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Recommended Tennis Books

The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance
The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance
by W. Timothy Gallwey
Paperback from Random House Trade Paperbacks
Media Published: 1997-
ISBN: 0679778314

The Inner Game of Tennis is a revolutionary program for overcoming the self-doubt, nervousness, and lapses of concentration that can keep a player from winning. Now available in a revised paperback edition, this classic bestseller can change the way the game of tennis is played.

A phenomenon when first published in 1972, the Inner Game was a real revelation. Instead of serving up technique, it concentrated on the fact that, as Gallwey wrote, "Every game is composed of two parts, an outer game and an inner game." The former is played against opponents, and is filled with lots of contradictory advice; the latter is played not against, but within the mind of the player, and its principal obstacles are self-doubt and anxiety. Gallwey's revolutionary thinking, built on a foundation of Zen thinking and humanistic psychology, was really a primer on how to get out of your own way to let your best game emerge. It was sports psychology before the two words were pressed against each other and codified into an accepted discipline.

The new edition of this remarkable work--Billie Jean King called the original her tennis bible--refines Gallwey's theories on concentration, gamesmanship, breaking bad habits, learning to trust yourself on the court, and awareness. "No matter what a person's complaint when he has a lesson with me, I have found the most beneficial first step," he stressed, "is to encourage him to see and feel what he is doing--that is, to increase his awareness of what actually is."

There are aspects of psychobabble and mysticism to be found here, sure, but Gallwey instructs as much by anecdote as anything else, and time has ultimately proved him a guru. What seemed radical in the early '70s is now accepted ammunition for the canon; the right mental approach is every bit as important as a good backhand. The Inner Game of Tennis still does much to keep that idea in play. --Jeff Silverman

The Best Tennis of Your Life: 50 Mental Strategies for Fearless Performance
The Best Tennis of Your Life: 50 Mental Strategies for Fearless Performance
by Jeff Greenwald
Paperback from Betterway Books
ISBN: 1558708448

This title provides inspiration, specific strategies and tools that will help players to play the best tennis of their life. As a former world Number 1 tennis player, coach, sport psychology consultant and psychotherapist, Greenwald provides a deeper and richer glimpse into the mental game that gets to the heart of a player's inner struggle. This work includes numerous examples from the author's experience as a player that highlight the impact of the mind on personal performance.
A Game to Love: In Celebration of Tennis
A Game to Love: In Celebration of Tennis

Hardcover from Abrams
ISBN: 1419700014

A Game to Love is the stunning publishing debut of award-winning sports photographer Mike Powell. Featuring 500 highly evocative images, the book celebrates the passion for tennis that exists around the world. Powell's extraordinary images capture the character and brilliance of the greatest players in the game today and are complemented by the words of many of the game's legendary greats of yesteryear, among them John McEnroe, Billie Jean King, Steffi Graf, Boris Becker, and Rod Laver. From superstar players, veterans, and juniors to the spectating cognoscenti and tennis haute couture; from screaming coaches, businesslike trainers, and long-suffering officials to the players' boxes, real fans, and "fan fashion"; from the intimate details of hands-on racquets and the wiping of brows to the textures of clay, grass, and hard court, A Game to Love is a luscious and original visual tribute to one of today's most-watched and most-loved sports.
Praise for A Game to Love:
"a love letter to tennis. . . What is usually obliterated by the pace of the game is restored to us by Powell's lush frames and a selection of quotes from players past and present."
-Publishers Weekly

"A Game to Love highlights Powell's ability to capture not only the breathtaking scenery, but the elegance, emotion and art of the human body in action."
-Tennis Magazine

Tennis Skills: The Player s Guide
Tennis Skills: The Player's Guide
by Tom Sadzeck
Paperback from Firefly Books
ISBN: 1552094944

Like having a personal tennis pro on call for expert coaching.

Tennis Skills is an in-depth guide to improving a player's game. It features a battery of lessons designed by tennis pros that lays down a solid foundation of stroke skills and game strategy. Clear instructions and annotated diagrams provide valuable coaching and corrective techniques -- most valuable for any player.

