With the tennis season in full swing, it is the time when the idea of picking up a racquet to join in the fun sounds appealing…maybe it isn’t too late to be a champion after all…maybe.
I am a huge tennis fan, not just of the sport but mainly due to the people who are playing. They are amazing athletes and the work that goes into making a sport look ‘easy’ takes a lifetime of training, agony, delayed gratification and perseverance. Their life stories are both inspiring and amazing.
Open by Andre Agassi
I read this last year and it is firmly in my top ten books of all time. This autobiography was both engaging and haunting as Agassi tells the story of his life framed by conflicts, balanced precariously between self-destruction and perfectionism. From early childhood Agassi hated the game of tennis, he resented the constant pressure even as he drove himself to become a prodigy of the game.
My Life by Serena Williams
From growing up in the tough neighborhood of Compton, California, to being trained by her father on courts littered with broken glass and drug paraphernalia, to becoming the top women’s player in the world, Serena has proven to be an inspiration to her legions of fans. Her accomplishments have not been won without struggle. She has been derailed by injury, criticized for her unorthodox approach to tennis, and was devastated by the tragic shooting of her older sister. Yet somehow Serena always manages to prevail, both on and off the court. In this compelling and poignant memoir, Serena takes an empowering look at her extraordinary life and what is still to come.
My Life by Li Na
I watched Li Na play against Serena Williams in Wimbledon and the match was amazing. The first tennis player from an Asian country to win a Grand Slam singles title shares her life story, including growing up within a rigid national sports system, living away from home, and the years she struggled to believe in herself.
Rafa: My Story by Rafael Nadal
No tennis player since Andre Agassi has captivated the world like Rafael Nadal. He’s a rarity in today’s sporting arena – a true sportsman who chooses to let his raw talent, dedication and humility define him. This autobiography, includes memorable highlights such as winning the Wimbledon 2008 final in what John McEnroe called, “the greatest game of tennis ever played” and completing a career Grand Slam after winning the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open in 2010. This book gives Nadal’s millions of fans what they’ve been waiting for – a glimpse behind the racquet to learn what really makes Nadal – an intensely private person who until now has never talked about his personal and family life – tick.
Andy Murray: Seventy Seven My Road To Wimbledon Glory by Andy Murray
Andy Murray is one of Britain’s best loved athletes. On the 7th July 2013 he became the first British man to lift the Wimbledon trophy for 77 years. Andy Murray: Seventy-Seven, takes readers on a personal journey through his career. Focusing on the last two dramatic years, he shares his thoughts on the pivotal moments of his playing career and allow us a glimpse into his world – his intense training regime, his close-knit team and his mental and physical battle to get to the very top. This beautiful and very personal book is a stunning celebration of Andy’s career so far.
Rod Laver: An Autobiography by Rod Laver
Rod Laver’s memoir is the inspiring story of how a diminutive, left-handed, red-headed country boy from Rockhampton became one of Australia’s greatest every sporting champions. Rod was a dominant force in world tennis for almost two decades, playing and defeating some of the greatest players of the twentieth century. In 1962, Rod became the second man to win the Grand Slam – that is, winning the Australian, French, Wimbledon and US titles in a single calendar year. In 1969 he won it again, becoming the only player ever to win the Grand Slam twice.
Filled with anecdotes about the great players and great matches, set against the backdrop of a tennis world changing from rigid amateurism to the professional game we recognise today, Rod’s book is a warm, insightful and fascinating account of a great sportsman and a great Australian.