Hardcourt Confidential: Tales from Twenty Years in the Pro Tennis Trenches [NOOK Book]

Overview

An entertaining and unfiltered look at professional tennis as only Patrick McEnroe can offer.

Patrick McEnroe has been in the world of professional tennis in one way or another for most of his life. As a player, coach, and ESPN commentator, he's seen it all. The significant tennis books of recent years have all been autobiographies--famous players burnishing their image or attempting to set the record straight within carefully controlled ...
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Hardcourt Confidential: Tales from Twenty Years in the Pro Tennis Trenches

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Overview

An entertaining and unfiltered look at professional tennis as only Patrick McEnroe can offer.

Patrick McEnroe has been in the world of professional tennis in one way or another for most of his life. As a player, coach, and ESPN commentator, he's seen it all. The significant tennis books of recent years have all been autobiographies--famous players burnishing their image or attempting to set the record straight within carefully controlled memoirs. No one has been willing to do a book that pulls back the curtain and presents an honest, no-holds-barred look into the ultimate gentleman's sport and the larger-than-life personalities that inhabit it. Patrick McEnroe does just that.

Curious to know which marquee player threw a tantrum and bailed early on a tournament? Why Roger Federer, presumably the greatest player of all time, has a losing head-to-head record with Rafael Nadal? Why certain tennis prodigies burned out early? The real role of coaches like Nick Bollettieri? Which player is as much of a diva off the court as on? The greatest match ever played? In Hardcourt Confidential, McEnroe uses his twenty-five-plus years in the trenches of the game to tell true tales and wild stories about the players you think you know (from Sampras to Agassi to Roddick to the Williams sisters), how and why the game has changed since he first swung a racket, and what the future holds in store for American tennis. McEnroe takes an unapologetic look at the men, women, and events of the past three decades, right up to the epic Federer vs. Nadal rivalry that dominates the game today. He's got a lot to say and he's not afraid to say it.
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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
With the assistance of Tennis magazine veteran Bodo, former pro, current Davis Cup captain and tennis lifer McEnroe dishes on his more famous brother, current and former stars, and life on and off the court. Sports tell-alls are most successful when they court controversy, whether penned by a charismatic legend (see Andre Agassi's brutally honest Open, 2009) or a washed-up has-been with the juiciest dirt (see Jose Canseco's steroid expose, Juiced, 2005). McEnroe's memoir, however, falls short of achieving the same headline-grabbing status because its author is neither a superstar-the journeyman player experienced limited success as a singles player; he fared far better in doubles, but those accomplishments were overshadowed by his brother John's breathtaking skill and legendary temper-nor in possession of a bombshell revelation-the closest he comes is calling out superstars Serena Williams and Agassi for selfish behavior and excoriating domineering parents of young tennis prodigies. However, though the author lacks his brother's explosive magnetism, he exudes sufficient Everyman charm and provides enough in-the-trenches tales, both from his long playing career and as Davis Cup captain. In that role, he has experienced a mix of extraordinary success and crushing defeat, leading stars like Andy Roddick (whom McEnroe praises effusively), the "mercurial" James Blake and the patriotic doubles tandem of Bob and Mike Bryan. The book excels when the author details the conflicts of interest that arise between his broadcasting duties and role with the United States Tennis Association and dishes amusing, if largely innocuous, gossip on his contemporaries and current players-though his repeated critiques of the women's game may come off as misogynistic if taken out of context. When he delves too deeply into technical tennis talk, less-dedicated readers may head for the exits. Not for casual fans-best for tennis junkies older than 30. Select events in New York area. Tie-in with author's tournament and broadcast schedule
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401395971
  • Publisher: Hachette Books
  • Publication date: 6/8/2010
  • Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,118,553
  • File size: 545 KB

Meet the Author

Patrick McEnroe
Patrick McEnroe is a former world no. 28 singles and no. 3 doubles player, and a former Grand Slam doubles champion and singles semifinalist. He is presently the United States Davis Cup captain (ninth year the longest of any captain in US history), a tennis commentator for ESPN, and head of the United States Tennis Association's player development program. He's married to the actress/singer/songwriter Melissa Errico, with whom he has three daughters; the family lives in New York city.

Peter Bodo has been a senior writer/editor at Tennis magazine for almost 30 years, and he's written numerous books, including four on tennis (in addition to a previous collaboration with Patrick McEnroe, he collaborated with Pete Sampras on the recent New York Times bestseller, A Champion's Mind). He also writes the popular Peter Bodo's TennisWorld weblog, and was a long-time contributor to the New York Times as an Outdoors columnist. He lives with his wife, Lisa, and six-year old son, Luke, in New York City and the upstate town of Andes.
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Read an Excerpt

Jimmy was adept at mind games. He was so keen to keep himself distant from the pack that he would often avoid the locker room altogether, changing and killing time conspicuously apart from his peers. Top players often have what you might call a "locker room strategy," from aggressively dominating the inner sanctum of the athlete to avoiding it altogether. One of my brother John's big beefs was that tennis is the only sport where you share the locker room with not just the guy you're going to engage in intense, one-on-one combat, but also with someone to whom you might have a deep, genuine aversion. I guess golf is the same way-but then it's a stretch to call golf a sport.

Anticipating Nadal's shot, Federer ran toward his backhand corner, loaded up, and hit down-the-line for a clean, sizzling winner. I'll always remember that stroke as the single greatest shot of that Wimbledon fortnight, and the perfect symbol of Federer's genius. It was a gorgeous swing and a perfect placement, and it was the most difficult of shots, made under the most intense pressure a man can face on a tennis court. A testament to the greatest player ever to swing a racket, in two brief volumes.
I turned to Dick Enberg, my colleague in the ESPN broadcast booth, and just asked: "How does this happen? How does he make that shot?"
Dick, I think, was speechless.

-From HARDCOURT CONFIDENTIAL
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