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Tennis Confidential: Today's Greatest Players, Matches, and Controversies

Overview

In this outstanding collection of essays and interviews, Paul Fein takes the reader into the world of the pro tennis tour with inside scoops about the game’s greatest stars, past and present. Tennis Confidential includes interviews with such all-time greats as Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, Arthur Ashe, and Jimmy Connors along with essays about the careers of other stars like Andre Agassi, the Williams sisters, Jennifer Capriati, and Anna Kournikova. Fein also reviews the careers of pioneering players like Martina ...

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Tennis Confidential: Today's Greatest Players, Matches, and Controversies

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Overview

In this outstanding collection of essays and interviews, Paul Fein takes the reader into the world of the pro tennis tour with inside scoops about the game’s greatest stars, past and present. Tennis Confidential includes interviews with such all-time greats as Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, Arthur Ashe, and Jimmy Connors along with essays about the careers of other stars like Andre Agassi, the Williams sisters, Jennifer Capriati, and Anna Kournikova. Fein also reviews the careers of pioneering players like Martina Navratilova, Bjorn Borg, and Rod Laver.

Tennis Confidential tackles the issues that confront the sport today, from the media’s fascination with teenage players on the women’s tour to the changes in the game caused by new racket designs and tactical innovations. Fein also reviews the ten greatest matches in tennis history. He gives fans at every level a unique perspective on the game and its history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Paul Fein hits an ace with Tennis Confidential.”

“A must-read for tennis fans!”

“If you're as passionate about tennis as I am, you'll find Paul Fein's Tennis Confidential is the kind of thought-provoking book you'll return to again and again. Highly entertaining and always engaging, it makes a terrific addition to any collection of tennis literature.”

“You may not always agree with Paul Fein, but you can never ignore him. Whether recording tennis trivia, important facts, and colorful quotes or methodically analysing some of the game’s great philosophical issues, he obeys the three most important journalistic commandments—to be accurate and fair, and to be readable. . . . If you are proud of your tennis library, you must have a copy of Tennis Confidential.”

Tennis Confidential does a great job of properly framing many of the ongoing debates in tennis. Even when I disagree with Paul Fein’s point of view, I appreciate the logic behind his perspective. He deserves thanks for providing the tennis community with “both sides of the coin” on these topics.

Tennis Confidential gives you an 'inside look' and really brings the players and pro circuit to life.”

“Paul Fein's book is as informative as they come among contemporary tennis compendiums. . . . So do add Paul Fein's book to your tennis bookshelves.”

“This informative and entertaining collection . . . provides much to savor. . . . [It's] a book that would make an excellent addition to sports collections in public libraries.

“If you like tennis, this is a must read.”

Tennis Confidential hits all the shots and touches all the hot buttons in the game: a page turner and must read for any tennis buff.”

“I'm pleased to recommend Tennis Confidential. It's an insightful study of the game, a vivid evocation of significant matches and a sterling characterization of legendary players. Must reading for anyone who follows tennis.”

Library Journal
This informative and entertaining collection of previously published features, essays, and interviews provides followers of the game much to savor. A tennis journalist for 20 years, Fein wishes "to give tennis lovers what they relish" and he delivers. His insights and high regard for the sport are evident as he covers a wide range of topics. Features about former legends and today's headliners are expertly written, and boxes filled with "Fascinating Facts" are scattered throughout. Not every fact actually fascinates, but some surely grab your attention, e.g., that 96 percent of the estimated $20 million that Anna Kournikova earned in 1999 came from endorsements. Fein analyzes the sport's hot issues and controversies, including equal prize money and the rankings debate. Ardent fans keenly aware of the game's amazing all-time records will appreciate Fein's discussion of how tennis generally pales in comparison to the promotional efforts of other sports in these matters. These achievements should be proudly publicized, argues Fein, whose case is bolstered with a full accounting of the game's most cherished records. His lively description of the ten greatest matches in tennis history is a fitting end to a book that would make an excellent addition to sports collections in public libraries. Howard Katz, New York Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574885262
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/31/2003
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2008

    exciting-raises goose bumps

    'Tennis Confidential' got me excited-raised goose bumps from chapter to chapter. As a tennis nut, who's passionate about all in tennis-from playing, learning, history, the pro game now and then-this book gave me more than I bargained for. Great insight into the sport and leaves you with more questions and arguments than before. Portraits of the Stars like Venus Williams, The Ghetto Cinderella, and Jennifer Capriatti, How she was taught to be the best. Memorable Interviews, as Ted Tinling, and Pete Sampras. Topical Trends and Burning Issues-as Seven Revealing Statistics Tennis Should Use and True Confessions. The Great Controversies-Coaching, prize money and rankings, How to think smart about tennis issues, Twentieth Century Retrospectives-the tie breaker and racket revolution change tennis-Greatest Matches, Seles defeats Graf and Suzanne Langlen defeats Helen Wills. This book I'll read again and again. Thank you Mr Fein

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2006

    Tennis Confidential fascinates, informs, and entertains!

