Tennis Books & Magazines
January 5, 2009
2008 Products in Review - Tennis View
This new glossy magazine was one of 15 publications honored in November by Min (Media Industry Newsletter) and Samir Husni ("Mr. Magazine") as one of "The Hottest" magazine launches of the year. Other titles include National Geographic Green Guide, WSJ and USA Today Open Air.
Teresa Thompson founded "The Ultimate Tennis Lifestyle Magazine" originally targeted to women, but the overwhelmingly positive reception by men encouraged her to remove the "Uniquely For Women" phrase from the cover.
The quarterly magazine offers rich features of the pros and practical tips for those who play and count tennis as part of their lifestyles.
Check it out here. Or check out other tennis mags like Tennis Magazine,
Tennis Lifeor Tennis Week.
September 9, 2008
New Billie Jean King Book Shares Life Lessons for Tennis and Beyond
Tennis legend Billie Jean King has just released a book, Pressure is a Privilege: Lessons I've Learned from Life and the Battle of the Sexesthat talks about her remarkable life...and for readers gives you some insight that we can apply to our own lives.
Book description from Amazon:
Billie Jean King's victory over Bobby Riggs in the "Battle of the Sexes" was a pivotal moment in gender relations for generations of American women and men. But her journey to the "Battle of the Sexes" was no accident. Now, for the first time ever, Billie Jean shares the life lessons that led to her success in that match, in sports, and in the world at large. Published in conjunction with the 35th anniversary of this monumental event, Pressure is a Privilege uses the Billie Jean King / Bobby Riggs match to illustrate what she learned in her early life that brought her to that event and the lessons that she learned from it.
Packed with the common-sense lessons by which Billie Jean has lived her remarkable life, as well as words of wisdom and inspirational advice for how you can use these lessons, Pressure is a Privilege is an invaluable tool for any person in any profession who wants to achieve a richer, more fulfilling life.
Check out Pressure is a Privilege
June 24, 2008
New James Bond Novel Features 007 Playing Tennis
There's a new James Bond novel, commissioned by the Ian Fleming estate, called Devil May Care. Why the heck do we care on a tennis blog? Because James Bond plays a tennis match in the book.
So we finally can find out:
Does James Bond play with a one- or two-handed backhand?
How does he spend his change-overs?
What's his favorite post-match quencher?
In the book he plays on Court 2 in the Bois de Boulogne on red clay (near Roland Garros). I can't wait to read it - they play with wooden racquets and white Slazenger balls. Classic!
Check out Devil May Care
Thanks to Hello Tennis
June 18, 2008
Seven Tennis Books for Your Summer Reading List
HelloTennis.com's Lisa Horan has a great post today regarding some new (and some not as new) tennis books for various interests. From history buffs to bios, debates to doubles, there's something for everyone. There are a couple here I hadn't heard of, which is great. Can't wait to crack them open and get my tennis fix. First on the list for me? Tennis Confidential. The one that intrigues me the most? Friends, Writers, and Other Countrymen
If you want to read Lisa Horan's reviews and descriptions (awesome), click here.
Here they are:
June 11, 2008
New Pete Sampras Biography For Sale Today
Thanks to Daily Racquet, we found out about the new Pete Sampras biography that's just hit shelves today, appropriately titled "A Champion's Mind."
How did Pistol Pete hold the #1 ranking for 286 consecutive weeks? How did he win 14, count 'em, 14 Grand Slam? Hard work and determination of course, but you'll have to read the book. Sampras rarely, if ever, opens up about his life, so this is quite an opportunity to learn more about one of the top 3 (in my opinion) players in the history of tennis.
Check out "A Champion's Mind: Lessons from a Life in Tennis"
May 5, 2008
Book Review: Jimmy Connors Saved My Life
There are books about tennis that teach you how to hit a forehand. There are books about tennis that teach you how enhance your mental toughness. There are books about tennis that report the inside scoop of the pro tour. And there are biographies about tennis players. Then there is "Jimmy Connors Saved My Life," which is part biography, part history book, part memoir and part self-help book, but ALL good.
Full disclosure, I grew up loving Jimmy Connors. He's still my all time favorite. But I can honestly say that the author, Joel Drucker, did not sugar-coat this most fascinating character in the American tennis tapestry. Connors is not a saint, in fact, Peter Bodo called him "that American barbarian" just recently. Barbarian is a little overstated, and shows the bitter disdain Bodo feels for Connors after all these years, but we understand his point.
For the first few chapters, I was a little iffy on the tome - it seemed a little too forced how Drucker was weaving his life into Jimbo's career. And I still think it may be a hair too much at times. However, as it went on it made more and more sense and I liked the intermingling more and more. There is a lot about Jimmy's odd relationship with his mother and grandmother. While the oedipal analysis is interesting, its not what I enjoyed about the book per se.
