around again." Probably, he thinks, this once and future Suzanne will choose a body stocking of some new fabric, or maybe she won't wear anything of substance at all—just body paint. White body paint at Wimbledon, of course.
I've always had an extraordinary instinct for what's going to happen next. I can hardly wait to come back to find out what's going to happen next in tennis. The rest of it, all the Star Wars stuff, is terribly predictable, isn't it? We know what will happen in the world, more or less, don't we? But we don't know what will happen in tennis, and I can hardly wait to find out.
Teddy has it all quite organized. The sale of the diamond in his ear will take care of the bothersome funeral details. There won't be a burial, though. With no children or grandchildren to come around to a grave years from now and put flowers on it, he has willed his body to the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. More important, he's leaving all his tennis effects to Steve Flink, a prodigy of tennis knowledge, who, of the younger generation, Teddy believes, most shows the proper reverence for the sport. A senior writer at World Tennis, Flink is 32 now. In being willed Tinling's collection, he has promised Teddy that he won't forget to pay homage to the memory of Suzanne's centennial triumph at Wimbledon, in 2019. Flink will be 67 then. Teddy will be 109. God willing, by that time peach ice cream will finally be up to snuff again.