09/01/2022 17:55:58

Top 10 Best Tennis Biography Books of All Time

Check our editors choice for the best Tennis Biography Books of All Time

Top 10 Best Tennis Biography Books of All Time

What is the mindset of a true tennis player champion? This is a hard question to answer, the best way to get a clue is to take a look at the biographies of these 10 players who wrote the history of the sport. Check our editors choice for the best Tennis Biography Books of All Time

1

Open: An Autobiography

#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER Far more than a superb memoir about the highest levels of professional tennis, Open is the engrossing story of a remarkable life. Andre Agassi had his life mapped out for him before he left the crib. Groomed to be a tennis champion by his moody and demanding father, by the age of twenty-two Agassi had won the first of his eight grand slams and achieved wealth, celebrity, and the game’s highest honors. But as he reveals in this searching autobiography, off the court he was often unhappy and confused, unfulfilled by his great achievements in a sport he had come to resent. Agassi writes candidly about his early success and his uncomfortable relationship with fame, his marriage to Brooke Shields, his growing interest in philanthropy, and—described in haunting, point-by-point detail—the highs and lows of his celebrated career.

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Open: An Autobiography
2

Seeing Serena

A riveting, revealing portrait of tennis champion and global icon Serena Williams that combines biography, cultural criticism, and sports writing to offer “a deep, satisfying meditation” (The New York Times) on the most consequential athlete of her time. There has never been an athlete like Serena Williams. She has dominated women’s tennis for two decades, changed the way the game is played, and—by inspiring Naomi Osaka, Coco Gauff, and others—changed, too, the racial makeup of the pro game. But Williams’s influence has not been confined to the tennis court. As a powerful Black woman who struggled to achieve and sustain success, she has emerged as a cultural icon, figuring in conversations about body image, working mothers, and more. Seeing Serena chronicles Williams’s return to tennis after giving birth to her daughter—from her controversial 2018 US Open final against Naomi Osaka through a 2020 season that unfolded against a backdrop of a pandemic and protests over the killing of Black men and women by the police. Gerald Marzorati, who writes about tennis for The New Yorker, travels to Wimbledon and to Compton, California, where Serena and her sister Venus learned to play. He talks with former women’s tennis greats, sports and cultural commentators—and Serena herself. He observes Williams from courtside, on the red carpet, in fashion magazines, on social media. He sees her and writes about her prismatically—reflecting on her many, many facets. The result is an “enlightening…keen analysis” (The Washington Post) and energetic narrative that illuminates Serena’s singular status as the greatest women’s tennis player of all time and a Black woman with a global presence like no other.

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3

All In: An Autobiography

NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • An inspiring and intimate self-portrait of the champion of equality that encompasses her brilliant tennis career, unwavering activism, and an ongoing commitment to fairness and social justice. “A story about the personal strength, immense growth, and undeniable greatness of one woman who fearlessly stood up to a culture trying to break her down.”—Serena Williams In this spirited account, Billie Jean King details her life's journey to find her true self. She recounts her groundbreaking tennis career—six years as the top-ranked woman in the world, twenty Wimbledon championships, thirty-nine grand-slam titles, and her watershed defeat of Bobby Riggs in the famous "Battle of the Sexes." She poignantly recalls the cultural backdrop of those years and the profound impact on her worldview from the women's movement, the assassinations and anti-war protests of the 1960s, the civil rights movement, and, eventually, the LGBTQ+ rights movement. She describes the myriad challenges she's hurdled—entrenched sexism, an eating disorder, near financial peril after being outed—on her path to publicly and unequivocally acknowledging her sexual identity at the age of fifty-one. She talks about how her life today remains one of indefatigable service. She offers insights and advice on leadership, business, activism, sports, politics, marriage equality, parenting, sexuality, and love. And she shows how living honestly and openly has had a transformative effect on her relationships and happiness. Hers is the story of a pathbreaking feminist, a world-class athlete, and an indomitable spirit whose impact has transcended even her spectacular achievements in sports.