Here is what you can expect, and why I loved this book:
1) By the time I was watching tennis in a meaningful way, Connors was past his bad boy days and well into the days when he was the happy warrior and crowd favorite. You get plenty of this era in the book, but you get even more of the earlier days, which was a great history lesson. From the days playing doubles with Ilie Nastase to dating Chris Evert, to the Prince Valiant haircut. You'll get it all in amazing Technicolor.
2) Related to #1, you get to see in clearer focus where Connors stood amongst the generations of tennis - starting with Rosewall, Laver, Ashe and Newcombe, going through Borg and Vilas, then McEnroe and finally Lendl. You don't realize Connors' range, not to mention, you get to relive some of the great matches in tennis history, like the 1991 US Open.
3) This book is as much about Drucker as Connors, which is to say this is a personal journey for Drucker. And from that journey, and from the lessons Drucker pulls into his personal life from how Connors lived his, so to can you the reader. One of the main themes of the book is how life is meant to be attacked and maximized. "The lines are meant to be hit," says Connors. Never quitting and going for it, no matter what you do - wise words. "Don't count me out. I come from a small town in Illinois. You people have no idea where I'm from. Now let me show you," he says.
4) Related to #3, Connors tells Drucker "In your own way, in your own time," when discussing Drucker's career. Again, wise words from one of the original bad boys of tennis. I think when people like Bodo call him "barbaric," they are merely lashing out in envy of a man who has unapologetically taken control of his own life.
5) Some great match descriptions. Want to live (or relive) the great matches between Connors & Ashe? Connors & Borg? Connors & McEnroe? Connors & Lendl? Connors & Krikstein? This is the place. Tennis, in my view, is hard to convey in print. This book does it well.
If you believe that tennis is a bloodsport, if you believe its boxing without the gloves, and if you believe that the best players (pro or otherwise) leave it all out on the court when they play, and if you believe that tennis is a microcosm of life...then this book is for you.
Jimmy Connors Saved My Life: A Personal Biography
February 19, 2008
Could Andy Roddick beat the average guy in tennis with only a frying pan?
It is a question that has been troubling tennis fans for years...could Andy Roddick beat the average guy in tennis only using a frying pan?
Well, ex-ESPN writer Todd Gallagher looks into this and other vexing hypothetical questions in his new book, Andy Roddick Beat Me with a Frying Pan: Taking the Field with Pro Athletes and Olympic Legends to Answer Sports Fans' Burning Questions.
But this is more than simply a funny theoretical questions, Gallagher actually puts these questions to the test by talking to experts and athletes alike.
We can't wait to read this.
Get the book at Amazon for $11
From The Man of Steel via Down the Line
January 14, 2008
Tennis Books on Kindle - Amazon's New Reading Device
Are you a tennis fan and a tech aficionado? Then you need Kindle, Amazon's new wireless reading device and these great tennis books.
Tennis Beyond Big Shots
"Tennis Beyond Big Shots is one of the most unique books I've read. A must for every player's library." - CHRIS EVERT, 18-time Grand Slam Champion
"Greg's book could be a blueprint for how I've approached the game from my junior days through my career on the professional and senior tours. Tennis Beyond Big Shots will permanently improve your game." - MATS WILANDER, Former No.1 Pro Player
"Greg Moran shows how you can win many more matches simply by making small changes to your game!" - CLIFF DRYSDALE, ESPN TV Tennis Analyst, Former World Top Ten Player
In 2004, James Blake's life was getting more perfect by the day. A rising tennis star, with each passing year his game seemed to improve. In 2002, he was named Sexiest Male Athlete by People, and along the way he continued to gain in the rankings and earn respect on the court. Each day seemed to offer a new milestone, a new achievement; he was leading a charmed life and loving every minute of the ride. But that life came to an abrupt halt in May 2004 when Blake broke his back in a freak accident on the court. A few months later, as Blake was recovering from his injury, he suffered another tremendous setback when his father -- the man who had raised him and provided the inspiration for his tennis career -- lost his battle with stomach cancer. Shortly after his father's death, Blake's situation was further complicated when he contracted Zoster, a rare virus that paralyzed half of his face and threatened to end his already jeopardized tennis career. Breaking Back tells the story of the tumultous year that followed these three devastating events, detailing how Blake persevered through hardship to become one of the best tennis players in the world. Here Blake explains how the wisdom and words that his father imparted to him over the years gave him the ability to succeed in the face of these seemingly insurmountable odds. Though these trials proved the most difficult of his life, ultimately this trifecta of tragedy became the culmination of all his father's lessons, showing Blake that even in death, his father was still teaching him how to be a man.
