Some high quality youtube of Fabrice Santoro vs Julien Benneteau. Benneteau won the match, but he had to win each point three or four times before Santoro would let go.

Santoro might like the new two-handled NaturalTennis racquet promoted by a pro doubles team, the Battistone brothers, who bought the patent for it.

Victor Niederhoffer remarks:

That tennis is among the most beautiful match of racket sports I've ever seen. Reminds me a bit of a fantasy match between Evonne Goolagong and Althea Gibson. Or Vic Herskowitz playing Martie Decatur in handball or Jeff Hunt in squash versus Sharif Khan. amazing that Santoro can hit so well considering he can't move well. And neither has much of a serve or overhead which must have been their undoing.

Murali Mys agrees:

Santoro is a magician. He wields the racquet like a wand. He will be missed — 2009 will be his last year on the ATP tour.

Matt Johnson adds:

Santoro… Amazing touch and feel, plus, he loves the sport. I dig watching him. Actually, a rerun of a 2005 Masters Doubles Championship was just on Tennis Channel. Great tennis; four guys at the net, ping, ping, ping, lob volley, wind sprint, lob, overhead smash for the point. Santoro was a gift to tennis, I hope he comes back in a year or two, heck he's only, what, 36?

Don Chu extends:

Another Magician of the Court was the Moroccan, Hicham Arazi. With his dexterity, body coordination and rubber wrists, his touch and feel has to be amongst the best of any era. He could do so many amazing things with that racquet, admittably some of which had little to do with the game of tennis. Alas, his lack of a robust mental game, temperament and a complete game, was too much to overcome even for a wizard with his kind of body-alchemy; many times the Magician was reduced to Court Jester.



GannOn holidays we all step back and look to where we were at the same time last year, and at the previous holiday. Such a tendency led the mystic W. D. Gann to suggest turning points tend to cluster around holidays. Other interesting tendencies are the swings between consecutive holidays. Do they tend to reverse? Are agonizing reappraisals more common after holidays? Are there any French insider trading actions lurking in the wings while the U.S. markets are closed, such as occurred around Washington's Birthday 2008? Do the moves in the days after holidays tend to put investors on the wrong foot? Hypothesizing minds wish to test.

Anatoly Veltman replies:

I don't know about Gann, but there are some objective reasons why holidays matter:

  1. Holidays tend to be located around season-changes, (reporting) period changes, the time for new fund/budget allocations, when new traders kick-in, etc.
  2. If a strong trend persisted all the way into a holiday, then additional/final margin calling will inevitably be enforced — more forcefully than in course of non-holiday trend.
  3. There is increased probability of surprise news/disclosures over 3-day weekend vs. 2-day weekend.

To add my subjective opinion, as I'm enjoying this pre-school holiday with the kids: we should be thankful for the quite lengthy quiet period re: terrorism threats that we have had. My gut tells me to beware — plus I've found a tendency over my almost 25 years of gold trading: this useless commodity "knows" best.

Matt Johnson recalls:

I studied Gann for a while; I couldn't find success with his theories. Maybe his ideas were wrong, which might also be the reason why he died flat broke. Some turning points or breakouts can happen around holidays due to the lack of liquidity. I remember a great Euro trade either last Thanksgiving or two ago, it was Friday; US banks were on skeleton crews and HK and Ldn had a clear path -— follow through on Monday was also fantastic.



 As we learn from the great masters of trading, one has to use all his edges to beat the market. But this example of having an edge over your opponents is the most unusual I have ever heard of. And this comes from soccer. If you think about great soccer players (excepting goalkeepers), you think about how fast they are, how well they can handle the ball, how great their free kicks are. But have you ever heard anybody praising a soccer player for how he can throw in the ball? Nor had I until I read about a certain Mr. Rory Delap from the English Premier League . His team Stoke City scored "eight Premier League goals this season, five have come as a result of a Delap throw-in," according to this BBC report. Also watch this video on youtube. Have readers heard about any similar unusual (but fair) edges in trading?

Matt Johnson offers:

How about staying small, like managing assets under $25 million US? One can stay nimble, pack on size when need be, and be out with minimal skid. One can day trade with this sum, and make a contribution to the P&L, or bet smaller for the long pull. It's kinda like a throw-in.



 After a day like this, I always think back over some board proverbs of Wiswell or Bisguier. After you've made a really bad move in haste and got yourself in an untenable position, they would say, "Now you're thinking." This favorite of Tom's also comes to mind, "Moves that disturb your position the least disturb your opponent the most." I believe a variant of this is, "Don't create holes in your position." Tom liked to create problems with the theme, "It's darkest before the end of the night."

Matt Johnson remarks:

True, but you know the night has passed only after the sun rises. So do you trade when you first see a glimmer of light, or do you trade when it’s dark?



 In the context of markets, a cost is a reduction in equity or a forgone opportunity of enhancing equity. A decision, in the context of markets, is a new trade. A rise in the price of volatility is, in general, accompanied by a fall in the price of the underlying and vice versa.

A rise in the price of volatility is a reflections of the higher cost of protection market participants are willing to pay for their indecisiveness.

Hence, volatility is the cost of unwillingness to decide. Should one then, being a contrarian, not be keen to take a larger number of decisions during periods of higher volatility? How may one be able to study and understand if volatility is the cost of decisions or the cost of not making the decisions?

