20 tennis books you must read [New additions]
I've put together a guide of interesting tennis books which make for a great read. We have read a lot of them, with the other ones coming highly recommended to us!
To see them on Amazon - just click on the image. If you have any other suggestions we are more than happy to include them here.
Hope you find the list useful!
The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Galwey
It's been a long time since I read this but it's still one of the bestselling tennis books in the world. There is no question that you should have this on your bookshelf. It offers great insight into the mental side of the game and can help you overcome on-court difficulties. Sports Scientist Nick Winkelman - who was on our podcast only had good things to say about it!
The Pros: The Forgotten Era of Tennis by Peter Underwood
This book offers an interesting insight into tennis before it became commercialised. Amateur players - receiving little or no prize money competed for the biggest titles in tennis. A stark contrast from where the game is today. Worth a read, its a look back into tennis history!
Juan Martin del Potro: The Gentle Giant by Sebastián Torok
After winning the US Open in 2009, del Potro's career never really materialised. Despite reoccurring injury problems, he has become one of the most popular players on tour. This book tells his story and looks further into his gentle personality. The book was compiled from over 70 interviews. Vamos!
Roger Federer: Phenomenon. Enthusiast. Philanthropist. by Simon Graf
This book consists of a collection of pieces written about Federer that were formed after countless interviews with him. It offers a unique insight into Roger's personality and is an easy read. I'm sure that there are plenty of Federer fans here - be sure to check it out if you are! The book has only recently been translated into English.
Pressure is a Privilege: Lessons I've Learned from Life and the Battle of the Sexes by Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King founded the WTA, won multiple slams and even wrote a book! Billie Jean covers stories from her childhood and professional career. Despite it being released a few years ago, I still haven't had the chance to read it yet but it's definitely on my to do list 😁
Coaching For Life: A Guide to Playing, Thinking and Being the Best You Can Be by Paul Annacone
Paul Annacone has seen it all. Having worked with both Federer & Sampras, Annacone is able to offer real insight into the midset of some of the greatest to ever player the game. The book can be seen as a useful guide from transfering skills from different aspects of life.
Able: Gold Medals, Grand Slams and Smashing Glass Ceilings
Wheelchair tennis doesn't always get the attention of publicity that it deserves. Dylan Alcott has become one of the biggest names ever in wheelchair tennis. In the book, he tells us all about the struggles he faced and how he overcame them!
Open: An Autobiography by Andre Agassi
From all the feedback, this book was extremely popular. 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 Cashby 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.
Rafa 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.
Seventy-Sevenby 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 Oddsby 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.
Winning Uglyby 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 Coversby 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.
Too Soon to PanicBy 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
Federer 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.
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 Tennisby Mark S.Kovacs
I haven't read this book but a few people recommended it after I posted this blog post.
Playing the Moldavians at Tennisby 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!
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 by Rod Laver
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.
- 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.
“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.
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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