Some nice tennis reading.
June 1, 2008 11:04 AM   Subscribe

What are some good books about tennis?

I've really been enjoying watching tennis on tv lately and would like to go from a casual fan to someone who knows about the finer points of the sport. I am looking for some enjoyable books on the history of tennis, the great players, controversies, etc... I am not looking to play the game myself, just to become better acquainted with the sport. I'd also love to hear about some good biographies or autobiographies

Bonus: Any good documentaries about the history of tennis? Or some sort of series highlighting some of the best matches over time?
posted by boubelium to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Infinite Jest has lengthy tennis diversions, for a novel.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 11:09 AM on June 1, 2008

John McPhee's classic Levels of the Game.

McPhee has written several other pieces on tennis as well.
posted by ijsbrand at 11:31 AM on June 1, 2008

I really liked The Rivals by Johnette Howard, which is about Chris Evert and Martina Navritalova's long running rivalry. It also covers the changes in women's tennis in the 70s and 80s.
posted by dame at 11:40 AM on June 1, 2008

Seconding Levels and recommending A Handful of Summers.
posted by king walnut at 1:58 PM on June 1, 2008

There are books by and about Arthur Ashe, and at least one documentary about him (haven't read or seen any myself). Search Amazon.
posted by neuron at 2:11 PM on June 1, 2008

There are still some who disagree, but arguably the best tennis writing ever is seen in David Foster Wallace's essay on Michael Joyce, in A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, and in his piece for the New York Times Magazine, seen here.
posted by NoRelationToLea at 4:03 PM on June 1, 2008

Second DFW.
posted by callmejay at 8:22 PM on June 1, 2008

Also, tennis is a big part of his novel Infinite Jest.
posted by callmejay at 8:22 PM on June 1, 2008

John McEnroe wrote himself a book called "You Cannot Be Serious" which has very few of the things you're looking for but is an enjoyable read about Johnny Mac's experiences playing Tennis in the '70s and '80s.
posted by Overzealous at 10:04 AM on June 2, 2008

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