Tennis Books

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by CyBorg, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Recommend a book about tennis here. I want to know what the folks here are reading. I'm particularly interested in history and analysis.
     
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  2. chaognosis

    chaognosis Semi-Pro

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    The books that have taught me the most over the years are Paul Metzler's Tennis Styles and Stylists and Will Grimsley's Tennis: Its History, People and Events (which includes fascinating analyses of various great players' styles by Julius D. Heldman). In my opinion probably the most notable book written about the history of tennis, and the one with the highest literary merit, is Al Laney's Covering the Court. E. Digby Baltzell's Sporting Gentlemen is also worthwhile, though some may find the author's sociological views to be objectionable. Valuable reference titles include Gianni Clerici's Ultimate Tennis Book and Bud Collins's Total Tennis. Gene Scott's Tennis: Game of Motion is a coffee-table book of sorts with many fine photographs; he also postulates a fantasy tournament to determine the all-time greatest player (Gonzales defeats Laver for the honor in his scenario). The earliest days of the amateur game were best documented by A. Wallis Myers, as in his The Complete Lawn Tennis Player. For an important reconstruction of tennis during the "lost" pro years, seek out Joe McCauley's The History of Professional Tennis. Of course, the classic tennis biography is Frank Deford's Big Bill Tilden, and there is also a recent anthology of tennis writings called The Right Set (I don't recall the editor's name) which includes some nice material on a variety of topics. There are lots more out there, but this list should give you a start. Hopefully Urban will chime in as he has a more extensive collection than I do!
     
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  3. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Chaognosis has mentioned some very important books. I may add on top of my head: John McPhee, Levels of the game, and Wimbledon. A celebration (with photos of the famous LIFE photographer Eisenstaedt, not Eisenstein, who made Battleship Potemkin). Rex Bellamy has written some brilliant books, including: Love-Thirty. Herbert Warren Wind, Game, Set and match, and David Gray, Shades of Gray, have compiled excellent essays on the early open era in their books. Dan Maskell's autobiography From where i sit, is a must for tennis historians, as is the memoir of Ted Tinling, 60 years in tennis. Richard Evans, Open tennis, is important for the first 30 years of open tennis, His biographies on Nastase and McEnroe are solid works, too. Steve Flinks Greatest tennis matches is a well researched book. There are various well written and illustrated (Ultimate) Encyclopedias of tennis, by Max Robertson, Bud Collins, John Parsons (very insightful writer) and Sean Gallery. On Wimbledon Lance Tingay, A 100 Years of W., and John Barrett, 100 Wimbledons, (several editions) have edited some excellent jubilee books. On the USO there is a nicely illustrated coffee table book by the USTA from 1997, edited by a David(?) Williams. On Roland Garros i have a thick book by Christian Quidet with rare picture material. The Australian Open has edited a new celebration book in 2005, which i dont know yet. The Story of the Davis Cup, is compiled comprehensively by Alan Trengove. Gordon Forbes, A Handful of summers, and To soon to panic, are most readable. Arthur Ashe with F. Deford, Portrait in motion, is an excellent account on the pro tour in the 70s in form of a diary. Out of the newer authors, i found some books by Eliot Berry good to read, including Topspin. Peter Bodo, Courts of Babylon, isn't bad. George Vecsey's Martina is a good biography. For statistical purpose Lance Tingays, Tennis. Facts and Figures, and Michel Sutter, Vainceurs-Winners 1946-1991 or 2006, are very helpful. In German language, the Czech-German Roderich Menzel, RG finalist of 1938, has written some poetical books on tennis.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2009
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  4. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    I liked these:

    Education of a Tennis Player, Rod Laver(w Bud Collins)

    Don Budge, A Tennis Memoir

    Arthur Ashe Portrait in Motion, Ashe & Frank Deford

    Nastase, Richard Evans

    Tennis:Myth & Method, Ellsworth Vines.

    What I like about these you can see what the greats thought of other greats(or even lesser players, like Ashe saying he thought Pasarell had the best technique of anyone on tour in the early 70s) or Budge's thoughts on Tilden(thought he showed up other players too much) or Laver on Budge(saying he thought Budge didn't have to deal with as many challenges when he won the Grand Slam as he did, & that he doubted Tilden could overpower Rosewall, like all the 'oldtimers' tell him he would have done, pretty funny considering what todays fans/players think of how Laver & other now 'oldtimers' would fare in todays game)
    and Ashe saying he thought Armitraj would be better than Borg or Connors, etc.

    and Vines comparing the games of Budge, Kramer, Laver, Hoad, etc.

    urban recomended this site for finding rare tennis books:

    http://www.tennisbookshop.com/index.htm

    I've used it, great service.

    urban, I've tried to get that Sutter & McCauley book, but Alan doesnt have any. Apparently they are quite rare.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2007
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  5. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    I would most highly recommend The Fireside Book of Tennis by Allison Danzig. This is the most complete book on Tennis History documented by many of the best players and writers of the 20th century.

