The View
from Here:
  Ellen Lampert-Greaux lives in Petite Saline, and when she's not organizing the St. Barthelemy film festival, or supervising the local volleyball league, or writing for various magazines, she turns her sharp eye upon local happenings.
  September'01
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   LOVE ALL
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  In contrast to the normal mayhem at sporting events in Saint-Barth, the second annual tennis tournament sponsored by Le Rivage and the St Barth Beach Hotel (with a raft of other local sponsors) was downright civilized. At the summer volleyball tournament, the matches could be mistaken for reccess in a schoolyard, which is after all there they take place. Kids are running helter-skelter everywhere, even under the sneakered-feet of the players. At the Flamboyant tennis courts, the players have the advantage of being inside the cyclone fence while the public, with their kids, has to stay on the outside.
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   A novel concept I'm sure but one that seems to work pretty well in this case. The highlight of this year's tennis tournament was the participation of Yannick Noah - that's right the French tennis star who just last month was the star of Boubou's music festival, so if you missed him in concert with the Zam Zams, you got another chance to see him in action back on the tennis court where he first flirted with fame. In fact, he was quite the celebrity and a French national hero after he won the Grand Slam singles title at the French Open in 1983 (the French like it a lot when a Frenchman wins at Roland Garros. This is however a rare occurrence so the winners almost attain sainthood.)
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   In Saint-Barth, slightly less in the limelight, Noah played men's doubles, partnering with his brother-in-law (another French tennis champion and finalist at Roland Garros back in the 1970s). They won, needless to say, beating a young Frenchman and Gregory Gumbs, the local teenage champion who may someday represent the island on the international tennis circuit. He's got good potential and to be able to measure himself against the likes of Noah was quite an opportunity. On the way to the winner's circle, Noah played a semi-final against Boubou himself, in a just-for-fun kind of match. The local tennis crowd also includes the four Bosq brothers, who all seem to have inherited a "good-tennis" gene, and a few Americans such as Susie, the winner of the women's singles matches. If you closed your eyes as her family and friends encouraged her from the sidelines you could imagine yourself in the Hamptons or in Aspen, where similar events were undoubtably also taking place in the twilight of late August.
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   Susie also won the mixed doubles, playing with a local restauranteur Albert of La Gloriette, who we often refer to as "Albert Agassi. " It's nice to see him win; after all they are his courts (or at least his ex-wife's, but that's another story all together)

  More to come,

  Ellen Lampert-Greaux


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