    As a tennis fan, especially in a family with few tennis fans, I enjoy reading outside material about the game. Not tips on playing, but about the pros, especially stories, history, analysis, etc. So I figured this book would fit right in with my appetite, especially from the subtitle, 'players, matches, and controversies.' I was right! Tennis Confidential contains all of this and more! I was excited to read about events that happened before I was around, and also enjoyed reading about events that happened while I was around, as Fein brought a fresh and inside perspective to dozens of topics. Chapters I particularly enjoyed include the Burning Issues section, in which Fein examines modern topics like power, blacks' domination, new stats, and more Controversies, with topics such as equal prize money, women's tennis superiority, the let rule, and more and all time top 10 matches, with many surprises, but deep analysis. No wonder my 2nd favorite sport is baseball. Both it and tennis, my favorite, invite analysis, discussion, controversy, have rich histories, and no clock. Reading this book allows me to appreciate the game more, want to discuss it more, and proud to be a tennis fan. Plus, the author is very friendly and happy to discuss his work, as I met him on a tour.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2006

    An eye opener

    As a former coach of several world-class players and also former National coach for the French, Swiss and Hellenic tennis Associations, I most appreciated the originality and expertise in Tennis Confidential. Pro tennis has plenty of controversies about on-court coaching, the scoring system, equal prize money, ranking systems, doubles reforms, the service let, etc. The essays analyze them with more thoughtfulness and fairness than I've seen before. Your opinions about certain issues will undoubtedly change after you read these essays. Interviews and features with Agassi, Serena Williams, McEnroe, Ashe, Navratilova, Borg, Sampras and other champions are also eye-openers. History fans will definitely enjoy the six retrospectives and the 10 greatest matches. On a light note, everyone will have fun with ¿True Confessions¿ and the amusing and sometimes shocking trivia that is sprinkled throughout the book. Several of the articles received writing awards. This is a book you will want to read and re-read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2004

    THE REAL DEAL

    Paul Fein¿s ¿Tennis Confidential¿ is quite simply a `tour de force.¿ As a former sports reporter, editor and now documentary filmmaker, I have a professional and personal passion for this game. As such, I have read more than my share of tennis books. Seldom have I encountered a more incisive or entertaining analysis of the contemporary game, its personalities and controversies. This collection of award-winning essays and articles, gives you far more insight into the lives of the game¿s top figures, than encountered on television or in magazines. When you actually meet a celebrity, they are often quite different from their public persona. This book shows the kinds of interesting things, which don¿t get through the filter of the day's sensational sound-bytes. You will meet a funny, often witty Sampras, a thoughtful, sensitive Martina Navratilova. Kournikova, for instance, who is friendly and down to earth in person, was by all accounts an unbelievably brash kid. Fein relays a hilarious anecdote told by Gene Scott, the publisher of Tennis Week and a tournament promoter about how she was discovered. Scott, who ran Russia¿s first pro tennis tournament, decided to showcase Russia's emerging junior talent in an exhibition prior to the Kremlin Cup. Kournikova was so talented and cocky that as a 12-year-old girl she would serve and volley and try to peg her older male opponents with the ball. The crowds would go wild. This young girl threatened the tournament director that if she was not allowed to be on center court every single night, she wouldn¿t play -- period....And so the officials caved in. Anna was discovered at the event and brought to the Nick Bollettieri Academy in Florida, where she further developed into teenage sensation. As a twenty-five year veteran tennis reporter, Fein also has the experience and ability to make the past come alive. He discusses the greatest matches of all time and delves deeply into the reasons the sport has changed so much. He astutely analyses the game¿s trend toward sheer power and makes interesting arguments about how (and how not) to reform the game. True fans will find his brief chapter explaining the ranking system, and how it encourages players to ¿tank,¿ alone worth the price of the book. If there is a tennis fan in your life (or even a former enthusiast turned-off by the modern game), this is a highly informative, lucid, can¿t-put-it-down kind of read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2004

