Tennis Confidential II: More of Today's Greatest Players, Matches, and Controversies [NOOK Book]


Award-winning tennis writer Paul Fein is back at his shot-making best with Tennis Confidential II: More of Today's Greatest Players, Matches, and Controversies. Tennis keeps moving forward and so does Fein, giving readers his insightful and thought-provoking opinions on a myriad of hot-button topics.

Who is the greatest men's player ever? The greatest women's player ever? Is it clever or counter-productive to let players challenge line calls? ...
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Tennis Confidential II: More of Today's Greatest Players, Matches, and Controversies

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Award-winning tennis writer Paul Fein is back at his shot-making best with Tennis Confidential II: More of Today's Greatest Players, Matches, and Controversies. Tennis keeps moving forward and so does Fein, giving readers his insightful and thought-provoking opinions on a myriad of hot-button topics.

Who is the greatest men's player ever? The greatest women's player ever? Is it clever or counter-productive to let players challenge line calls? How about oncourt coaching? Scoring system changes? The television networks and tennis's ruling bodies fervently push these controversial reforms, but do they help or hurt tennis? Fein questions and debunks conventional wisdom as only he can, and his in-depth knowledge and authoritative analyses of the sport provide a welcome perspective.

Fein writes about today's headliners like Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, and the Williams sisters, plus popular former champions such as Andre Agassi, Yannick Noah, Jim Courier, Martina Hingis, and Stefan Edberg. He chronicles the exciting evolution of women's tennis and its heroic pioneers, explains the near-extinction of the dynamic serve-and-volley game and how to save it, and revisits an unforgettable era when tennis players "rocked."

This entertaining and compelling compendium of tennis interviews, features, and essays is sure to intrigue, inform, and enlighten. Anyone who enjoys reading about tennis will find Paul Fein's Tennis Confidential II a winner.
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Editorial Reviews

Foreword Magazine
Like a game of tennis, the book has something for everyone. Recreational players will likely read it cover-to-cover. Personality watchers can be more than content to limit themselves to the chapters on the colorful characters, skipping the section on rule changes and scoring systems. And the book might be just the impetus couch potatoes need for digging their rackets out of the closet and donning their whites for a few sets.
—Karl Kunkel
ACE Tennis Magazine
Subtitled 'More of Today's Greatest Players, Matches, and Controversies', this is a wonderful follow-up to Fein's Tennis Confidential (2002).

The book is in three sections, the first of which comprises a set of essays looking at controversial issues facing those who administer the world game of tennis in the 21st century. Topics covered include on-court coaching, Hawk-Eye, the ATP doubles reforms, and whether the interests of TV run counter to the long-term interests of the sport.

Part two looks at people and trends that have changed the face of tennis, opening up with a powerful argument for the importance and influence of top women players on society as a whole, and going on to cover such topics as the emergence of Russian women players.

Other subjects addressed with wit and insight include famous tennis feuds and the parallels between tennis and rock music, and there are also articles about Andre Agassi, Maria Sharapova and Pete Sampras. Add interviews with leading players past and present including Yannick Noah, Amelie Mauresmo, Stefan Edberg and Martina Hingis, and the late Gene Scott (founder and publisher of Tennis Week), and you have a stimulating and enjoyable read for the tennis enthusiast.
Australian Tennis Magazine
Paul Fein, an American freelance tennis writer, chronicled many of the most bizarre happenings in tennis in Tennis Confidential: Today's Greatest Players, Matches, and Controversies'. Now comes a sequel, Tennis Confidential II. Other, similar books may be in the pipeline, for Fein is insatiable in his hunger for detail, and knows exactly where to look and who to ask for information about life on the tour - and behind it.
. . .
Fein divides his book into three parts - The Great Debates (Is On-Court Coaching Good for Tennis? Where Have all the Serve and Volleyers Gone? Etc); People and Trends that Changed the Sport (Famous Feuds in Tennis History, From Russia with Love. Etc); and Compelling Characters Hold Court (Inside the Mind of Mats Wilander. Etc). Although it highlights the tennis glitterati, the book is aimed more at the true aficionado rather than groupies. It makes a worthy addition to any tennis library.
—Alan Trengove
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781612343952
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/30/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,177,025
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Paul Fein is a renowned tennis journalist and author of Tennis Confidential: Today’s Greatest Players, Matches, and Controversies (Brassey’s, Inc., 2002) and You Can Quote Me on That: Greatest Tennis Quips, Insights, and Zingers (Potomac Books, Inc., 2005). His articles have appeared in the United States and twenty-five foreign countries, and earned over twenty-five writing awards. Fein’s diverse tennis background includes being a top-ten sectional tournament player, satellite tournament founder and director, USPTA teaching pro, New England tournament consultant, cable TV commentator, and tennis club and council president. He lives in Agawam, Massachusetts.

