There are a lot of exciting stories to be told that involve tennis. There have been some solid options released throughout history, and more seem to come out every single year.
These are the 15 best tennis books to check out right now. With a variety of topics covered, there is at least something that every single person will take note of and think of as a great option overall.
1. Open: An Biography
Many people believe that Open is one of the most important autobiographies of any athlete out there. Learning a lot about what created Andre Agassi the tennis player certainly helps, and he made some major waves with this book as well.
Not only does he provide exciting details on tennis, but he explains some of the challenges we face off the court. It was an interesting career of ups and downs for Agassi, and anyone who appreciates him as a player should give this a read.
2. Winning Ugly
Brad Gilbert might mostly be known as a commentator in today’s game, but he is a former player who found ways to win in pretty creative ways. He was not the most physically gifted or talented player, but he found ways to beat players much more talented than him.
He gives a lot of insight on how to pull off a victory against a player who seems much more talented on paper. There are many ways to compete at a high level, and the player with the best strokes and hits the hardest does not always win. Gilbert made a career out of it.
3. Unstoppable: My Life So Far
There will probably be additional stories on Maria Sharapova now that she is away from the game, but this release in 2017 gives a lot of detail on the player. In particular, it shows a true rag to riches story, as she arrives in the United States with no money and focuses on becoming a world champion in tennis. When that happened, and she became one of the most recognized players in the game’s history.
There has been some controversy since this release, so some type of updated book will be coming at some point. For now, this is the best of the best as far as learning about Maria Sharapova and everything that goes into creating the former number one player in the world.
4. Rafa: My Story
Just like the book about Sharapova, there is still more to come from Rafael Nadal. There is an excellent chance that he adds additional grand slams to his total, and certainly, a lot has changed since its first release in 2012.
The good news is that this book still holds up because it tells so much of his story of becoming a Grand Slam champion during his early days. That means building the mental strength and training a bit unconventionally compared to others going to the game.
He stayed true to his family, which ultimately produced the greatest clay player to ever play the game.
5. The Inner Game of Tennis
The end-all aspect of tennis is something that nobody should ever overlook. This is very difficult for players to understand when they are younger. However, having a solid mental game can be the difference between a player taking off and struggling to get over the hump.
Not only is it still great for tennis players, but anyone who is dealing with mental issues is trying to get through challenges here and there. As long as a person is willing to put in the work, the rest of the game can become so much easier.
6. The Pros: The Forgotten Era of Tennis
Tennis has always been the same as it is today. There used to be a time when amateur players were receiving little to no money, which was much more organized.
This book does a great job of bringing some of those stories to light, as people can get a look at the early days of tennis and some of the stars that were able to capture the attention without necessarily capturing paychecks.
7. Juan Martin Del Potro: The Gentle Giant
When Juan Martin Del Potro won his U.S. Open back in 2009, many people thought this was just the beginning. Unfortunately, that is still his only Grand Slam to this day, and it is looking more and more unlikely that he will ever have another breakthrough.
That is not to say that he is a failure by any means. His story is a very inspirational one, coming up through Argentina and showing so much promise early on. Injuries have cut a lot of his career short, but he is still one of the most beloved players on tour.
8. Roger Federer: Phenomenon. Enthusiasm. Philanthropist.
The books on Roger Federer will likely come more and more as he wraps up his tennis career. Referred to by many as the greatest ever to play the game, they will tell his story in books plenty of times. This might be the best overall option right now, as people get an inside look at what makes a champion so talented.
Reading this collection of stories in one location is undoubtedly very beneficial. People can get a taste of what truly went into making Federer an all-time great. There will be more complete books on Federer when he retires, but it is definitely worth a read for now.
9. Pressure is a Privilege
Billie Jean King became much more than just a tennis player when she stepped on the court and played in the Battle of the Sexes. This is when she became a genuine superstar not only across sports but in the American landscape.
Since then, she has been so crucial to the game, making her one of the most intriguing stories the game has ever seen. She talks about living up to expectations, handling the pressure of becoming the face of a movement, and so much more.
A true living legend, this is a book everyone should read to learn more about what she is all about. The founder of the WTA changed the game in so many ways, and it is a significant reason why women tennis players have the earning potential that is so great.
10. But Seriously
During his prime, no one was as controversial as well as beloved as John McEnroe. He is a true tennis legend and is still very much a fixture of the game due to his commentating.
This is a follow-up of You Cannot Be Serious, and he gives a complete picture of the player so many people are still intrigued. He likes to go into a bit more of the modern game in this book, which is always nice to read about.
11. The Player (By Boris Becker)
Boris Becker is one of those players who was a bit polarizing when he was coming up in the game. Some people love the way that he played the game, while others never really latched on.
He also has some controversy around him, whether it be for tax evasion, an illegitimate daughter, and more. He gets into everything and more in this book, which is perfect for those intrigued by his life in general.
Most fans do not know that much about the player and what made him such a talented phenomenon. He might not be one of the greatest of all time, but he is in that next level right below that.
12. Lifting the Covers
Wimbledon has seen a lot of outstanding matches throughout the years. Alan Mills has been part of it in some way, as he has been with the All England Club for 21 years as a referee.
He gives a behind-the-scenes look at Wimbledon from the referee’s perspective, as it also touches on his playing career as well. For those who want to learn a lot about Wimbledon and some of the game’s intricacies, this is worth a try.
13. Breaking Back
The career of James Blake certainly had some ups and downs. He started his career as a college player at Harvard, and he turned into a talented professional player that reached as high as #4 in the world.
However, a broken neck almost ended his playing career. Then, he developed shingles, and there was even more doubt that he would ever get back to where he once was.
The second half of his career allowed him to get into the top 10 and be a strong competitor at Grand Slams. Even though he only reached three quarterfinals during his singles run, he was always a tough out.
Blake’s story is one of the most compelling figures of his generation, and he does an outstanding job of telling stories in his book.
14. Rod Laver: An Autobiography
A lot of younger tennis players never really got to see much of Rod Laver. There is some film out there, but he is primarily a myth to some.
That is why this autobiography is perfect for tennis players to read about the older days of tennis. It was not quite as easy as it is today, and he had to be creative to earn money and build his reputation. One of the most well-respected players in tennis history, it is certainly interesting to follow along.
15. Strokes of Genius
In Strokes of Genius, the story of arguably the greatest match in tennis history is told differently than ever before. The 2008 Wimbledon men’s final featured Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, and the five-set match was a battle every step of the way.
No one tells the story better than Strokes of Genius, and it can intrigue even those who are not tennis fans.
Here is the full list of the best tennis books 2021
- Open: An Biography
- Winning Ugly
- Unstoppable: My Life So Far
- Rafa: My Story
- The Inner Game of Tennis
- The Pros: The Forgotten Era of Tennis
- Juan Martin Del Potro: The Gentle Giant
- Roger Federer: Phenomenon. Enthusiasm. Philanthropist.
- Pressure is a Privilege
- But Seriously
- The Player (By Boris Becker)
- Lifting the Covers
- Breaking Back
- Rod Laver: An Autobiography
- Strokes of Genius