Will Carlin

Making Lemonade

By Will Carlin Keith Jarrett was not happy. The legendary American jazz and classical pianist had arrived at the Opera House in Cologne, Germany, late in the afternoon on a dark, wet and cold Friday in January, 1975. He hadn’t slept well in several nights, he was wearing a brace for a bad back, and—after […]

Ramy’s Allure

By Will Carlin At the 2014 Windy City Open in Chicago, the best player in the world was seeded number three. After winning the 2013 British Open in May and the NetSuite Open in October, Ramy Ashour had not lost in forty-five straight matches, winning nine tour titles along the way. But the chronic hamstring […]

Will’s World: The Fine Print

By Will Carlin There is a trope that medical researchers use to explain why it is sometimes impractical or unnecessary to perform a full randomized controlled trial: there’s never been one for parachutes. Such a trial would be silly and unethical because it would involve randomly assigning test subjects either a parachute or a non-working […]

Have Heart

by Will Carlin In August of 2013, an Egyptian beer magnate, Ahmed Zayat, was in upstate New York to sell a horse. Zayat was attending an auction of one-year-old horses in Saratoga Springs, and he wanted to unload his own yearling and perhaps buy a few others. He was looking to trade up. Knowing that […]

It’s About Time

By Will Carlin Howard Armitage is about to hit his third off-balance shot in a row. He has been on defense since his backhand return of serve caught the sidewall and landed about halfway between the front wall and the short line on the right side of the court. He had to scramble and lunge […]

Will’s World: The Bull

By Will Carlin Pablo Picasso, the Spanish artist, lived most of his adult life in France. Even during the Second World War, while the Germans occupied the city, Picasso remained in Paris. When Adolf Hitler became Germany’s dictator, his personal artistic preference was given the force of law, and Picasso’s style did not fit the […]

Will’s World: A Wolf at the Door

By Will Carlin It was early morning, and the stands at the Tournament of Champions in Grand Central Terminal were empty. Below the bleachers, despite echoes from the commuters on their way to work, it was fairly quiet. But the lone exercise bike was humming. Nick Matthew, known as the Wolf,  was working out. It […]

Forget it

By Will Carlin It was a tough moment for Roger Federer. He already was down a set in the final of the 2017 Swiss Indoors to Juan del Potro, and he had just blown a second-set break point opportunity at 2-1 by making an error on a relatively straight-forward backhand volley. Uncharacteristically, he smashed his […]

Will’s World: The Fade

By Will Carlin Ten years ago, I had a conversation with James Willstrop—the future number one player in the world. James explained how hard it is for spectators to really understand a squash match between top pros, that the game had so many levels of subtlety that even good players don’t really see all the […]