Mary Carillo is a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning TV analyst for ESPN, CBS, HBO, and NBC.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations     viii
Acknowledgments     ix
Foreword     xi
Introduction     xiii
The Great Debates     1
Who Is the Greatest Men's Tennis Player Ever?     3
Who Is the Greatest Women's Tennis Player Ever?     15
Is This the Sport We Want?     24
Is On-Court Coaching Good for Tennis?     31
What's Wrong with the ATP's Doubles Reforms?     38
Tennis vs. Golf: Which Sport Is Tougher?     47
Should Tiebreakers Replace Deciding Sets?     55
Where Have all the Serve and Volleyers Gone?     64
10 Ways to Fire up Tennis     75
How America Can Produce Tennis Champions Again     79
People and Trends That Changed the Sport     87
You've Come a Long Way, Ladies     89
Famous Feuds in Tennis History     101
From Russia with Love     110
The Comeback That Proved Them All Wrong     115
Double the Pleasure-or Pressure?     120
Tennis for the Bloody Fun of It     127
Andre Agassi: Rebel With a Cause     132
Sharapova Fires Latest Shot in Russian Revolution     137
Tennis Has an A-Rod, Too     142
When TennisPlayers Rocked     145
Compelling Characters Hold Court     153
Unique Yannick     155
Jim Courier: From Dade City to Paris to Newport     167
Martina Hingis: The 'Spice Girl' Champion     179
Bryan Brothers: Double Shot of Excitement     184
Stefan Edberg: The Gentleman Champion     192
Michael Chang: The David Who Slays Goliaths     199
Amelie Mauresmo: Vive La Difference     209
Brad Gilbert: Coach of Champions     215
Inside the Mind of Mats Wilander     221
This Woody Keeps on Winning-Knock on Wood     232
Gene Scott: A Pioneer and Promoter Who Shaped Open Tennis     245
Jelena Jankovic: The Serb with Verve     257
Index     265
About the Author     273
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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2008

    Fascinating Reading

    Paul Fein is one of the best and intellectually sound tennis writers today. As in his previous two books, he has proven this again in his latest, Tennis Confidential II. The player profiles are both intimate and informative, his analyses of the great players¿ records and achievements are based on thorough research, his discussion of the hottest topics of the day is provocative, and the player interviews are revealing. By frequently quoting leading players, journalists, and officials, Fein makes the various articles much more interesting and buttresses their objectivity . The sidebars ¿Fascinating Facts¿ offer numerous, previously little known tennis tidbits. While many of the articles appeared in tennis publications several years ago, they are not only timeless, but actually rekindle wonderful memories. Fein does not shy away from expressing firm opinions. However, rather than simply imposing his views in a dogmatic fashion, he challenges the reader to at least reexamine preconceived positions. Have you been wondering how to improve line calling? Read this book. Are you opposed to no-ad scoring? Fein will tell you why you are right. Do you need to convince your golfing buddy that his hobby is less of a sport than yours? You will find help in this book. As far as the numerous profiles of people who have made their important mark on the tennis landscape, it would be difficult to point to any one as being superior. Having always been impressed by Andre Agassi, - the man, my admiration was strengthened after reading Fein¿s wonderful piece. And what about the stories of the great bunch of Aussies, their sportsmanship and camaraderie during those simpler amateur days. Also, Fein¿s descriptions of the sports most enduring characters ¿ Nastase, Tiriac, Connors, McEnroe, Gerulitis, and others - invoke a nostalgia for the ¿good old days¿. As an interviewer, Fein has few equals. The questions he poses reflect his sound judgement and great knowledge of the game. He obviously makes his subjects comfortable so that their responses are both honest and revealing, thus enabling the reader to gain a new perspective on these stars. I enjoyed these interviews so much that singling any one out would not be fair. However, having said that, I did find the Noah and Wilander interviews particularly insightful. To the tennis nut, the book offers an enjoyable trip down memory lane, to the casual fan it illuminates previously unseen vistas. I truly believe that anyone even remotely interested in the game of tennis will enjoy reading this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 19, 2008

    Tennis Confidential II - - An informative gift for inquiring tennis players and fans!