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All In: An Autobiography
4

Rafa

What makes a champion? What does it take to be the best in the world at your sport? Rafael Nadal has the answers. It begins in Mallorca, where the tight-knit Nadal family has lived for generations. Coached by his uncle Toni from the age of four and taught humility and respect by his parents, Nadal has managed the uncommon feat of becoming an acclaimed global celebrity while remaining a gracious, hardworking role model for people in all walks of life. Now he takes us behind the scenes, from winning the Wimbledon 2008 final -- described by John McEnroe as "the greatest game of tennis" he had ever seen -- to the family problems that brought him low in 2009 and the numerous injuries that have threatened his career. With candor and intelligence, Nadal brings readers on his dramatic and triumphant journey, never losing sight of the prize he values above all others: the unity and love of his family. From RAFA: "During a match, you are in a permanent battle to fight back your everyday vulnerabilities, bottle up your human feelings. The more bottled up they are, the greater your chances of winning, so long as you've trained as hard as you play and the gap in talent is not too wide between you and your rival. The gap in talent with Federer existed, but it was not impossibly wide. It was narrow enough, even on his favorite surface in the tournament he played best, for me to know that if I silenced the doubts and fears, and exaggerated hopes, inside my head better than he did, I could beat him. You have to cage yourself in protective armor, turn yourself into a bloodless warrior. It's a kind of self-hypnosis, a game you play, with deadly seriousness, to disguise your own weaknesses from yourself, as well as from your rival."

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Rafa
5

Rod Laver: An Autobiography

Rod Laver's memoir is the inspiring story of how a diminutive, left-handed, red-headed country boy from Rockhampton, Australia became one of sports' greatest champions. Rod was a dominant force in world tennis for almost two decades. In 1962, Rod became the second man to win the Grand Slam—that is, winning the Australian, French, Wimbledon, and US titles in a single calendar year. In 1969, he won it again, becoming the only player ever to win the Grand Slam twice. Away from on-court triumphs, Rod also movingly writes about the life-changing stroke he suffered in 1998, and of his beloved wife of more than 40 years, Mary, who died in 2012 after a long illness. Filled with anecdotes about the great players and great matches, set against the backdrop of a changing tennis world, Rod's book is a warm and insightful account of one of tennis's all-time greats.

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Rod Laver: An Autobiography
6

Roger Federer: The Biography

René Stauffer has been closely covering Roger Federer's career for nearly 25 years. In this comprehensive biography, Stauffer talks at length to the man himself, his family, friends, coaches and rivals to paint an unrivalled picture of the greatest male tennis player of all time. From his early life in Basel, Switzerland, where he first picked up a tennis racquet, to the heights of his 20th Grand Slam victory and all points in between, Stauffer reveals the secrets to Federer's success, the hardships and doubts that he has faced and examines the legacy that Federer has created in the modern game.

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Roger Federer: The Biography
7

Novak Djokovic: The Inspiring Story of One of Tennis Greatest Legends

In Novak Djokovic: The Inspiring Story of One of Tennis Greatest Legends, you will learn the inspirational story of one of tennis' premier legends, Novak Djokovic. Novak Djokovic has come a long way since reaching his first Grand Slam final in the 2007 US Open. There was little doubt that even in his defeat to fellow legend, Roger Federer, that Djokovic was going to be embarking on an illustrious tennis career. He has since validated this belief. At the age of twenty-nine, Novak Djokovic is a 12-time Grand Slam champion, and has held the top spot of the ATP Tour for more than 220 weeks. The most impressive part has been his absolute dominance in the last half decade of tennis, as he has won multiple Australian Opens, Wimbledons, and US Opens. In this unauthorized biography, we'll explore Djokovic's journey to becoming one of the greatest, and learn what it has taken him to reach where he is today. Pick up a copy of this tennis biography book today to learn the story of one of tennis' greats.