Matt Johnson comments:

Volatility is an expression of uncertainty (risk), not an ‘unwillingness to decide.’ For me, an unwillingness to decide is the lack of a clear trading plan. I make most of my money in periods of higher vol, but I’m in at the beginning, when I’m most uncertain — not at the end.



ScottIn high school, I had scholarship feelers to play Div. II college football. I could run a 4.5 forty and high jump 6'8". I thought I was on top of the world. Then I got sick with a horrible case of mononucleosis and almost died. My playing days were over. At the time I was devastated.

Now my oldest son wants to play football. I will not let him. Why? Because as devastating as it was to get sick and have to give up football (the best I ever ran a 40 after that was in the high 4's, and I couldn't jump anything like I used too), as an adult I've come to view it as a blessing in disguise.

To this day, my knees, ankles and back ache to the point of being almost debillitating at times. I get headaches and my memory doesn't work as well as it used to. As a corollary to this, I also suffered several concussions while playing sports. I was knocked silly numerous times and was knocked out cold more than a handful of times.

Then today I see this article on MSN about the danger of concussions and wonder if there isn't a connection.

Looking back, I wish I had never played football. Yes, basketball pounded my joints and I'm sure baseball and track did their fair share of damage, but I don't think they cumulatively added up to the pounding I experienced playing football. Yet I love to watch the game to this day and look forward to playing at our annual Thanksgiving morning touch football game every year with the guys from church (of course, I can hardly walk for the next two or three days afterward).

The human body eventually wears down and doesn't recover from the constant beatings that we get in life, unlike the markets which will shake off the bad things that happen and eventually move forward. At least I hope so.

Anton Allostrat agrees:

My football career closely parallels Scott’s except I ended as a college sophomore with a complete knee reconstruction. Protecting a loved one from near-certain long-term physical damage, which is the likely outcome when humans repetitively and intentionally collide, is the responsible and caring parental responsibility. The key is to give the prospective athlete other choices, minimal-contact sports that have a much lower injury rate. When addressing this issue with my son, no matter how clear my descriptions of the long term consequences on the human body, I’m sure he couldn’t completely comprehend what it is like to feel the effects of cumulative injuries in a middle-aged body.

Matt Johnson replies:

With all due respect, I feel like you're taking your issues and dumping them on your son. Not letting someone do something, or not do something, is like holding onto a losing position because "the economics haven't changed." Go with it, don't fight it, support your son in his adventures and he'll love you for it.

Craig Bowles adds:

I agree with Matt. I still look back thankfully at the bonds made and pushing beyond the simple limits in many of our heads. The most important thing is to learn technique early. My father always called it putting a shoulder on somebody. Hitting with the head is crazy and nothing like the feeling of a good solid shoulder lick. Maybe you should make sure the coaches know how to coach blocking and tackling. I wouldn't want my kid playing for a lot of coaches. That would just ruin a kids confidence. My fifth-grade coach was the best one and fortunately taught the solid basics.

Mark Candon reminisces:

Flag FI played soccer in college, but later tore up my knee in 1980 playing of all things, flag football.What the heck was I doing playing flag football? Perhaps having the most fun I ever had in any sport. Violence is a beautiful thing when you are doing the hitting. I’ve always liked contact, and football gives it to you in spades. There’s nothing like it. Why do you think all these people play football?

Yeah, it’s years later and I should probably be getting a new knee, but the rest of my body has been in better shape since 1980 because I’ve had to work out to keep the knee strong. I wish it had never happened, but I never for a moment regarded it as a terrible thing.

In sports, you have the chance to be the master of that world between the lines. In football, it comes in that long instant after the snap of the ball. A savage, athletic, and beautiful moment. I loved it. Believe me, I’ve had moments in other sports, but football’s the ultimate for adrenaline. You’re playing defense, it’s fourth and inches, and you’re amped. You can’t wait for the snap, because you’re going to drive that guy opposite you into forever.

Steve Leslie reflects:

I am reminded of a short little story.

In the jungle, A gazelle wakes up in the morning and begins running. For the gazelle knows that if it does not start running then it will be eaten by the lion. The lion wakes up and starts running. The lion knows that if it does not start running, it will not catch the gazelle. The moral of the story is that whether you are a lion or a gazelle, if you want to survive the day, you had better hit the ground running.

Thomas Edison once said most of success in life is showing up for work every day.

Vince Lombardi said "The good L_rd gave you a body that can withstand nearly anything, it is your mind you have to convince."

Unfortunately, we do not have the luxury of creating our own rules. Many times the odds are stacked heavily against us. But remember in the end, life is one long statistical game eventually the breaks even out. It is a journey and not a destination therefore we never arrive. It is like the horizon, you never reach it.

Take cheer for we all feel the pain of life. You are not in this alone. Some times this provides small solace. But then again solace is sometimes all we have.

Reid Wientge writes:

My doctor in high school, Dr. Campbell, recommended not playing football. He was quiet and convincing. I had been to a different doctor numerous times for pain and swollen hands — I played both defensive end and fullback and so could not wrap my hands. You see, my doctor had served in Vietnam prior to private practice. I am certain that he could not bear to see young men injure, scar and permanently damage their bodies.

Doug Johnston offers:

I played football in HS and at a Div I college program. I do believe that your HS experience is more exception than rule. HS football is fun and gives a boy/teenager many valuable life lessons in an environment of teamwork and fun. Football in HS is not brutal. Let him be a kid and enjoy his decision. If he were to be offered an opportunity to play in college — run away! College football is a big business and the payout of a scholarship is not nearly fair value for the "student-athlete."


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