The gender changer


Years ago, Renée Richards, an American ophthalmologist, author and professional tennis player, underwent sex reassignment surgery. She initially was not allowed in the women’s draw in 1976 but after she challenged the ban, ultimately played five US Opens, from 1977 to 1981, with the best result reaching third round. He played five US Open in the men draw, the best result was second round. Her best result in the US Open was mixed doubles, she went as far as semi final in 1979. Apparently the gender reassignment did not really help her tennis career.

It was day 2 of USTA/Eastern Metro 2011 Regional Championship. We were playing Bronx.

Jerry and I had a 3-0 lead in the fist set but lost it 7-5. The gent seemed having trouble moving in the beginning which was distracting, which is to say, I need to improve my game mentally and my brain.

My mind began wandering around, trying to figure out why Court #15 next to us wasn’t being used by Deb: two girls vs a gal and a guy. … Thought I saw the girl in the blue dress was mingling with us .. It bothered me. So .. after couple of more games and finally I heard the tall gal grunt like a man. Oh, I got it, to show unity he dressed in sync with his partner.
How sweet and cute.
We lost first set.

Then the second set, and the match at 5 and 4.

After the match, I teased Jerry, next time maybe he should wear an outfit that matches mine, just like that guy on Court 15. One of my mates heard it and told us in whisper,

“He’s going through gender change.”

Ops. I didn’t know.

However, a couple of years later, the girl would play on my 8.0 team. Needless to say, we are all very happy. She plays first doubles, won five and half out of eight matches.

Her first match’s opponents were both active with the League. The League is a small world. The committee members are all tennis bums themselves. Season in and season out, there is always the chance that you either be on the same team with or play against those committee members. They happened both worked on my first team.

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