“Man With a Racket” The autobiography of Pancho Gonzales (as told to Cy Rice). (1959 A.S. Barnes & co).
Thanks to Willy Hoffmann for the loan of this old classic. I prefer “life stories” that are just that… how the player began and developed; not “life through a series of tennis matches” (as is the case in the Pete Sampras autobiography).
According to the book jacket, “The tale Pancho has to tell is a very human one. It is one of a great athlete fiercely dedicated to his sport, who treads the road to success in his own way and at his own breakneck pace. Always the incorrigible iconoclast, Gonzales has had only one supreme ambition – to play tennis and to play it better than anyone else in the world.”
Golden Boy: The Life and Times of Lew Hoad, a Tennis Legend Paperback – June 16, 2001 by Larry Hodgson (Author), Dudley Jones (Author), Pete Sampras (Foreword)
Thanks to Hank Irvine for the loan of this book chronicling the life of one of Australia’s greatest ever players. I especially enjoyed the sections of the book that talked about our Newk Camp Legends in their early days with Hoad on the tour. How Roy Emerson and doubles partner Fred Stolle would take turns staying out late during a tournament – so that at least ONE of them wasn’t hung over during the match.
Lew Hoad’s progress is traced from humble beginnings in a Sydney suburb to becoming one of the greatest tennis players the world has ever seen. Often referred to as the “Golden Boy” of tennis, blond, good-looking Hoad was probably the first ever tennis superstar. In this book, his incredible feats “on court” as well as the colorful and dramatic events “off court”, are unfurled against a backdrop of major changes in the sport.
His early tussles with life-long friend and rival, Ken Rosewall, are described – the diminutive Rosewall who was three months his senior and thrashed him 6-0, 6-0 in their first four matches.
What tennis books are in your reading pile?
This week’s Florida Super Senior Grand Prix tournament (without me and recovering Hank Irvine) is at The Meadows in Sarasota. For yesterday’s results and draws, click HERE
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