Tom Sadzeck provides an abundance of visual features to help players of all levels improve their game. Six chapters cover the game's key skill sets, from basic techniques to singles and doubles strategies. There are more than 40 drills that focus on target areas of form, strategy, coordination and footwork. Other specific instructions include:

  • Stroke-production exercises
  • Forehand, backhand, serve, volley, slice and other shots
  • A breakdown of each stroke to promote consistent form
  • Warm-up, grips, body position, footwork, targeting, follow-through
  • Court diagrams to help players visualize a stroke's outcome
  • How to handle game pressure.
The book also features easy-to-follow sequential photographs, Master Stroke sidebars that give easy-to remember tips, Fault Finder boxes that point out common mistakes and Coach's comments that share the wisdom of seasoned pros.
Tennis Strokes and Tactics: Improve Your Game
Tennis Strokes and Tactics: Improve Your Game
by John Littleford, Andrew Magrath
Paperback from Firefly Books
ISBN: 1554074657

A tennis tune-up for players of all skill levels.

From the serve, ground strokes and volleys to the smashes, lobs and drop shots, this unique coaching manual illustrates each stroke from five angles: front, back, left, right and above. In this all-around skills guide, tennis pro John Littleford delivers expert guidance to identify accurate positioning of feet, body and the racquet -- just like having a personal pro watching, correcting and coaching every swing.

Tennis Strokes and Tactics features step-by-step analysis and multi-angle photography that illustrates how to:

  • Track the ball to the racquet head using hand-eye coordination
  • Maintain correct posture and good footwork
  • Establish correct and comfortable grips
  • Hit a forehand with great topspin
  • Master the secrets of the backhand -- one-handed and two-handed
  • Control the ball with power on volleys
  • Serve with more speed, spin and deception
  • Return serve with more punch and accuracy
  • Use the lob and drop shot as devastating offensive weapons
  • Master an accurate and powerful overhead smash
  • Move across the court more fluidly for greater efficiency.
Tennis Strokes and Tactics also includes a comprehensive section on effective tactics and strategies for singles and doubles play. Using this innovative guide, tennis players of any level will improve their game.
Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis--Lessons from a Master
Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis--Lessons from a Master
by Brad Gilbert, Steve Jamison
Paperback from Touchstone
Media Published: 1994-
ISBN: 067188400X

He's been called the best in the world at the mental game of tennis. Brad Gilbert's strokes may not be pretty, but looks aren't everything. He has beaten the Tour's biggest names -- all by playing his "ugly" game.

Now, in Winning Ugly Gilbert teaches recreational players how to win more often without necessarily even changing their strokes. The key to success, he says, is to become a better thinking player -- to recognize, analyze, and capitalize. That means outthinking opponents before, during, and after a match; forcing him or her to play your game. Gilbert's unconventional advice includes:

* How to identify the seven "Hidden Ad Points," and what to do when they come up

* Six reasons why you should never serve first

* How to beat a Lefty, a Retriever, a Serve-Volley player, and other troublesome opponents

* How to keep a lead, or stop a match from slipping away

* How to handle psyching and gamesmanship

Winning Ugly is an invaluable combat manual for the court, and its tips include "some real gems," according to Tennis magazine. Ultimately, Winning Ugly will help you beat players who have been beating you.

Tennis for Dummies
Tennis for Dummies
by Patrick McEnroe, Peter Bodo
Paperback from For Dummies
ISBN: 076455087X

Tennis is a sport for a lifetime. It really is a game that you can enjoy long-term, both as a player and a spectator. Played all over the world on surfaces ranging from concrete to clay the game of tennis is exciting to watch and even more fun to play.

Whether you're an adult looking for a new challenge or a parent starting your kids off, Tennis For Dummies provides a terrific introduction to the sport. It doesn't matter if you're young or old, if you who want to start playing the game of tennis, but don't have the motivation or information to do so, this book can show you the way. If you're already into the game, you'll find out how to take your skills to the next level.

This easy-to-understand guide will introduce you to the basics of the game and show you what it takes to improve each time you step on the court. Tennis For Dummies also covers the following topics and much more:

  • Equipping yours elf with the right apparel, racket, and accessories
  • Polishing your strokes--from your serve to lobs
  • Finding out how the game is scored
  • Shaping up with physical conditioning
  • Dealing with common tennis injuries such as shin splints and tennis elbow
  • Sharpening your mental game
  • Exploring the finer points of tennis etiquette, both on the court and in the stands
  • Discovering how to find the best tennis instructor for you
Whether you're interested in playing singles or doubles, on hard court or clay, Tennis For Dummies will inspire you get out on a court and play. Featuring detailed photos, illustrations, and court diagrams this book can help you discover how the game of tennis is played and show you how to get the most out of yourself each and every time you pick up a racquet.

