Still, even most main-draw players are obscure and unknown. An example is Jakob Hlasek  a Czech who is working out with Marc Rosset on one of the practice courts this morning when I first arrive at Stade Jarry. I notice them and go over to watch only because Hlasek and Rosset are so beautiful to see–at this point, I have no idea who they are. They are practicing ground strokes down the line–Rosset's forehand and Hlasek's backhand–each ball plumb-line straight and within centimeters of the corner, the players moving with compact nonchalance I've since come to recognize in pros when they're working out: The suggestion is of a very powerful engine in low gear. Jakob Hlasek is six foot two and built like a halfback, his blond hair in a short square Eastern European cut, with icy eyes and cheekbones out to here: He looks like either a Nazi male model or a lifeguard in hell and seems in general just way too scary ever to try to talk to. His backhand is a one-hander, rather like Ivan Lendl's, and watching him practice it is like watching a great artist casually sketch something. I keep having to remember to blink. There are a million little ways you can tell that somebody's a great player–details in his posture, in the way he bounces the ball with his racket head to pick it up, in the way he twirls the racket casually while waiting for the ball. Hlasek wears a plain gray T-shirt and some kind of very white European shoes. It's midmorning and already at least 90 degrees, and he isn't sweating. Hlasek turned pro in 1983, six years later had one year in the top ten, and for the last few years has been ranked in the sixties and seventies, getting straight into the main draw of all the tournaments and usually losing in the first couple of rounds. Watching Hlasek practice is probably the first time it really strikes me how good these professionals are, because even just fucking around Hlasek is the most impressive tennis player I've ever seen  . I'd be surprised if anybody reading this article has ever heard of Jakob Hlasek. By the distorted standards of TV's obsession with Grand Slam finals and the world's top five, Hlasek is merely an also-ran. But last year, he made $300,000 on the tour (that's just in prize money, not counting exhibitions and endorsement contracts), and his career winnings are more than $4 million, and it turns out his home base was for a time Monte Carlo, where lots of European players with tax issues end up living.