    Another must have is The Ultimate Tennis Book - 500 Years Of The Sport
    by Gianni Clerici. With 335 pages and more than 1200 black and white illustrations and 40 color plates. this hugh, handsome and lavish book, is the pictorial bible for tennis history as it contains quite alot of info of the history of tennis.

    If your interesteded in rackets or collectibles then get Book of Tennis Rackets by Sigfield Keubler - Book of Tennis Rackets by Sigfield Keubler This is the most complete book on Tennis Rackets or Tennis Antiques and Collectibles by Jean Cherry. The first comprehensive guide to collecting tennis memorabilia Has more than 300 color photographs,many full page, giving visual enjoyment to anyone who loves tennis Provides hints on dating and buying antique rackets Covers a wide range of tennis memorabilia,including rackets, presses, silver, ceramics, art, books, and ephemera

    Refs for more details:

    http://www.woodtennis.com/history10s.htm
    http://www.woodtennis.com/tennisbooks.htm
     
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  6. chaognosis

    chaognosis Semi-Pro

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    Moose, I was able to purchase McCauley's book several years ago at www.thetennisgallery.co.uk, and I see that it is still available there. The book was never produced in large supply; I believe the owner of the store carries it as a personal favor to the late author's widow. Despite its obscurity, it is a hugely important work and is a must for anyone who wants to know the complete story of tennis in the past century. As for the Sutter book (I have heard of two editions), I have never been able to find a copy either. I have seen it referenced only here, by Urban, and on Wikipedia. I too am eager to lay my hands on it.
     
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  7. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Moose and Chaog, i bought the Sutter book some years ago, when i visited Paris. It was the first edition from 1991. I read on the internet, that Sutter, a French tennis journalist who worked i.a. for Eurosport, has edited a second edition in 2006. I have found no seller on the internet, who offered either edition. The McCauley book i got, too, as Chaog wrote, from the Tennis Gallery at Wimbledon. The Fireside book edited by Allison Danzig is certainly most important, as Joe Sch wrote. I don't know it yet, only extracts in other publications.
     
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  8. coachman

    coachman New User

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    I have a number of the above books for sale (UK). If you have any specific wants contact me;

    g.weatherburn@tesco.com.

    I am selling from my collection of the past 25 years, each copy would be a "one off".

    The following have caught my eye and are available;

    Clerici - ultimate tennis book
    fireside book of tennis
    education of a tennis player-rod laver
    quite a few Tilden's (unfortunately not Match play and the spin of the ball - sold my copy recently!)

    plenty of others if interested?
     
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  9. Q&M son

    Q&M son Professional

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    Thanks for this data.

    Can't find Sutter's book in any place!!!

    Lucio.
     
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  10. chaognosis

    chaognosis Semi-Pro

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    I've been searching vigorously for years, and still no luck.
     
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  11. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    I'm still looking for Clerici's book. If anyone knows anything, please let me know.
     
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  12. chaognosis

    chaognosis Semi-Pro

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    That one you can surely find used on Amazon, and for pretty cheap, too, depending on what condition you are willing to settle for.
     
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  13. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Yeah - I was hoping for a new one, but it looks like someone is now actually selling new.
     
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  14. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    n/m 10 char
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2008
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  15. Q&M son

    Q&M son Professional

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  16. Q&M son

    Q&M son Professional

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    Thanks to Carlo G. Colussi, I have Mc Cauley book now!
    urban, now with the draws, I sent to ATP the events you said to me in other thread... to they can register those ones... thanks again.

    Greetings.

    Lucio.
     
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  17. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    One I read in one night was My Aces My Faults by Nick Bolletieri. It was a great read and had a lot of inside 'stuff'. He slammed himself when appropriate as well.

    Another good read is Bad News For McEnroe by Bill Scanlon. It was a good read that encompassed the whole pro game including equipment.
     
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  18. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Still looking for the Danzig/McCauley books. No one on Amazon delivers the Danzig book to Canada, sadly it seems.

    Q&M - how did you get McCauley?

    P.S. Gene Scott's book (Tennis: Game of Motion) is a beauty. Just got it a week ago and it's a treat.
     