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Novak Djokovic: The Inspiring Story of One of Tennis Greatest Legends
8

A Champion's Mind: Lessons from a Life in Tennis

In A Champion’s Mind, the tennis great who so often exhibited visible discomfort with letting people “inside his head” finally opens up. An athletic prodigy, Pete resolved from his earliest playing days never to let anything get in the way of his love for the game. But while this determination led to tennis domination, success didn’t come without a price. Here for the first time Pete speaks freely about the personal trials he faced—including the death of a longtime coach and confidant—and the struggles he gutted his way through while being seemingly on top of the world. Among the book’s most riveting scenes are the devastating early loss that led Pete to make a monastic commitment to the game; fierce on-court battles with Andre Agassi; and the triumphant last match of Pete’s career at the finals of the 2002 U.S. Open. "A thoroughly compelling read that really probes the hard drive of a champion...All the emotion and insight that Sampras seemes reluctant to express during his playing days come spilling forth." —Jon Wertheim, senior writer, Sports Illustrated

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A Champion's Mind: Lessons from a Life in Tennis
9

Arthur Ashe: A Life

The first comprehensive, authoritative biography of American icon Arthur Ashe—the Jackie Robinson of men’s tennis—a pioneering athlete who, after breaking the color barrier, went on to become an influential civil rights activist and public intellectual. Born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1943, by the age of eleven, Arthur Ashe was one of the state's most talented black tennis players. Jim Crow restrictions barred Ashe from competing with whites. Still, in 1960 he won the National Junior Indoor singles title, which led to a tennis scholarship at UCLA. He became the first African American to play for the US Davis Cup team in 1963, and two years later he won the NCAA singles championship. In 1968, he won both the US Amateur title and the first US Open title, rising to a number one national ranking. Turning professional in 1969, he soon became one of the world’s most successful tennis stars, winning the Australian Open in 1970 and Wimbledon in 1975. After retiring in 1980, he served four years as the US Davis Cup captain and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1985. In this revelatory biography, Raymond Arsenault chronicles Ashe’s rise to stardom on the court. But much of the book explores his off-court career as a human rights activist, philanthropist, broadcaster, writer, businessman, and celebrity. In the 1970s and 1980s, Ashe gained renown as an advocate for sportsmanship, education, racial equality, and the elimination of apartheid in South Africa. But from 1979 on, he was forced to deal with a serious heart condition that led to multiple surgeries and blood transfusions, one of which left him HIV-positive. In 1988, after completing a three-volume history of African-American athletes, he was diagnosed with AIDS, a condition he revealed only four years later. After devoting the last ten months of his life to AIDS activism, he died in February 1993 at the age of forty-nine, leaving an inspiring legacy of dignity, integrity, and active citizenship. Based on prodigious research, including more than one hundred interviews, Raymond Arsenault’s insightful and compelling biography puts Ashe in the context of both his time and the long struggle of African-American athletes seeking equal opportunity and respect.

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Arthur Ashe: A Life
10

The Golden Boy of Centre Court: How Bjorn Borg Conquered Wimbledon

For five incredible years from 1976 to 1980, Bjorn Borg ruled the men's singles at Wimbledon by carrying off consecutive titles. It was a phenomenal feat, all the more so because it was achieved on the lawns of the All England Club when the young Swede was essentially a clay-court specialist. No player in tennis's modern era had ever pulled it off and only one, Roger Federer, has subsequently matched it. Featuring vivid accounts of some of his most memorable matches, The Golden Boy of Centre Court tells the story of Borg's entire Wimbledon odyssey - from his first appearance in 1972 (when he won the Junior title) to his last in 1981. It's a journey that saw him evolve from a teeny-bopper heart-throb into a hero almost unanimously loved by the tennis-watching public, and one of the greatest champions in the tournament's long history.

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The Golden Boy of Centre Court: How Bjorn Borg Conquered Wimbledon

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