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Hard Courts: Real Life on the Professional Tennis Tours [Format Kindle]

John Feinstein

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Descriptions du produit


Though John Feinstein made his mark writing about basketball-- A Season on the Brink is one of the top sports books ever--he's always had a love of tennis. For Hard Courts, he spent nearly 15 months interviewing the players, coaches, managers, tournament officials, agents and fans -- more than 200 people in all -- that make-up the international tennis circuit. What he found wasn't always as pretty as a Pete Sampras backhand. While Feinstein touches on the scandal and corruption that is as much a part of tennis as any other professional sport, he offers revealing profiles of the greatest players and a celebratory tribute to the sport's elegant tradition.

From Publishers Weekly

In cloth, Feinstein's panoramic portrait of big-money tennis spent six weeks on PW 's bestseller list; the paperback will contain new material on the controversial 1991-1992 tours.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 4489 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 529 pages
  • Editeur : Villard; Édition : Subsequent (17 août 2011)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B005EGXRZ0
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°313.896 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Amazon.com: 4.4 étoiles sur 5  7 commentaires
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Real Life On The Tour 12 septembre 2005
Par Dai-keag-ity - Publié sur Amazon.com
Though it now reads like a history of early '90's tennis, when this book first came out I pored over it with excitement to find out what the lives of my favorite players were like. All the big names of fifteen years ago are here: Sampras, Navratalova, Selles, Graf, Courier, Agassi, Fernandez, Vicario, McEnroe, Edberg and Lendl. Great champions all. This is set over the course of one full year on the circuit, from the Australian Open in January, to the end of season tournaments that follow the conclusion of the Grand Slam series at the US Open. Anyone who wants to learn about what it takes to compete at this level of tennis can get an education here. Also someone interested in the inner workings of the tour and the agencies that govern it can find out what they want to know. And although it seems odd to say this about one of the most influential books I read when I was so into this sport, it also serves today as the record of a long-ago year in the game of tennis.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Not entirely perfect, but does capture a transitional era of tennis very well 14 septembre 2012
Par P. H. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
This, along with Season on the Brink, are the only two John Feinstein books I've read. The impression that I've gotten from most people is that he tends to spread himself thin these days as he continues to churn out book after book - it's almost as if he's a factory, satisfying consumer demand without a particular regard for quality. I can't speak for that, but I DO know that this book, which is the result of Feinstein following both tennis tours in 1990, is worth a read. It's not entirely flawless, but the good outshines the bad.

One other common complaint that I've seen levied against Feinstein, both in regards to this book and elsewhere, is that his books tend to be very lengthy and could benefit from some judicious editing - indeed, Hard Courts is 450+ pages. In the case of this book, however, I feel as though such a length is warranted. I happen to be a huge tennis fan, and as everyone who happens to follow the tour on a weekly basis knows, the tennis season is very, very long. Indeed, it is so long that there is no real offseason. The tour starts in January (and in some cases, there are a handful of tourneys that begin at the end of December) and ends in the middle of November. In the last couple of years, the women have finished up the WTA tour a bit earlier, but the main tours still essentially last about 10/10.5 months on average (to speak nothing of smaller, Challenger events, which are essentially the "minor leagues" of tennis). Of course, most people don't play every single week, but there is a good chance that there is a tennis tournament going on somewhere in the world at any given time.

As a result, I don't feel as though Feinstein really needed to edit any of the book - a year in the life of any tennis player is going to cover nearly the entire year, and this book gives you a good feeling of just how hectic life on the road can be. Many of the most successful players are, of course, recurring characters throughout - you get healthy doses of Navratilova, Sampras, Becker, Edberg, McEnroe, Agassi (then in full-on "bad boy" mode), Seles, Sabatini, and a young and precocious Jennifer Capriati. It's a time when the baton was being passed from one generation to the next, particularly when it comes to men's tennis and the American champions of the 90s (Sampras, Agassi, Courier, and Chang are all well represented here). But what works best for me are the minor players, actually - the people who were clearly good enough to earn a living on the tour but weren't quite good enough to reach the pinnacle of the game. The moments spent with these players are brief, but, in my opinion, are the highlights of the book. The stories of Elise Burgin, Shaun Stafford, Stephanie Rehe, Derrick Rostagno, and Andrei Chesnokov, among many others, are what give the book its edge. It's interesting to view the different perspectives of those players, some of whom still believed they were capable of reaching the top - hindsight, sadly, has proven them wrong - and some of whom accepted their level in the middle of the pack but still enjoyed competing and making a living on tour.

The only real flaws are that, amongst the best players, some are more consistently emphasized than others, Becker in particular. I loved the guy growing up and I definitely know/understand that he was one of the very best in the game at the time, but it almost feels like his entire season is laid out before you at some point in the book, whether he wins or loses. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that Becker was more willing to talk to Feinstein and give him behind the scenes access than some of the other players, who knows. The other main flaw is that I feel that there's a little too much discussion about agents and management groups. I am a fan of other sports as well as tennis, and I don't really ever recall so much detail being paid to agents in tennis. I cannot think of a Drew Rosenhaus/Scott Boras-esque figure in the sport (Ion Tiriac, maybe?). I could be completely wrong in that aspect, but I feel like Feinstein tried to make agents into a major issue when it really doesn't strike me as something that registers with the general tennis populace in my experience.

Despite some of the problems I had with the book, I would still say that the positives outweigh the negatives, and this is well worth your time. It captures an interesting year on both the ATP and the WTA in fine fashion. It also is strong enough to wonder why someone isn't doing this type of book in the current era, given all of the interesting characters that continue to populate both tours.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great Book...exceptional journalism. 19 août 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
I have copies of two books by John Feinstein...Hard Courts and A Season Inside. Both are fantastic. A fascinating look at a year (1990) on the professional tennis circuit. A must read for any follower of the game.
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Good Work about Pro Tennis 16 août 2013
Par edward f, livsey - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
This a a typical work of Feinstein; it is interesting and informative about much of the behind-the-scenes activity in professional tennis.
2 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Tennis Debauchery 6 février 2002
Par Alex Lukic - Publié sur Amazon.com
John Feinstein is such a fascinating writer and sports critic that someone should recognize his work in some way, shape or form. "Hard Courts" is a microscopic scrutiny of the men's and women's tennis tour throughout the entire 1990 calendar year. Though a bit outdated, it is a book for all ages and all sports fans. Feinstein's writing message is as effective as his many inteview appearances on National Public Radio. He is blunt, obsessed and even subjective, but also well-informed, uncontradictory and fair, and most definitely, never arrogant. Enjoyable reading!
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