Good tennis books for 80s fans coming out

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Kevin Patrick, Aug 3, 2004.

  1. Kevin Patrick

    Kevin Patrick Hall of Fame

    Feb 11, 2004
    Just thought some of you might be interested:

    In "Jimmy Connors Saved My Life" author Joel Drucker provides the most thorough examination ever attempted of one of the most complex characters in recent sports history. Jimmy Connors won a record 109 professional tournaments, including eight major championships, and during the 1970s was the world’s No. 1 ranked player for a then unprecedented five consecutive years. But his place as perhaps the most important player in tennis history was forged as much by the forcefulness of his personality as the power of his groundstrokes. Connors ignited a tennis revolution. As Drucker writes in this illuminating work, Connors bulled tennis into a multi-million-dollar era of national television, rich endorsements and international celebrity. He personified the notion that an athlete could be both a sports superstar and cultural icon, and by a fusion of rage, desire, ambition and talent Connors showcased the sport as no one before him.
    Through meticulous research, dozens of interviews (including many hours spent with Connors over the years) and his own first-hand experience, Drucker recounts Connors’ life story, following him from his St. Louis working-class beginnings under his taskmaster mother and grandmother, through his early successes, and on to his major triumphs and rivalries against the likes of Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe and Andre Agassi. Ultimately revealed is a man who, controlled by his mother, despised by many rivals and censured in the press for his on- and off-court volatility, became the game’s first TV superstar and achieved all his life’s ambitions save one: happiness.

    But more than a biography, Jimmy Connors Saved My Life is a tale of how, through a life-long obsession with Connors, Drucker found meaning and serenity in his own life. Connors once confided to Drucker that "no other writer knows me as well as you do." That was because Drucker, as a teenage fan and later as a journalist, had soaked up every bit of information he could about his hero and, after their initial meeting in 1982, became a confidant of the tennis superstar. For a time, Drucker believed they were genuinely close, only to eventually realize that Connors, selfish, narcissistic and paranoid, had no close friends.

    In chronicling the life of the enigmatic superstar, Drucker reveals in candid detail the profound emotional impact Connors had on him as his own life intersected and ultimately clashed with the tennis superstar. What results is much more than a fascinating biography of a major sports figure. Jimmy Connors Save My Life is the story of two successful journeys: a single-minded march to superstardom, and an emotional passage to self-discovery.

    About the Author
    Joel Drucker is one of the world's leading tennis journalists whose work has appeared in numerous magazines. The 1999 Tennis Writer of the Year, Drucker served as technical editor for Patrick McEnroe's book, Tennis for Dummies. He has worked extensively in television as a co-producer and writer for CBS, ESPN, HBO, TNT and The Tennis Channel. He is an on-air commentator for the international broadcast of the U.S. Open. He lives in Oakland, Calif.


    Bad News for McEnroe : Blood, Sweat, and Backhands with John, Jimmy, Ilie, Ivan, Bjorn, and Vitas

    Scanlon, a top 10–ranked tennis player in the 1980s, wrote this book partly as a retort to John McEnroe's 2002 autobiography, You Cannot Be Serious. While he deftly depicts "brat-packers" like Jimmy Connors, Ilie Nastase and, above all, Mac, his attitude toward the successful McEnroe—whom he played on numerous occasions—might strike some as a severe case of sour grapes. McEnroe's antics were "an act, a contrived tactic of someone who would do anything to escape losing," Scanlon writes. But the book isn't all gripes. Scanlon discusses the impact new technologies had on tennis in the '80s and pays homage to the unsung heroes behind the scenes: the coaches, officials, tournament directors and even sports psychologists who try to keep the players mentally stable. What Scanlon does best, however, is dish. The in-fighting among the athletes is reminiscent of cartoon characters going at it, blowing each other up and coming back in the next episode to start all over. Happily for readers, Scanlon is no reformer, just a not-so-humble former player turned writer.
    Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    About the Author
    As a top ten ranked tennis player in the 1980s, Bill Scanlon is the only professional ever to have achieved a Golden Set (not giving up a single point). Scanlon boasts wins over eight #1 ranked players. A US Open semifinalist and a Wimbledon and Australian Open quarterfinalist, Scanlon holds 11 career singles titles and 4 career doubles titles partnering with Martina Navratilova, Ivan Lendl, Vitas Gerulaitis, and Billy Martin. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

    There's a great interview with Scanlon on
  2. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

    Feb 13, 2004
    A not so parallel universe...
    As I recall, Scanlon was kind of a weasel. That's how he came across, at least. I remember that McEnroe (John) absolutely hated him when they were both on the tour. But - hey - who knows? - maybe he's got the right perspective on the incredible egomaniacs: "These are two guys (Connors & McEnroe) whose entire lives are wrapped up in them being the biggest star."

    Connors and Lionel Richie - that's one of the most bizarre acquaintanceships I've ever heard of.

    The Connors book looks like it may be somewhat interesting - if self-serving. As long as it's not listed in the Self-Help section, I may take a look at it.

  3. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

    Apr 13, 2004
    Thanks for the info Kevin, sounds interesting.
  4. Kevin Patrick

    Kevin Patrick Hall of Fame

    Feb 11, 2004
    yeah Deuce,
    I saw Nicole Ritchie on McEnroe's show last week, she said Connors was her godfather(???)
  5. Brian Purdie

    Brian Purdie Semi-Pro

    Feb 19, 2004
    I still think a lot of people need to go back and read Hard Courts by John Feinstein. It's an excellent look at 1990:
    The fall of McEnroe,
    the hatred of Agassi among other players,
    the beginning of the end for Ivan,
    the underlying stupidity beyond the philosophical image of Becker,
    the humbleness of Edberg,
    and the rise of Sampras and Courier.

    There's also alot of womens stuff, but I skipped those chapters

Share This Page