Written for tennis newcomers but with enough detail to satisfy seasoned players, Tennis for Dummies offers practical, substantive, and perceptive advice on a subject that the United States Tennis Association describes as a "sport for a lifetime." Patrick McEnroe--little brother of John McEnroe--collaborates with Peter Bodo to provide a wealth of tennis tips, such as the difference between a ball's pace on slick grass courts and the slow, high bounce experienced on clay courts. Useful advice includes such things as how to find a good coach, which Web sites offer the most comprehensive tennis news, and how to respond when your opponent questions a close call: "I'm sorry, but I never had a moment of doubt. That ball was clearly out." Sprinkled throughout the book are interesting anecdotes about McEnroe's career, including an amusing exchange with his fiancée during a match, in which she eagerly and innocently advised him to just "get it over the net, Pat!" Those keen to take up a new hobby or to simply learn more about the sport they already love will appreciate everything this book has to offer--game, set, and match. --Jeremy Storey

Complete Conditioning for Tennis (Complete Conditioning for Sports Series)
Complete Conditioning for Tennis (Complete Conditioning for Sports Series)
by Paul Roetert, Todd Ellenbecker, United States Tennis Association
Paperback from Human Kinetics
ISBN: 0736069380

Increase strength, power, agility, and quickness and take your game to a much higher level. Complete Conditioning for Tennis details how to make the most of your training time with exercises, drills, and programs designed to

-assess your fitness level,

-improve footwork,

-increase speed and flexibility,

-enhance stamina,

-boost mental focus, and

-prevent common injuries.

Additionally, the 90-minute DVD takes you on court and into the gym to demonstrate the drills and exercises used by the pros.

Endorsed by the United States Tennis Association, Complete Conditioning for Tennis is simply the best guide to developing the highest level of athleticism for success in the sport. 

Tennis Fundamentals (Sports Fundamentals Series)
Tennis Fundamentals (Sports Fundamentals Series)
by Human Kinetics, Carol Matsuzaki
Paperback from Human Kinetics
ISBN: 0736051511

Learning to play tennis has never been easier--or more fun--than with Tennis Fundamentals. Recreational athletes will enjoy using this resource because they will learn by doing, spending less time reading and more time on the court. With explicit yet succinct instructions and accompanying photographs, this book makes it easy for students to get right into the game.

Tennis Fundamentals covers the essential skills of the game with chapters on grips, footwork, forehands, backhands, lobs, volleys, overhead smashes, drop shots, the serve, and return of serve. It also covers tactical approaches for both singles and doubles play, as well as scoring, equipment, and etiquette. It's the complete guide to being able to participate on the tennis court right away.

Each chapter teaches a specific skill, leading the student through a simple, four-step sequence:

-You Can Do It: The skill is introduced with sequential instructions and accompanying photographs.

-More to Choose and Use: Variations and extensions of the primary skill are covered.

-Take It to the Court: Readers learn how to apply the skill in competition.

-Give It a Go: Several direct experiences--like drills and practice games--help speed the learning process and make practice more interesting and productive.

Writer Carol Matsuzaki teaches beginning through advanced tennis classes at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She's also the head coach of the MIT women's team. In this book she combines her instructional and coaching abilities to get players up to speed and into the game quickly.

Part of the Sports Fundamentals Series, Tennis Fundamentals teaches the basic skills and tactics to help readers participate in the sport quickly and have fun doing so. 

