The best way to learn tennis is to watch the game and observe; the best way to know about the game and the legends who have graced the tennis court is through Bridget Marrison’s Tennis: A New Fan’s Guide to the Game, the Tournaments and the Players. Unlike the other ‘tennis’ books in the market, this one has everything you want to know about the game, the champions and what makes tennis stand out as a sport.
The French Open is in full flow these days and will be followed by Wimbledon next month; a lot of tennis players from around the world are busy competing in the Grand Slam. A tennis enthusiast will know what a Grand Slam is; those who aren’t familiar with the term will find all the answers in this book. So if you didn’t know that the court is 27 feet wide for singles, 36 feet wide for doubles match and that the average length of the court is 78 feet and that the net is 3 feet high for all players, don’t worry; this book is for you.
Packed with countless photographs and illustrations, this guide to the game is full of stuff you didn’t know about tennis. In fact, it gives you authentic information in simplest of form that is far better than the often-incorrect articles and guides on the net. There is a calendar for tennis events played each year and you will be surprised to know that besides the four Grand Slams – Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon Championship and US Open – there are as many as 22 events in Men’s tour and 26 events in Women’s Tour in which players can participate all year round. This doesn’t include the Davis Cup (men’s) and Fed Cup (women’s) ties where the players represent their country for the ultimate prize – the trophy!
The book brings the game to life by taking you back in time where you get to know about the inception, the rules and above all, the greatest players to entertain fans. You can find details of the best stadiums in the world as well as interesting facts regarding the chair umpires and the players who gave them tough time by either swearing or disagreeing. It also tells you things you didn’t know about the players of Open Era, like Jimmy Connors won US Open title but stands out as he did it on 3 different surfaces; Andre Agassi is the only player in the history of the game who won all Grand Slams as well as Gold at Olympic Games and Marat Safin destroyed more than 100 rackets of his own – in just one season! Interesting, isn’t it?
The section I loved reading most was about the world’s best male and female tennis players and tennis legends. Here you get to read an interesting profile of the current players (Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal amongst them), the legends (Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg, Pete Sampras) as well as the female tennis stars of the last 60 years (the Williams Sisters, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, Chris Evert and Billie Jean King to name a few). There is a separate chapter for Doubles heroes and it is interesting because not much is written on the players who win Doubles events, so when you do get to know about them, it comes out as something you have missed.
And then there is the section where you can learn how to play tennis or get your basics right. Using the images of the current players on the circuit, the writer explains how you can make your serve better, what a good forehand and a backhand are and how important a volley is. There is something for those interesting in knowing about tennis fashion or how a professional tennis player spends her day. If you are a tennis enthusiast, this book has everything for you; for those who don’t know much about the game, this book will make you fall in love with the sport, undoubtedly.