    'Tennis Confidential' is a terrific read

    The game of tennis has been in Paul Fein's cloth for many years, not only as a writer, but as a teaching pro, referee, and television commentator. He has an insightful way of taking his readers inside the covers of his books to give them a behind the scenes look at the world of tennis. Paul's book, 'Tennis Confidential' is another excellent example. He provides you with the inside scoop about Agassi, Serena, Martina, and a host of stars in full-length stories. The Q&A interviews with Ashe, McEnroe, Connors and Sampras are real eye-openers. Paul Fein analyzes, with unusual depth and fairness, the tennis issues and trends in the game. You'll especially like his authoritative perspectives on the power crisis, equal prize money and on-court coaching. History buffs are treated to the ten greatest matches in history with detailed explanations why they were so thrilling and momentous. I gleaned lots of new information in Paul's 20th century retrospectives, especially that metal rackets and open-throat frames first appeared in the 1920s? Sprinkled throughout the book are amusing trivia and startling significa that you'll really enjoy, too. Bottom line, 'Tennis Confidential' is a terrific read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2004

    A comprehensive peek into professional tennis

    Paul Fein's 'Tennis Confidential' examines the professional tennis scene from several angles--players, controversies (e.g., rules, playing styles, equipment), key social issues (e.g., sexism, racism), and memorable matches of the past. It abounds with colorful detail and toothsome snippets of gossip...and should appeal to hackers and serious players alike.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2003

    Great Book

    I really enjoyed this book. It covered a broad spectrum of issues and eras, covering a century of tennis. There is a nice balance of articles and interviews. It was fun to read about past great matches and also see the social interest of the old matches like Lenglen vs. Wills or Budge vs. Von Cramm. It was nice to see interviews with some the games past great players like Riggs,Connors, and McEnroe. It¿s interesting to read about the past great players and consider some of the possible similarities and differences with today¿s players. You also get a good feel for the recent changes to the game and some of the issues these changes have created. Reading about the current players gives a good understanding about many of today¿s stars. Since I¿m related to the past great champ Pancho I¿ve been exposed to some of the history of tennis. So I was really able to appreciate this well written book. It¿s great to see a good tennis book written by someone who obviously loves the game. I highly recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2008

    If you love tennis...

    If you love tennis, Tennis Confidential is a must for your tennis library. Paul Fein captures the essence of the world of pro tennis, from its larger than life personalities, the games greatest matches, the great rivalries that have shaped the sport, to its philosophical debates on coaching, rankings, and prize money, and thoughtful and insightful interviews with the giants of the game.<BR/><BR/>I have spent my life playing competitive tennis, teaching top players, and watching top level tennis, and this is the best book I have ever encountered. You will read it more than once, and you will love tennis more than you thought you could.<BR/><BR/><BR/>David Fink

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2007

    Gotta Buy It!

    If you love the game of tennis, you¿ll love Paul Fein¿s insightful comments on the game that fill this book. From the ¿look behind the curtain¿ that Paul provides in his interviews with Pete, Mac, Jimbo, etc., to the well thought out logic he applies to many of the current controversies of the game, you will find much interesting, amusing, and thought-provoking material in Tennis Confidential. Buy it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2006

    Paul Fein's Tennis Confidential Is A Winner

    As Founder and President of the International Mental Game Coaching Association (IMGCA), I am always searching for new material, stories and background on sports psychology that I can bring to our members via articles, training programs and our IMGCA Certification programs. I have followed Paul Fein's writing for years and have always been greatly impressed by his tennis acumen, his intellectual depth, and his writing style. He is one of the very best tennis writers being published today, and this book, Tennis Confidential, is no exception. This is a superb addition to the tennis literature, and one you will want on your bookshelf. Paul's in-depth analysis of the social context of tennis is remarkable, and I really appreciate his engaging interviews with tour players that reveal the hidden mental dimension. This book has appeal to all tennis players. I highly recommend this book for players, coaches, teachers, parents and officials.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2006

    Tennis Confidential: Today's Greatest Players, Matches and Controversies

    Paul's books are always full of information and entertainment. This book will provide insight into the game and some of its most well known players. Paul's ability to get the inside track on these stories provides the fan insight they are not normally exposed to. A great gift for any tennis fan. It would also be great to take with you to any Open parties and pass around. With tennis interest high, it is a good time to brush up on your tennis gossip and history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2006

    Tennis Confidential: Today's Greatest Players, Matches and Controversies

    Paul's books are really entertaining. The insights into what the players are saying to and about each other make for a great read. This book makes a great gift for the tennis player on your list.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2005

    Finest Tennis Book

    'Tennis Confidential' is one of the finest tennis books I've ever read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2005

