20 tennis books you must read [New additions]

I've put together a guide of great tennis books which make a great read or can make a great present. I've read a lot of them some which I forgot I had read but I must admit I did have the help from our fans on our Instagram account at FunctionalTennis who gave some great suggestions.

To see them on Amazon just click on the image. If you have any other suggestions I would more than happy to include them here. 

I have read many of these books and will get ordering the rest asap!

Hope you find the list useful!

Open: An Autobiography
by Andre Agassi 

From all the feedback, this book was the most popular by 10X. Its one of the only tennis books that is liked by tennis fans and non-tennis fans. I loved reading it and especially liked the duels with Steffi's Graff's dad!!

But Seriously
by John McEnroe

It's been a while since I read this but remember some great stories from his childhood and then throughout his career. Its definitely worth a read!


Uncovered: The Autobiography of Pat Cash
by Pat Cash

Great read with insights from his hellraising days and loads of mentions of John McEnroe.

String Theory
By David Wallace

I was recommended this a few times and finally got to read it. Its consists of 5 short stories and you could easily read it in a day. It's been described as having the best ever tennis writing and talks about tennis in such a beautiful way. I quite enjoyed it. Loved 3 out of the 5 stories. Definitely worth a read.


Federgraphica: A Graphic Biography of the Genius of Roger Federer
by Mark Hodgkinson

One thing that is missing is a Roger Federer autobiography and I can't wait for the day it is launched. A few people mentioned this book which gives a graphic reference to the Roger Federer career. If you are a Roger Federer fan you need this on your book shelf.


by Rafael Nadal

Good insight into Rafa's career. I found it to be a very simple read and it felt like it was originally written in Spanish that was then translated into English to suit a young child. You will pick up some interesting facts but like many of the current top pros I think its too early for them to release their own book.

by Andy Murray 

Interesting read on Andy, again I think its too early in his career for this but you will find out some useful facts about him from his upbringing to winning the Wimbledon crown. Worth a read.


Ace Against Odds
by Sania Mirza

I haven't read this but gets good reviews on Amazon. Its talks a lot about her sturggle with tennis and her journey to becoming the world number 1 female doubles player.


The Inner Game of Tennis
by W. Timothy Gallwey 

It's been a long time since I read this (over 15 years at least) and it's still one of the bestselling tennis books in the world. It's been updated in paper format and definitely one you should have on your bookshelf. It gives great insight into the mental side of the game and can help you overcome difficulties on court.


Winning Ugly
by Brad Gilbert 

Another classic, every tennis player should read this book. It's been updated since the days I have read it. This along with the Inner Game of Tennis will have you covered mentally and prepared for any match.


The Player 
by Boris Becker


I enjoyed this read. Becker is bit like marmite you either love him or hate him but this books gives a good detail of his career and as well as details behind his tax evasion scandal, his illegitimate daughter, his painful divorce as well as been the youngest ever Wimbledon champ. Well worth a read

Lifting The Covers
by Alan Mills

One I haven't read but want to. Alan refereed at Wimbledon for 21 years as well as reaching quarter-finals as a player. This book is bound to give behind the scenes stories on many events at Wimbledon. Definitely a must read if you love tennis and especially Wimbledon.


A Handful of Summers
by Gordon Forbes


It's been over 20 years since I read this and TBH forgot what it was about! Basically it gives an insight into what it was like playing tennis on the International circuit in the 50's and 60's. I'll have to find it and give it another read!


Too Soon to Panic
By Gordon Forbes



I haven't read this but its a continuation of the above book, A handful of summers. It talks about pro scene and the 80's and 90's with stories on Ashe to Agassi and many more. Will be one I will definitely check out. 


Breaking Back
By James Blake

An account of James Blake who had huge ambition and the skill to be the world's best but faced upset after upset. He describes his battle with the upsets and how he overcame them with great belief.


Ladies of the Court
by Michael Mewshaw

Recommended by a fan this book gives a detailed look into the women's game in the 1990's featuring players such as Graf, Capriati, Seles and many more icocic females from the 1990's


By Chris Bowers


Another Federer book that I haven't read but recommended by our Functional Tennis Fans. It gives insight into his career from a young kid to him winning his first 17 grand Slams. Read if your a fan of Roger.

Serve to Win
by Novak Djokovic


For the Germans 🇩🇪 

Spiel Dein Bestes Tennis
by Stefan Burchard 

Highly Recommended by our German Fans.


For the Brazilians  🇧🇷 

By Guga Kuerten

 I can only find this in Portuguese (Brazilian)

I didn't know he had a book and a large base of the Functional Tennis community are Brazilian and this book was recommended. If you find an English copy please send me the link!


New Additions

Tennis Anatomy

Randomly came across this book in Argentina last year but it was in Spanish and said I'd pick it up when back home and forgot about it. It explains all the muscle used in every stroke and is very detailed. Its one worth having on your book shelf.


Complete Conditioning for Tennis
by Mark S.Kovacs

I haven't head this book but a few people recommended it after I posted this blog post. 


Playing the Moldavians at Tennis
by Tony Hawks (not the skateboarder!)

I read this when I was younger and it was a fun read. Basically the author decides he wants to beat the Moldovan International Tennis team at tennis. He travels Europe locating the players and plays them all in Tennis! You'll have to read the book to see if he beats them all!


The Inner Game of Tennis
by W.Timothy Gallwey

Classic so I have been told and definitely up there with the best tennis psychology books.

Unstoppable : My Life So Far 
by Maria Sharapova


I haven't read this but it could make an interesting read whether you are a fan of Maria's or not. She has had her ups and downs but its still great to look inside her early life and challenges she had along the way.


Rod Laver, An Autobiography


We all know how good Rod Laver was and what he means to the game. I haven't read this yet but look forward to reading it over the year.


Strokes of Genius: Federer, Nadal and the Greatest Match Ever Played.


An in-depth description of The 2008 Wimbledon Final between 2 legends of the game. If your a tennis fan you should know about this match, I you haven't seen any of it get to youtube now! The book provides some great related stories from Federer/Nadal/Wimbledon and even the umpire Its very rare to see 1 match explained over 224 pages.  

Hope you enjoyed the list.

If you have any recommendations please comment them below.



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  • - Bounce, by Matthew Syed. A must read!
    - Locker Room Power, by David Sammel. Great insight on how to build your LRP.
    - Game, Set, and Match, by Mark Hodgkinson. Gold dust, quote from the pros about pretty much everything you can think about related to tennis.
    - The Pressure Principle, by Dr Dave Alred MBE. Not tennis related but there is so much crossover, invaluable for the mental side of the game.

    Tom Bowers
  • “Love Game” by Elizabeth Wilson

  • EveryBall by Mike James is a great book from a high quality tennis player & coach, recommend.


  • You left out Hardcourt Confidential by Patrick McEnroe which is also a very good read.

    Paul Palandjian
  • Strokes of Genius is one of the best books I’ve ever read in general. It breaks down the 2008 Wimbledon final almost point by point and paints a beautiful picture of the rivalry between Fed and Rafa. Definitely needs to be on this list.


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