DR. RENE Richards, the transsexual tennis player, has won her suit against the U.S.Tennis Assn. and the Women's Tennis Assn. for banning her from the U.S. Tennis Open being held at Forest Hills at the end of this month. They had tried to ban ber because she could not pass a sex chromosome test given to women athletes to make sure they are what they say they are.
Dr. Richards claimed the sex chromosome test was unfair and since she's allowed in professional women's tennis locker rooms, she should be allowed to play as a woman at Forest Hills.
The other side had maintained that if Dr. Richards is permitted to compete as a woman it will open the floodgates for a wave of transsexuals playing in women's sports. Many men would have operations just so they could compete against women.
Now that is possible.
As a tennis player who rarely can beat a man on the courts. I've considered an iperations similar to Dr. RIchards' many times.
After a discouraging set the other day I even discussed it with my wife. "If I could only have a transsexual operation," I told her. "I know I could improve my forehand."
My wife was very sympathetic. "Do it if you think it will help your game."
"The problem is I'm not sure. If I had the operation and then women started beating me instead of men, it would make me sick."
"Women beat you now," she said.
"I know," I replied. "And it makes me sick. But with a transsexual operation I might be able to psych them out."
"If they knew I was once a man, and they now had to play me as a woman it could make them so nervous they might double-fault and lose their serve, particularly if I didn't shave my legs."
"It's a gamble," my wife admitted. "The only problem as I see it is that if you had the operation and you still kept losing at tennis, there would be no way of going back, if you know what I mean."
"I've thought of that," I said. "But it did wonders for Dr. Richards' game."
"But she was a good player as a man. She's just become better as a woman. If you're a lousy player as a man there is no gurarantee you'll play better as a woman. Wouldn't you feel more comfortable taking tennis lessions?"
"There is a compromise," my wife said. "Instead of going to all the trouble of an operation, why don't you play in women's tennis clothes? Then if it didn't work out you wouldn't have lost anything."
"That is a thought," I said excitedly. "If I wore your tennis dress when I played I might be able to beat a woman. It would certainly five me an edge whne they looked across the net."
"I think you'd look nice in my tennis dress," my wife said.
"But suppose they make me take a sex chromosome test?"
"Refuse to take it. I think if you're willing to wear a tennis dress they have no right to ask you any questions."
"What a brainstorm," I said. "What a dress on I could even beat. Ethel Kennedy."
"Would you believe Chrissie Evert?" my eife said as she zipped me up in the back.
I was about to rush out of the house with my racket when my wife called me back. "You forgot the pomponse on your tennis shoes."