    There is a lot to like about "Tennis Confidential II." It consists of three parts - - The Great Debates, People and Trends That Change the Sport and Compelling Characters Hold Court. I took my time reading this book because the topics discussed were not only interesting, but some were controversial and near and dear to my thoughts regarding tennis as a lifetime sport. Where else can you find current information on subjects such as: Is on-court coaching good for tennis?; Tennis versus golf - - which sport is tougher?; How America can produce tennis champions again.<BR/>Paul Fein not only gives his personal opinion, but also obtains feedback from diverse tennis sources.<BR/><BR/>One of my favorite chapters was "Tennis for the Bloody Fun of It", which is all about the Australian dynasty, such as Rosewall, Hoad, Laver, Emerson, Newcombe and many others. These players were extremely competitive on the court, but could have lunch or drinks together when not "doing battle". <BR/><BR/>I especially liked the interview section that included conversations with Noah, Edberg, Wilander, etc. The questions that the author asks, and the responses, reveal so much about the players. For me, these interviews were the highlight of the book. It shocked me to find out, during an interview with Gene Scott, that in 1977 the only research done to change the surface at the US Open from clay to hard was to ask the three top US players (Ashe, Smith and Connors) which surface they preferred. After the US Open became hard courts, every major college switched from clay to hard courts and the impact is still being felt today. <BR/><BR/>Throughout the book, the "Fascinating Facts" sections at the end of most chapters are so interesting. Example: Boris Becker once asked his wife to shoot him. You can expect to be entertained by this book!<BR/><BR/>Steve Sudarsky, A Nationally Ranked Senior Tennis Player

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2008

    A beating Tennis heart in the palm of your hand

    Tennis Confidential II is essentially a stunning and thoughtful book containing essays that make us smarter. Smarter about understanding tennis as a masterful game of tennis pros while allowing us to get close to these giants, whose endeavors fascinate us. As an example read the piece about Jelena Jankovic: The Serb with Verve. We not only learn about her background and her competitive personality, rather we get close to her as living person with coolness, brains and emotion - we understand what makes her tick due to the careful construction of the interview. Paul Fein has a beating heart for the tennis pros who make tennis such a great sport, and when you are reading his book - you sometimes think that you have this beating heart in the palm of your hand.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2008

    tennis from all angles

    I found this book to be an enjoyable and thought-provoking read. The essays touch on all kinds of different tennis topics and provide a healthy mix of information and opinion with some bits of humor sprinkled in. Learning about some of the early men¿s and women¿s players that I was unfamiliar with was fascinating, and Fein nicely compares players from different generations, which is always a tricky thing to do. Other essays explain some of the more current trends in pro tennis (like the Russian invasion in women¿s tennis) and the reasons behind their development. Fein isn¿t shy about making his opinions known and has strong views on how to improve professional tennis (the essay ¿10 Ways to Fire up Tennis¿ is particularly strong). Agree or disagree (as I did with some points), Fein does support his arguments soundly. The interviews at the end of the book should not be skipped and were a pleasant surprise for me. Characters that I had previously thought were quite boring, like Wilander and Chang, really open up in their interview with Fein.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2008


    In his inimitable style, Paul Fein analyzes the issues, arms himself with the facts, and then lets his opponents have it. Whether it was taking a sledgehammer to the misguided advocates of on-court coaching or exposing the flawed thinking that's given rise to the absurdity of player challenges, Fein made me feel like standing up and applauding. As a coach, I found myself actually cheering when I read his enlightening chapter entitled 'How America Can Produce Champions Again.' I was fascinated to learn why 'the best two-handed backhands are much superior to the best one-handed backhands,' and why we should 'ditch the flawed, open-stance, two handed backhand that Venus and Serena use regularly.' This chapter alone should make the book required reading for any tennis coach with an interest in US junior tennis development. However, what I liked most of all about the book is that Fein clarified my thinking on many of tennis' controversies. He takes seemingly grey issues, quickly separates the black from the white, and then presents well-reasoned arguments with a certainty that must leave some of tennis' 'dogmatists for change' looking for the nearest sewer to slither back into. On the other hand, if you're an advocate of introducing no-ad scoring, replacing deciding sets with tie-breakers, or sacrificing the integrity of the game to the mindless masses in the name of television and entertainment, whatever you do, don't buy this book. It'll be much too dangerous for your health.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2008