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  19. Q&M son

    Q&M son Professional

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    mistake...
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2009
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  20. AndrewTas

    AndrewTas Rookie

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    As another person stated the McCauley book is available at the Tennis Gallery bookshop. I bought my copy from them years ago.

    Here is the link:http://www.sportingtitles.com/books.asp?subcat=&prodid=451

    As for the Danzig book. The following link is for the Tennis Collectables book shop and the Fireside book.
    http://www.tenniscollectables.com/anthologies.htm
     
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  21. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Thanks for that.
     
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  22. Edberg&Becker

    Edberg&Becker New User

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  23. Rosebud

    Rosebud New User

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    I have noticed that the website of the already mentioned Tennis Collectables is not always updated. But it's proprietors are very nice and helpful if you email to ask whether a particular item is in stock. I think they ship worldwide.

    The largest catalogue in tennis is probably Alan Chambers' Tennis Bookshop http://www.tennisbookshop.com/index.php

    Try searching for specific out of print books through portals such as Abebooks, Alibris, Biblio, etc.
    I use this site regularly: http://www.eurobuch.com/index.php?lang=e
    Also check e-bay.

    Generally speaking, I've noticed that there are many US sellers who are often willing to ship to Europe, so surely they would not mind shipping to Canada?
     
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  24. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    You're right. I've never tried stuff like eurobuch, as I don't know much about them. So it's nice when people here take the time to confirm that these sites are reliable. Thanks.
     
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  25. Rosebud

    Rosebud New User

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    The eurobuch site is sort of an Über-portal bookfinder. It directs you to sites such as Amazon but also to other portals such as Abebooks. In my experiece Abebooks is quite reliable. The only downside is that they ask a commission from their sellers, so when buying you should not only look at the price of the item but also check the additional fee for shipping & handling. E-bay is also quite safe in my experience. I've never had an item lost in the mail or any other problems. Lastly don't forget to check the item description for the condition of a book. Can't stand smelly books myself, so preferably look for clean, unmarked cover & pages.
     
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  26. WillAlwaysLoveYouTennis

    WillAlwaysLoveYouTennis Hall of Fame

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    I found a tennis book the other day, "Tennis Superstars vol. 1 The Men" by Craig Wolff, a paperback 1979 that has the biggest players of that day with a profile and history of each and how they handled pressure, both on and off court dealing with the media, private life etc.

    It's been very interesting to read. Connors, McEnroe, Ashe, Vilas, Gerulaitis, Natase, Orantes, Newcombe, Laver, and Borg were focussed on. It also has stats from the 1920's from Wimbledon, Forest Hills/US Open and Davis Cup results. Tons of things I didn't know, but one thing I really admired was Ken Rosewall making finalist at Wimbledon 1954, then again 20 years later in 1974. Amazing! I think they record can't be repeated in this day and age.

    A great book for just .10 cents!

    Rechecking my shelves, another I found was "The Inner Game of Tennis" by W. Timothy Gallwey, talking about overcoming self-doubt and lapses in concentration. A number of players on tour today would do well to read it and try to employ some of the suggestions and techniques.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008
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  27. Klatu Verata Necktie

    Klatu Verata Necktie Hall of Fame

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    Have any of you read $20,000 in Tennis Lessons: Your Personal Coach by Robert Greene, or Total Tennis: A Complete Guide for Today's Player by Peter Burwash?
     
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  28. MLoutch

    MLoutch Rookie

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    Hard Courts by John Feinstien and the newly updated Bud Collins History of Tennis are both must reads.
     
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  29. WillAlwaysLoveYouTennis

    WillAlwaysLoveYouTennis Hall of Fame

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    No, I've not being going to book stores today (heck, I go every day actually I'm obsessed with ha!) but I'll look for, always interesting to get different perspectives.
     
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  30. heftylefty

    heftylefty Hall of Fame

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    "Portrait in Motion" by Arthur Ashe.

    Great read about Ashe's life on tour from '74-'73.

    I have re-read this book at least ten times.
     
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  31. WillAlwaysLoveYouTennis

    WillAlwaysLoveYouTennis Hall of Fame

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    I ended up buying two vintage tennis racquets instead of books, one wooden and one aluminum.
     
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  32. Q&M son

    Q&M son Professional

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    Any new additions here?

    Thanks in advance.

    Lucio.
     
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  33. Q&M son

    Q&M son Professional

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  34. newmark401

    newmark401 Professional

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    "Tennis - A Cultural History" by Heiner Gillmeister is good on the origins and early development of the game. A revised edition of this book was published in 1997 by Leicester University Press. The notes at the back contain many nuggets of information.
     
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  35. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    Great thread, all! 5 stars!
     
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