Tennis Magic: 150 Magic Tricks Designed To Supercharge Your Game
Tennis Magic: 150 Magic Tricks Designed To Supercharge Your Game
by Steve Mallory
Paperback from Trafford Publishing
Media Published: 2006-
ISBN: 141204202X

You either know the solution or correction that will give you the results you want, or you don't!
Enter Tennis Magic - a unique problem-solving guide loaded with dynamic, practical solutions to your most pressing concerns.
You've got questions, and Tennis Magic has answers - and they're not just theoretical. Here, each answer to your tennis questions is a solution - presented as a powerful, easy to learn trick.
With Tennis Magic, everything that has traditionally been taught as a skill has been distilled into a series of tricks that live in the present rather than the future. Once you learn a trick, you've got it - and learning them is fast, easy and fun. Sure, you'll continue to polish them, but in every important aspect you own them from day one. They work the very first time you actually use them, and things only get better from there.
Remember: Slow progress and constant frustration are not intrinsic parts of the learning curve. There is a better way!
So if "Big fun - good game - sooner!" is your objective, then get happy: These tricks will enable you to respond quickly and effectively to virtually any tennis challenge. With the help of Tennis Magic, players around the world are breaking free of their old limitations, and improving their games like never before. Tricks rule - so learn one today, and use it today! There's no better time to start playing like a pro than right this very minute.
Levels of the Game
Levels of the Game
by John McPhee
Book Description: This account of a tennis match played by Arthur Ashe against Clark Graebner at Forest Hills in 1968 begins with the ball rising into the air for the initial serve and ends with the final point. McPhee provides a brilliant, stroke-by-stroke description while examining the backgrounds and attitudes which have molded the players' games.
Paperback from Noonday Press
Winning Ugly : Mental Warfare in Tennis-Lessons from a Master
by Brad Gilbert, Steve Jamison
He's been called the best in the world at the mental game of tennis. Brad Gilbert's strokes may not be pretty, but looks aren't everything. He has beaten the Tour's biggest names -- all by playing his "ugly" game.

Winning Ugly is an invaluable combat manual for the court, and its tips include "some real gems," according to Tennis magazine. Ultimately, Winning Ugly will help you beat players who have been beating you.
Paperback - 211 pages Reprint edition
Fireside; ISBN: 067188400X

You Cannot be Serious
by John McEnroe, James Kaplan (Contributor)
Hardcover: 304 pages
Putnam Pub Group; ISBN: 0399148582; 1st edition (June 10, )

Rocket to the Top
by Patrick Rafter, Leo Schlink

Venus Envy : A Sensational Season Inside the Women's Tennis Tour
by L. Jon Wertheim
Visual Tennis
by John Yandell

Unlimited Doubles!!
by Steve C. Tourdo

Tennis Strokes That Win : Breakthrough Techniques for Mastering the Game
by Frank Early

Power Tennis Training
by Donald A. Chu, Todd Martin

Tennis Skills: The Player's Guide
by Tom Sadzeck

Think to Win : The Strategic Dimension of Tennis
by Allen Fox
(Paperback - February 1993)

Smart Tennis : How to Play and Win the Mental Game (Smart Sport Series)
by John F. Murray, Rick Frey
Paperback: 256 pages
Jossey-Bass; ISBN: 0787943800; 1 Ed edition (April )

Tennis Books - Alphabetical Listing

Agassi and Ecstasy : The Turbulent Life of Andre Agassi
Paul Bauman

Althea Gibson
Tom Biracree
Paperback / Published 1990

Andre Agassi : Reaching the Top-Again (Sports Achievers)
Jeff Savage /
Library Binding

Andre Agassi : Star Tennis Player (Sports Reports)
Ron Knapp / Library Binding

The Art of Doubles : Winning Tennis Strategies
Pat Blaskower

Arthur Ashe (A&E Biographies)
Caroline Evensen Lazo
Listed under Arthur Ashe

Beginning Tennis (Beginning Sports)
Julie Jensen, Andy King (Photographer) / Library Binding / Published 1995

The Best of the Best in Tennis (Women of Sports)
Rachel Rutledge / Paperback

Billie Jean King : Tennis Trailblazer (Lerner Biographies)
Joanne Lannin, Joanne Lanin / Library Binding

Breakthrough Tennis : A Revolutionary Approach to the Game
Rolf Clark / Paperback / Published 1991

Champion's Choice (Odyssey Classic)
John Roberts Tunis
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Bruce Brooks / Paperback / Published 1990

Changing the Game : The Stories of Tennis Champions Alice Marble and Althea Gibson (Women Who Dared Series)
Sue Davidson

Coaching Tennis
Chuck Kriese

Coaching Tennis Successfully
United States Tennis Association, et al
Paperback / Published 1995