    A Grand Slam of a Book

    Paul Fein is nothing short of a master. His latest book, Tennis Confidential II, will make you chuckle at times 'don't miss the Fascinating Facts at the end of most chapters', it'll make you cry at others 'What! Get rid of player challenges? Let's talk about that!', but most of all it will fire you up and make you consider¿and re-consider¿ the great tennis issues. br I especially enjoyed the chapter on Famous Feuds in Tennis History. Who knew that Renaissance painters even played tennis, let alone that one murdered his tennis opponent over a disputed score? I loved re-living those nasty McEnroe/Connors days. And, by the way, Anna Kournikova fairly drips acid. Oh, it's delicious! br Mostly, I learned a lot. Fein is as instructive as he is entertaining. I didn't know about the 13 factors that make line calling difficult. Even when I thought I understood an issue, Fein gave me more to think about. In my opinion, this book is one that will be enjoyed both by novices and seasoned players. You can check out stories about people who have changed the sport, Fein's list of top players of all time, and some intriguing ideas about how to fire up the game. br Fein says tennis players love to argue. Well . . . we agree on that!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2008

    Terrific Tennis Book!

    Tennis Confidential II is like Roger Federer, the complete package. The features are fascinating, the interviews are revealing, and the essays are brilliant. As a bonus, amusing trivia that spare no one from President Bushes to Maria Sharapova, are spinkled througout the book. Penetrating features bring to life the humanity of Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras as they rebound from adversity. 'You've Come a Long Way, Ladies' is the most interesting and comprehensive short history of women's tennis I've ever read. The interviews are all engaging and enlightening, especially the ones with Jim Courier, Yannick Noah and Mats Wilander, which provide terrific insights into their minds and hearts as well as the not-always glamorous life on the pro tour. Paul Fein is an award-winning tennis writer and he tackles the sport's most complicated controversies with compelling logic and fairness. Whether it's on-court coaching, player challenges, scoring system reforms or who the greatest players in history are (you're in for some surprises here!), Fein's knowledge will dazzle you and his arguments will often persuade you. This is one of those rare books that you will enjoy reading and re-reading.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2009

    A must read for the tennis enthusiast

    If it's possible I like Tennis Confidential II more than its predecessor! Paul Fein is a true student of the game and his insights are top notch. While I enjoyed this read from cover to cover some of my favorite segments (if I had to pick) were the terrific interviews with many of the most compelling players, the section of the greatest players ever (both men and women), the feuds between players, and I really enjoyed the fascinating facts at the end of many chapters. I also like how Paul Fein is able to think outside the box. For example, the section regarding the thirteen factors that make it difficult to make line calls was something I had never thought makes me wonder why anyone would sign up for such difficult, unrewarding work! Furthermore, the section on how to fire up the game such as the need for more player-fan interaction just makes sense. I mean if Nascar can do it why can't tennis? Like the original, Tennis Confidential II makes you think and reconsider some of the big issues in tennis and I love the rare perspective Fein brings to the sport. Overall a must read for the tennis enthusiast!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2008

    Great book

    This is an excellent book mixing current day tennis with tennis past, the light with the serious. Player profiles and background are quite interesting. His observation and points of view are well thought out and cogent with the exception of his infatuation with Pete Sampras. As much as I personally detest the stuff, to a lot of the world, playing tennis means playing on clay. Pete Sampras 'like John McEnroe' was not an all time great all court player. Overall, a real FEIN book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2008

    A reviewer

    Paul Fein has done it again. Tennis Confidential II is the most informative and entertaining book I've read in years. Clearly the game's foremost deep thinker, Fein's latest collection of essays thoroughly explore some of the games most captivating issues. His take on the greatest men and women players of all time and the tennis vs. golf debate are must reads for all sports fans. Buy this book immediately!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2008

    Paul Fein has done it again

    Paul Fein has done it again. His first two books were tennis best. Tennis Confidential II, his latest book, should be number one again. Fein is not afraid to constructively criticize top players (and their coaches and parents) or to challenge a venerable tennis institution like the USTA. I don¿t agree with some of his comments or conclusions, but Fein forces me to think through my positions. The book uses interview questions and answers to give the reader in-depth insight. If you watch and/or play tennis, curl up with Fein¿s latest book and enjoy!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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