Tennis writer Tom Perrotta in 2015 near Roland Garros in Paris. (Photo by Carl Bialik.)

Long-time sportswriter Tom Perrotta, who was particularly known for his coverage of tennis for The Wall Street Journal, has passed away at 44. Perrotta had been battling a brain tumor for the last four years. Many sportswriters paid tribute to him Wednesday:

That piece that Wertheim and Bachman shared is an excellent read, with Perrotta discussing his battle with the tumor and how he was enjoying the time he had left. Here’s a selection from that:

I’m grateful because, for me, this slowing down is an opportunity I would have never otherwise had. For many years, I have been a sportswriter, specializing in tennis, contributing regularly to The Journal from events like Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. I loved quirky stories, like a former World No. 1 making house calls in a Winnebago to give tennis lessons, or the frustrated towel police at the All England Lawn Tennis Club. But it was not uncommon for me to be away from my wife and children for weeks, covering tournaments as far away as Australia. It was a dream job, but I missed my family.

Then my life changed. Not long after my 40th birthday, I was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a brain tumor which required emergency surgery. Since then I have endured chemotherapy, radiation, experimental treatments and devices. But I also made it back to a bunch of tournaments, and I’m very proud of that.

…It is a tough hand, and as I continue to battle this, I am seized by moments of anger and depression. And yet my frustration is balanced by this odd fortune of quarantine, or semi-quarantine, or whatever you want to call how it is we live today.

…I call it my unexpected blessing. I’m trying to savor every minute of it: every interaction, every game of Uno, every book, every homework problem. Even the boys’ fights feel like a gift. I’ve spent so much more time with them in the past eight months than I would have. My sons know what’s happening with their father, but they might not fully grasp why this is so powerful to me. It’s my everything.

Our thoughts go out to Perrotta’s family and friends.

[The Wall Street Journal; photo of Perrotta on courts near Roland Garros in 2015 by Carl Bialik]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.