Top 10 Tennis Books – Part 1

1. Open – Andre Agassi

What more can be said. Revelations to end all revelations. This book is incredibly well-written and brings you very close to Andre as a person, both in terms of affection for him and criticism. Also the best descriptions of what is really going on inside the head of a tennis player on court.

“Honest in a way that such books seldom are. . . . An uncommonly well-written sports memoir. . . . Bracingly devoid of triumphalist homily, Agassi’s is one of the most passionately anti-sports books ever written by a superstar athlete.”
The New York Times

2. The Player  – Boris Becker

Who knows the full story behind lot’s of Boris’ escapades, but it’s entertaining and if you like Becker, then it’s a must-read.

“Becker uncovers it all and doesn’t pull any punches.” — Kirkus Reviews


3. Hardcourt Confidential – Patrick McEnroe

Well-written and honest, Patrick know the game well and is self-deprecating about his own abilities, which is refreshing compared to some of the players.

“The PG-rated anecdotes are never malicious and usually chuckle-worthy; the analysis of the game and its global growth owes its acuity to McEnroe’s unique vantage point as a former athlete, current administrator, and professional observer. Serious tennis fans will find information and perspective here that will add depth to their knowledge of the sport; casual observers will delight in McEnroe’s wry wit and sense of the absurd. —Wes Lukowsky

4. Breaking Back – James Blake

An easy read, James keeps it light and it’s more of a personal story than tales of his matches and any gossip.

“The grace and dignity that James has shown during some very difficult times has been a source of great inspiration.” (Andre Agassi )


5. A Champion’s Mind: Lessons from a Life in Tennis – Pete Sampras

Not particularly eloquent, but that’s a good sign, since you can tell Pete actually wrote this. Some fun takes on his toughest opponents at the back and he’s fairly respectful of all the players he mentions.

“Pete Sampras was always able to rise to the occasion, winning so many big matches at the biggest events.  This book provides the reader a glimpse into Pete’s remarkable career and how he was able attain his vision of being the best player in the world.  We can all benefit from the insight he offers.”
Roger Federer

6. History of Tennis – Bud Collins

My Bible when it comes to stats and history. Bud has a good sense of humor of course, which comes through in this book.

“If you know nothing about tennis, this book is for you. And if you know everything about tennis—hah!—Bud knows more, so this book is for you too.”  —Martina Navratilova, nine-time Wimbledon singles champion


7. On This Day in Tennis – Randy Walker

A fun book. Each day of the year, Randy pulls out a ‘fascinating fact’ from various years. Helps massively with this blog!

“A fun read that chronicles some of the most important—and unusual—moments in the annals of tennis. Randy Walker is an excellent narrator of tennis history and has done an incredible job of researching and compiling this entertaining volume.”  —Jim Courier, two-time French and Australian Open champion, Hall-of-Famer, and cofounder, Outback Champions series

8. Break Point, the Secret Diary of a Pro Tennis Player – Vince Spadea

When Vince retires, I sincerely hopes he chooses writing over rapping. A fun read if you like all the locker room gossip (which I do).

“I believe it’s an honest portrayal of ife on the men’s tour and that’s something the public has never gotten from someone at this level. It’s well written, incisive, and Spadea has done a remarkable job of revealing himself, along with some fellow pros, in what I believe is an important piece of work.” –Charles Bricker of the Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

9. Winning Ugly – Brad Gilbert

The bible on well, winning ugly.

Andre Agassi: Winning Ugly explains Brad’s formula for a winning tennis game. He understands the mental part of tennis better than anyone I have ever met. Brad helped me improve my game and I believe he can improve yours.

Pete Sampras: Winning Ugly is great. These are pro tactics that will improve a recreational player’s game fast. Winning Ugly teaches how to play better tennis and is very entertaining.

Jim Courier: Winning Ugly is a totally new approach to getting more out of your tennis game. I wish it had been around when I was learning how to play.

10. Tennis Confidential I and II – Paul Fein

A collection of essays and interviews with various players throughout the years, somewhat dated now, but a fun coffee table read.

“As accurate in his identification of the facts as a Ken Rosewall backhand, as ruthlessly logical in his evaluation of them as Ivan Lendl’s approach to the game, and as passionately exuberant in his defense of tennis’s heart and soul as Andre Agassi in full flight, Paul Fein is a brilliant tennis writer.”

–Chris Lewis, 1983 Wimbledon finalist — Chris Lewis, 1983 Wimbledon finalist

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