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Technology

'Tennis is dependent on jet travel'

By Jim Courier for CNN

Jim Courier
Courier: "Flying has opened up new horizons for tennis."
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(CNN) -- The piece of technology that has definitely had the biggest impact on my life is the airplane.

As a tennis player, I've traveled all over the world and flying has become so efficient and comfortable that it's really now taken for granted.

It's an interesting technology too because it's the only one that has actually gone backwards, now that Concorde has been shelved.

I was lucky enough to fly on Concorde quite a lot and it was an amazing time saver and a pretty elegant way to travel too.

I miss it but I hear they were running it on spare parts. If it's not safe to fly then you can't get up there. But I suspect that one day we'll get a new SST (Supersonic Transport) in the air.

With tournaments in every continent and with the players often moving to a different country each week, tennis is a sport dependent on jet travel.

Back in the days before they really had airplanes the players would travel by steamship. It would take them weeks to get from Australia to Europe or the United States and then they would stay there for longer periods of time.

I'm not sure I would have fancied making that trip down to the Australian Open every January. Flying certainly allowed our tour to become more global and it's opened up new horizons for tennis.

The other piece of technology that is just currently changing my life is the Blackberry.

Having email, the Internet, a PDA and your cell phone all rolled up into one tiny device in your pocket that's really manageable has really helped me be more efficient, particularly traveling the world because it all works globally. That's been a pretty nifty addition to my hand luggage.

-- Jim Courier is a former tennis world No. 1 and a two-time winner of both of the Australian and French Open tournaments.


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