Book list for tennis history/former pro players...

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Nathaniel_Near, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    Please contribute by offering titles of books that are recommended or essential reading for tennis history, whether it be the history as a whole or a look at individual players of the past.


    Thank you.
     
    #1
  2. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    A handful of summers - gordon forbes
    Too soon to panic - gordon forbes

    Forbes was a south african who played the amateur circuit in the 50´s,
    .....for a handful of summers.
    both books are mainly but not exclusively about that period of time.
    he writes beautiful and tells a lot of stories and anecdotes about life on the tour and his former comrades, like Laver, Hoad, and many others.
     
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  3. heftylefty

    heftylefty Hall of Fame

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    Arthur Ashe's Portrait in Motion is a great read.
     
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  4. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Yes a fantastic book. It discusses players like Laver, Rosewall, Newcombe, Okker, Borg and Connors and what his opinions of their games are among other things.
     
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  5. RF-17-GOAT

    RF-17-GOAT Semi-Pro

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    Roger Federer-The Greatest
    Pete's Autobiography
    Andre's Autobiography
    Murray: Coming of age

    looking forward to read rafa's book in a few weeks.
     
    #5
  6. Paul Murphy

    Paul Murphy Hall of Fame

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    Winning Ugly by Brad Gilbert has some interesting insights into his opponents.
     
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  7. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    the tennis set by rex bellamy.
    covers the first four seasons of open tennis from 1968 to 71. lots of stories about the players and the major championships. highly recommended reading

    @ OP: if the idea of a book list catches on, why not list all the books at the beginning of the thread?
     
    #7
  8. MAXXply

    MAXXply Hall of Fame

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    A few on my bookshelf:

    Mr Nastase
    Game Set and Match: The Tennis Boom of the 60s and 70s by Herbert Warren Wind
    Home (Evonne Goolagong)
    Pat Cash Uncovered
    Bad News For Mcenroe (Bill Scanlon)
    The Player (Becker)
    Winner Loses All (Borg tell-all written by a disgruntled former business partner of Borg)
    Tilden, by Frank Deford
    The Game, by Jack Kramer
    Newk, by John Newcombe
    Aces and Places, by Harry Hopman
    My Life with Lew, by Lew Hoad's widow Jenny
    Rocket to the Top (Pat Rafter bio)

    ...and many others...
     
    #8
  9. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    More books:

    Twenty Year at the Top (Peter Rowley)
    Muscles: The Story Of Ken Rosewall (Richard Naughton)
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2014
    #9
  10. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Frank Deford, Big Bill Tilden, Triumph and Tragedy,
    Gianni Clerici, 500 years of tennis (I have an Italian and German edition), lavishly illustrated book, more European style with emphasis on cultural traditions like the picture of dying Adonis by Tiepolo with a tennis racket in his dying arms.
    Rex Bellamy, Love Thirty (plus other books by this author).
    David Gray, Shades of Gray (not the mummy porn),
    John Barretts Wimbledon history books,
    Lance Tingay, 100 Years of tennis.
    Michel Sutter, Tennis (French around 1985)
    Joe or so Schinkel, Tennis (around 1975)
    Eugene Scott, Tennis (around 1973),
    some books by Roderich Menzel (in German)
    On modern tennis: Topspin, by Eliot Berry (who sadly died a few years ago)

    a webiside with nice illustrations: www.histoiredutennis.com
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
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  11. DolgoSantoro

    DolgoSantoro Professional

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    I don't know if I'd call it an essential, but High Strung by Stephen Tignor was really enjoyable for me. A nice look at some of the personalities who were playing in the 70s/80s and it tells some interesting stories about Mac, Borg, Connors, Nastase, etc. Teaches about an interesting time in tennis' history, and does it very entertainingly too.
     
    #11
  12. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2014
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  13. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Schinkel book on Connors (The champ)
    Les cannibals du tennis
    Short Circuit
    Carnival at FH
    Sutter photo book at 79 season which covers RG,W,USO,Masters
    yes, the Clerici one is a màster piece
    Of course, Laver's My Tennis
     
    #13
  14. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    I'm waiting for Marat Safin's book: "Proper Racquet Care" to hit store shelves. Going to be a smashing good read!
     
    #14
  15. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Adding a few more classics:
    John McPhee, Levels of the Game, on the Ashe-Graebner semi USO 1968
    John McPhee, Wimbledon - A Celebration, 1972 (with great photos of the famous Life-Photograph Max Eisenstaedt.
    C. Phyllipps, The tennis set, A Tennis anthology, with fine articles on or by Tilden, Hoad, Drobny, Laver, Sampras and others.
    Richard Evans, Open tennis,
    Digby Baltzell, Tennis in the Gentlemen era.
    The Telegraph Tennis Book
    Max Robertson; The Tennis encyclopedia , 1974
    John Parsons, The Encyclopedia of Tennis, 1989
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
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  16. Rosewall

    Rosewall Rookie

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    Bad News for McEnroe by Bill Scanlon. Even though McEnroe is my favorite player of all time, Scanlon's obsession with him did not ruin the book for me. What I got out of the book were a lot of insights and anecdotes about professional tennis in the 70s and 80s I had never read anywhere else.
     
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  17. PDJ

    PDJ Hall of Fame

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    Read both: and the former - 'handful'- is a must read. I'm too young to know the period well but it's as if being transported back. Incidentally I knew, and played tennis with the late Heather Segal (she's mentioned quite a bit, given her ex husband) and not only a hell of a player, but a great person whith a brilliant sense of humour. Sadly missed.
     
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  18. Rhino

    Rhino Legend

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    Don't forget Vince Spadea's Break Point. That was a different perspective and a good read.
     
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  19. Clintspin

    Clintspin Semi-Pro

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    Courting Danger by Dan Leatherman
    The Art of Lawn Tennis by Bill Tilden
    Methods of Modern Lawn Tennis by J. Parmly Paret and many other experts
    A Handful of Summers by Gordon Forbes
     
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  20. Clintspin

    Clintspin Semi-Pro

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    A Terrible Splendor by Marshall Jon Fisher
     
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  21. Gonzalito17

    Gonzalito17 Hall of Fame

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    Hard Courts John Feinstein
    Inside Tennis Bodo
    Pete
    Andre Open
    Winning Ugly Brad Gilbert
    Facing Federer Symposium of a Champion
    The Game Jack Kramer
    Levels of the Game
     
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  22. Gonzalito17

    Gonzalito17 Hall of Fame

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    Also two off beat titles were enjoyable:

    Break Point Vince Spadea
    Marcelo Rios The Man We Barely Knew
     
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  23. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    Bud Collins' Encyclopedia of Tennis & Agassi's Open
    are the two excellent tennis books.

    Technical Tennis is a great book for insights into physics & gear.

    There are many bad tennis books...
     
    #23
  24. Wolbo

    Wolbo Rookie

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    While I agree that Collin's Encyclopedia is a must have for tennis fans interested in history it has quite a lot of errors, misspelled names and incorrect scores. Hopefully he lives long enough to publish an updated version that has gone through a more thorough editing process.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
    #24
  25. Wolbo

    Wolbo Rookie

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    That's a good list to cover tennis history.

    Barrett's Wimbledon books (updated version was published in 2013) are beautiful and well-written. Unfortunately I've never been able to get my hands on Michel Sutter's book.
     
    #25
  26. DBH

    DBH New User

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    "Tennis styles and stylists" by Paul Metzler (from 1969).

    This is a neat and well-written book with a lot of technical details about the games of the great players, as well as interesting commentary about who were considered (as of 1969) to be the greatest players of all time.

    DBH
     
    #26

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