Andre and Stefanie

It was serendipity. When Andre and Brooke are about to get married, Brooke Shields post a picture of a woman in the door fridge because she wants that kind of leg and body when she wears her wedding gown. The girl in the picture is Stefi Graf, the famous tennis player. And Andre’s second wife. This is how Andre describe that specific moment where he keeps his foot forward (papansin) in his book “Open.”

They are about to play practice tennis in Florida. Here’s how he describes it:

“I tie my shoes quickly. I pull a racket out of the bag and walk onto the court–then impulsively whip off my shirt. It’s shameless, I realise, but I’m desperate. Steffi looks and does a barely detectable double take…We start to hit. She’s flawless, of course, and I’m struggling to get the ball over the net. Relax, I tell myself. Stop thinking. Come on, Andre, it’s only a practice session…But I can’t help myself. I’ve never seen a woman so beautiful. Standing still, she’s a goddess; in motion, she’s poetry. I’m a suitor, but also a fan. I’ve wondered for so long what Steffi Graf’s forehand feels like. I’ve watched her on TV and at tournaments and I’ve wondered how that ball feels when it comes flying off her racket. A ball feels different off every player’s racket–there are minute but concrete subtleties of force and spin. Now, hitting with her, I feel her subtleties. It’s like touching her, though we’re forty feet apart. Every forehand is foreplay.”

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