Reading an autobiography can be boring at times. In most cases, it is just another life story of a particular person. Sport autobiographies, to be precise, can get even less interesting with all the numbers and records that we’re already aware of. But behind all the glorious on-field action, there is a side to the player none of us is familiar with. Few autobiographies shed light on the side that introduces us to the off-field persona of these stars.
If you’re a Tennis lover with a colossal appetite for insightful reads, look no further. We give you a list of 5 Tennis autobiographies that you must definitely read and why!
1. Arthur Ashe – Days of Grace
A world champion, a social activist, an AIDS victim, a fighter. Days of Grace is the story of a legendary Tennis player whose remarkable career was cut short by a deadly disease. Arthur Ashe remains the only black man to have won the singles title at Wimbledon, Australian Open or the U.S. Open. On court, he was an embodiment of courage and spirit. Off it, he was an inspiration to those around him. The book is an honest and touching memoir of one of the greatest players of all time and the ups and downs of his eventful life.
2. Jimmy Connors – The Outsider: A memoir
Reading problems, an obsessive compulsive disorder, a fascination with gambling and a habit of winning. Jimmy Connors reveals the good, bad and the ugly of a prolific Tennis career and explains how he dealt with his addictions. The Outsider features some of the most startling revelations of his personal and professional life in a way few would imagine. Right from the Chris Evert saga to his marriage with a former Playboy model, the book has it all. Jimbo offers little introspection, tells it like it was and shows no regret in everything that once defined his lifestyle. The book is an account of the alpha-male spirit of his tennis career.
3. John McEnroe – Serious
Frequent on-court outbursts, confrontation with umpires, abusive behavior, yet the best in what he did. John McEnroe was often tagged as brash, arrogant and obnoxious. His constant yelling at the umpires – "You cannot be serious" eventually became the title of hisautobiography. The book is fresh, funny and frank. Contradictory to his on-court tantrums, ‘Serious’ is full of honest admissions and regret. It dwells upon his intelligence and offers a no-holds barred examination of his own personality.
"I was a good kid having fun, playing tennis and being a rockstar. I rocked! No seriously, I rocked. Oh, and it was only my dishonest opponents who made me scream at umpires, because I was – to all intents and purposes a remarkably nice boy. Except for when I rocked! Woo hoo! Yeah baby!"
See what we mean?
4. Andre Agassi – Open
In ‘Open’, Andre Agassi reveals how the sport that made him an overnight sensation was in reality, a prison he tried to escape from for 30 long years. The book is a haunting recollection of Agassi’s shot to stardom despite being a rebellious kid. ‘Open’ is a treat for those who love Tennis as well as for those who don’t. The book convinces its readers that Agassi was indeed a phenomenon in the ’80s that took the world by surprise.
5. Rafael Nadal – Rafa: My Story
Now, now, now. Here’s the story of a champion we just cannot ignore. Few Tennis players have evoked such strong emotions and opinions as much as Rafa. In the book, Nadal reveals how his uncle Toni turned his nephew into one heck of a tennis machine in his own, unusual ways. Despite being written by ghost writer, ‘Rafa: My Story’ turns out to be a decent product. The book tells an unconventional tale of a monster on court who still remains an anxious kid off it. Watch out for a special mention on Rafa’s strategic game plan against his nemesis, Roger Federer.
So go, grab them all and whet your reading appetite!