Coaching Youth Tennis
X. Asep, American Sport Education Program

Competitive Tennis
Brett C. Schwartz, Chris A. Dazet

Complete Conditioning for Tennis
Paul Roetert (Editor), Todd S. Ellenbecker

Complete Idiot's Guide to Tennis
Trish Faulkner, et al

The Composite Guide to Tennis
Carrie Muskat
Library Binding
Reading level: Ages 9-12

The Davis Cup : Celebrating 100 Years of International Tennis
Richard Evans, John McEnroe
Listed under The Davis Cup

Days of Grace : A Memoir
Arthur Ashe, Arnold Rampersad (Contributor)
Listed under Arthur Ashe

Double Force Tennis Strokes
John D. Borsos
Hardcover / Published 1993

Essential Tennis : A Player's Guide
Scott Perlstein, et al
Paperback / Published 1993

The Greatest Tennis Matches of the Twentieth Century
by Steve Flink, Chris Evert (Foreword)
Hardcover - 296 pages (December 1, )
Rutledge Books, Inc.; ISBN: 158244076X

Little Mo's Legacy: A Mother's Lessons, a Daughter's Story
by Cindy Brinker-Simmons, et al

Martina Hingis (Champion Sport Biographies)
by Joseph Romain (Editor), Bev Spencer

Martina Navratilova (Lives of Notable Gay Men and Lesbians)
by Gilda Zwerman, Martin Duberman (Editor)

101 Essential Tips: Tennis
Paul Douglas, Deni Bown
DK Publishing; ISBN: 0789401827
Pressure Tennis
by Paul Wardlaw
Paperback: 208 pages
Human Kinetics (T); ISBN: 0736001565; (April )

Sampras : A Legend in the Works
by H. A. Branham, Bud Collins (Introduction)
Hardcover - 262 pages (November )
Bonus Books; ISBN: 1566250625

Tennis Science for Tennis Players
by Howard Brody
Paperback - 152 pages (April 1987)
University of Pennsylvania Press; ISBN: 081221238X

Tennis Books for Children

Crooked Little Heart
by Anne Lamott
(Paperback - June 1998)

Lindsay Davenport (Women Who Win)
by John T. McCann
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Library Binding - 64 pages (December )
Chelsea House Pub (Library); ISBN: 0791065278

Venus and Serena Williams Ilustrated Story, Coloring and Workbook
by Uhuruh Askari (Spiral-bound)

Venus Williams (Galaxy of the Superstars)
by Virginia Aronson
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Library Binding - 64 pages (March )
Chelsea House Publishing; ISBN: 0791053296

Martina Hingis (Women Who Win)
by Christine Ditchfield, et al
(Library Binding)

Martina Hingis (Sports Superstars)
by Richard Rambeck
(School & Library Binding)

Special Order & Out of Print Tennis Books

Bud Collins' Tennis Encyclopedia (3rd Ed)
Bud Collins(Editor), Zander Hollander (Editor)
Special Order

Advanced Techniques for Competitive Tennis
Richard Schonborn
Out of Print - Try Used Books

The Championships, Wimbledon : Official Annual 1998
John Parsons, et al
Out of Print - Try Used Books

Courtcraft: Tennis Strategies and Game Plans for Frustrated Average Players and Exceptional Players
Donald Sonneman / Spiral-bound
Out of Print - Try Used Books

The Courting of Marcus Dupree
Willie Morris / Paperback / Published 1992
Out of Print - Try Used Books

A Handful of Summers
by Gordon Forbes, Peter Ustinov
A Handful of Summers is a cult classic. It's a delightfully uninhibited insider's account of tennis on the international circuit - both on and off the court - in the fifties and sixties, the glory days of Fred Perry, Roy Emerson, and Virginia Wade.
Out of Print - Try Used Books

Munchkin Tennis : A Parent's Guide to Teaching Tennis Fundamentals
by United States Professional Registry
Paperback: 312 pages
Triumph Books; ISBN: 1572432829; Rev&Updtd edition (March )
Out of Print - Try Used Books

1001 Incredible Tennis Games, Drills & Tips : A Super Abundance of Information for Every Teaching Professional & Tennis Enthusiast
Tina Hoskins
Paperback: Hoskins Pub; ISBN: 0965881407; 1 Ed edition
Out of Print - Try Used Books

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