    Tennis Confidential

    Tennis Confidential is not an encyclopedia, but it is encyclopedic. It begins with player profiles and ends with the 10 greatest matches. In between are interviews with some of the game's more interesting characters, discussions of its controversies, and a brief history of racquet design. You'll learn that teen queens didn't begin with Tracy Austin, that the 'bad dads' so prevalent in the past 30yrs have a historical precedent, and why women's tennis is better than men's. The passion Fein has for the sport he's covered for a quarter century is evident as he weighs in on proposed rule changes and other issues. He writes, 'If tennis tries to be all things to all people, it will lose its brilliant uniqueness and end up being nothing much to anyone.' But TC comes close to being all things to all tennis fans.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2005

    Fein Job!

    About a year ago, I had to get up to speed on women¿s professional tennis as it became intertwined with my profession. I am a recreational player, but by no means a tennis nut. I read this book over Christmas and learned a great deal. I especially liked the historical portraits of Althea Gibson, Suzanne Lenglen , Ken Rosewall and Rod Laver. These charming stories transport you to another era. The chapters on the greatest matches in tennis history similarly make you feel like you are watching them. Borg-McEnroe, Ashe-Connors, this is scintillating stuff even if you watched them years ago. This man is a top-notch story teller.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2004

    Fein Work

    Paul Fein's 'Tennis Confidential' is quite simply a `tour de force.' As a former sports reporter, editor and now documentary filmmaker, I have a professional and personal passion for this game. As such, I have read more than my share of tennis books. Rarely have I encountered a more incisive or entertaining analysis of the contemporary game, its personalities and controversies. This collection of award-winning essays and articles, gives you far more insight into the lives of the game's top figures than encountered on television or in magazines. When you actually meet a celebrity, they are often quite different from their public persona. This book discloses the kind of interesting facets which don't get through the filter of the day's sensational sound- bytes. You will meet a funny, often witty Sampras, a thoughtful, sensitive Martina Navratilova. Anna Kournikova, for instance, who is friendly and down to earth in person, was by all accounts an unbelievably brash kid. Fein relays a hilarious anecdote by Gene Scott, the publisher of Tennis Week and Russias first tournament promoter, about how Anna was discovered. Scott decided to showcase Russia's emerging junior talent in an exhibition prior to matches at the Kremlin Cup. Kournikova was so talented and cocky that as a 12-year-old girl she would serve and volley and try to 'peg' her older male opponents with the ball. The crowds would go wild. This young girl threatened the tournament director that if she was not allowed to be on center court every single night, she wouldn't play at all....And so the officials caved in. Anna was later discovered at the event and brought to the Nick Bollettieri Academy in Florida, where she further developed into teenage sensation. As a twenty-five year veteran tennis reporter, Fein also has the ability to make the past come alive. He discusses the greatest matches of all time and delves deeply into the reasons the sport has changed so much. He astutely analyses the game's trend toward sheer power and makes interesting arguments about how (and how not) to reform the game. Hard-core fans will find his brief chapter explaining the ranking system, and how it encourages players to 'tank,' alone worth the price of the book. If there is a tennis fan in your life (or even a former enthusiast turned-off by the modern game), this is a highly informative, lucid, can't-put-it-down kind of read that deserves to be shared.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2004

    Service Ace with Power, Spin, Placement

    Paul Fein explores all facets of tennis with great insite and a love of the game. It was a fun, fasinating read. If you love the great game of tennis and would like understand and appreciate it on a higher level Paul's book, 'Confidential Tennis' is a must read. Ed Tennis Geometrics

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2004

    For The Love Of Tennis

    Simply put, if you love tennis, you'll love this book. It's a must read for the tennis enthusiast.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2004

    A Craftsman's Book

    Well known tennis writer Paul Fein has put a lot of work into this 'Tennis Confidential' book of his, and it has come up trumps. It is interesting, Wide-raning, knowledgeable and easy to read. Its 300 pages and over 20 illustrations are very good value.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2004

    For the Love of Tennis

    If tennis is your passion, or if you are just beginning this wonderful sport, you will certainly enjoy Paul Fein's TENNIS CONFIDENTIAL. It is filled with interesting tidbits about current tennis pros as well as champion players from the past. I especially liked the 'Fascinating Facts' section at the conclusion of each chapter. Where else could you find out that 'Parents who send their children to Pat Cash's new tennis academy in Australia are required to attend behavior classes.' Paul Fein's detail-oriented style of writing produced a thoroughly entertaining book and reveals his love for the game of tennis.

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