You Cannot Be Serious
McEnroe, the feisty New Yorker whose brilliant serve-and-volley style of play was at times overshadowed by his on-court antics, captured 17 Grand Slam championships during a 15-year "wild ride" on the professional tennis tour. Now, he and journalist Kaplan take a candid look back at this colorful career. Smashing racquets and screaming tirades against linesmen and umpires only cemented McEnroe's role as the explosive bad boy of tennis. Yet the Hall of Famer shows surprising insight here. He explores why matches were constant battles against "the other guy and myself," admitting that the relief of not failing was at least as strong as the joy of winning. McEnroe fully details his most significant triumphs and losses (e.g., the 1984 French Open final, in which he held a two-sets-to-one lead over nemesis Ivan Lendl, and the classic Wimbledon five-set defeat by Bjorn Borg). His three Wimbledon and four U.S. Open singles titles were special, but perhaps his proudest achievement was the five Davis Cups he helped to secure at a time when other top players were more interested in the money to be made in tournaments and exhibitions. McEnroe also writes openly about his turbulent former marriage to actress Tatum O'Neal, and current status as father to six and husband to pop star Patty Smyth. Readers will be happy to learn that his anger-management counseling seems to help him defuse "certain situations" effectively. Recommended for sports and general collections.
Holding Serve: Persevering On and Off the Court - by Michael Chang
Often characterized as David facing Goliath on the tennis court, at 5'9" and 150 pounds Michael Chang is used to playing with the big hitters. What he lacks in stature, he makes up for in determination. A serious contender at any Grand Slam event, his bold statement of faith in God makes him a role model we can all look up to. "What's nice," Michael says, "is that, as long as my priorities are straight, I'm able to go out with the mentality to really leave the winning and losing up to the Lord." In Holding Serve readers get a unique glimpse at Team Chang, Michael's powerful family unit that he credits with much of his success. Michael also shares the story of how he became a Christian and the central role his faith has played in his achievements.
Check out Kindle: Amazon's New Wireless Reading Device
November 2, 2007
Raising Big Smiling Tennis Kids
I have a 2 year old daughter, whom I hope wants to play tennis someday. So I've started to think about how to teach her, and in doing so its made me remember what worked for me as a kid and what did not. And what worked when I taught kids myself, and what did not. I wish I had answers, but I do not yet.
I am hoping "Raising Big Smiling Tennis Kids" by Keith Kattan helps the cause. Ultimately we want our kids to smile playing tennis, no? The rest is all junk if they aren't having fun. If anyone's read it, let us know what you think.
Raising Big Smiling Tennis Kids: A Complete Roadmap for Every Parent and Coach
October 20, 2007
Book Review - Tennis and the Meaning of Life
Why would tennis prove to be a great subject matter for fiction writing? Because tennis, like most sports, is a reflection of life. Striving to be your best, dealing with victory and defeat and overcoming adversity.
Tennis and the Meaning of Life: A Literary Anthology of the Game is editted by Jay Jennings. Its a book of short stories that run the gambit on using tennis as a metaphor for life. My favorite is by none other than Bill Tilden. He writes a story about an old champion delays his entry to heaven for one more match.
Short story compilations are great. You don't have to read them all at once, you can pick them up and enjoy something self-contained and entertaining in a single sitting. This book is an awesome addition to your reading list.
Tennis and the Meaning of Life: A Literary Anthology of the Game
October 4, 2007
Book Review - The Inner Game of Tennis
The Inner Game of Tennis, by W. Timothy Gallwey, as its name indicates, is about "The Mental Side of Peak Performance." Another classic from the 70's. Another book to attack the same issue - the mental game of tennis. Anxiety...self-doubt...these factors are as much the dangerous opponent as the person across the net. This book helps you beat those opponents. And like other mental books we've had on this site, the lessons go far beyond the tennis court.
The Inner Game of Tennis: The Mental Side of Peak Performance
September 17, 2007
Book Review - Tennis Shorts
More tennis short stories. But this time editor Adam Sexton brings us stories from Nabokov, John Updike and Paul Theroux.
Need I say more?
Tennis Shorts: Great Writing on Tennis and Life
September 3, 2007
Book Review - Days of Grace
It is only fitting that we review Arthur Ashe's autobiography during the U.S. Open.
Days of Grace is a book by Arthur Ashe and Arnold Rampersad. Like so many others, Ashe touched my life, and he did it through this book. Sure, I knew about him, I knew about his struggles, accomplishments and impact on tennis. But, you can't have a full view of the way he conducted his life without reading his own thoughts. After all his tennis and humanitarian accomplishments, the man battles all sorts of terrible health issues, many brought on by human error. And he doesn't bat an eye. "Grace" is the perfect word. You simply aren't going to find a more inspirational book about life, much less tennis.
Enjoy and celebrate Arthur Ashe!
Days of Grace
August 20, 2007
Book Review - Psycho-Cybernetics
Psycho-Cybernetics, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life, by Maxwell Maltz is just that. I used it for tennis, but indeed its a way to clear your head overall. This book was lent to me by my teacher growing up. It helped me immensely. For me, it helped me clear out all the junk cluttering up my mind during play, and just let it loose. In other words, I had worked and practiced so hard, at match time, it was about letting go and letting that hard work do its part. After reading it, I remember consciously clearing my head from everything the split second before my serve. Worked like a charm.
Psycho-Cybernetics, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life