- The Washington Times - Monday, June 17, 2002

The boldest statement Mayor Anthony A. Williams made at the Institute for Education's Celebrity Tennis Round Robin tournament was trading in his bow tie for a standard model.
The mayor, who before the tournament in 1999, jumped into the Ambassador of Argentina's swimming pool to escape the sweltering heat, kept dry this time.
For entertainment, those assembled Friday for the annual pre-party had to settle for convivial conversation, a sumptuous buffet and the promise of some hearty tennis.
"If you don't have a pool, I'm outta here," the mayor cracked upon greeting the evening's hosts, Swedish Ambassador Jan Eliasson and his wife, Kerstin, at their Nebraska Avenue NW residence.
The bash, in addition to hyping the next day's tennis, honored the generous spirit of Larry Brown, the president of Work, Achievement, Values and Education (WAVE). The group helps neglected childrens.
"This is about leadership and service, and that's what this man is all about," Mr. Williams said of the award.
Mr. Brown, WAVE's president for the past 24 years, has helped the organization assist more than 360,000 children who, as event coach Kathy Kemper pointed out, "don't have parents or mentors."
"Larry worked with kids who everybody else had given up on," she said.
The lives of a country's citizens and its poorest children are "inextricably linked," Mr. Brown said as he picked up the Institute for Education's Leadership Service Award.
Mr. Eliasson steered the mood back to the court, invoking the spirit and words of famed tennis competitor John McEnroe as he addressed his guests.
"It doesn't matter whether you win or lose until you lose," he said.
Tournament stalwart Ina Ginsburg recalled the days when she was the sole female participant.
Despite the event's charitable spirit, she said no one would be sleepwalking through the tournament.
"They're all fierce competitors. They all take it very seriously," she said.
Unlike participants in some sports, Ms. Kemper said, tennis players don't have to be twentysomethings to give back to the game.
"If it's a sport you take up later in life, you can continue to improve," she said. Former participant Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan, she noted, "plays a lot. He gets better every year."
Mr. Eliasson, no stranger to the sport, said his wife is taking lessons from Ms. Kemper.
"She's becoming a threat to me," he joked.
Amid talk of backhands and volleys, those gathered were reminded of the war on terrorism when speakers congratulated Mr. Williams for his recent appointment to the Homeland Security commission.
Mr. Eliasson, who once served in a diplomatic role, mediating the conflict between Iran and Iraq in the 1980s, said the United States must play a large role in the Middle East peace process.
"The main thing is to avoid any military crisis," he said.
On Saturday the soggy weather lifted long enough for the games to be played on the Congressional Country Club's clay courts in Bethesda.
Among those in tennis whites for the tournament were the hosts; Assistant Secretary of Defense Peter W. Rodman; Jimmy Earle, president of PC Telecom Corp.; and author and George Washington University professor Steve Roberts, the 1998 and 2000 round-robin champion.
Mr. Roberts once again made it into the final round, along with USA Today's Tom Squitieri, although the two proved no match for the combination of Mr. Earle and Minister Sven Alkalaj from the Embassy of Bosnia-Herzegovina, who won 6-2.

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