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Break Point! The Secret Diary of a Pro Tennis Player Hardcover – July 11, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 277 pages
  • Publisher: ECW Press (July 11, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550227297
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550227291
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"[I] could hardly put it down."  —Sports Illustrated Online (SI.com)

About the Author

Vince Spadea is a professional tennis player who, at 31, was ranked at #19 worldwide. He lives in Boca Raton, Florida. Dan Markowitz is a journalist, sports writer, and the author of "John Starks," a biography of the former New York Knick. He lives in New

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Customer Reviews

What a wake up call to all the tennis players trying to make it to the big stage of the pro tour!!!.
Tennis23
The Vince Spadea book was very enjoyable, an easy read and interesting look into the mens pro tennis circuit.
ed rocket hatch
Like many natural disasters, its often something that you just have to read to see how bad it really can get.
T. Wade

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By samprasland on August 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I read a lot about tennis and found this book to be one of the best I've read. It is not a book for the fan who wants to glean more about how to hit his forehand better or doesn't have a sense of humor. A lot of the material might be deemed questionable in tact, but if you approach it with the mindset that this is a single, 30-ish, pro tennis player who is writing about traveling the world with his racket to make his living, then Spadea's sometimes randy and outrageous voice is appealing. This is not a book by Arthur Ashe or Roger Federer, where image is carefully minded, the writing is unplugged and revealingly honest whether Spadea's talking about other players' games, the despair in seeing his ranking dropping, or losing a German model to James Blake at a player's party.I would recommend it for anyone who is intrigued by the pro tennis life, and wants to hear about it first-hand from a guy who's been out there almost as long as Agassi.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Lisa D. Mooney on November 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Aw, Vince, promises promises. He promised to give us an insider's look at the glamorous world of jet setting professional tennis stars as well as an in depth look at what it takes to be a top player. He delivered a double fault. Break Point is more of a running head commentary of a man who comes off as borderline manic-depressive. He wins a few matches, loses more, he's lowerer than a snail, then he's full of hope with feathers that he can turn it all round with preserverence. We as readers get it, we as tennis fan sympathize but in Vince's books are sympathy wears then fast as we encounter the same grousing page after page with little if any real insight. This kind of narration dominates the book though, on a few occasions, Vince takes a look at his fellow players. He gets a little "catty" in regard to James Blake and he disses a few others but doesn't give much in the way of insider information to give us a true tell all (Micheal Mewhaw he's not). Heck, Spadea even admits quite a few times that he is not buddy buddy with any other players and rarely socializes with the other guys. When he does speak about attending a party here or there he makes a point of letting us know he doesn't stay long, and though he protests that he is not judgemental, he comes down rather hard on other players who are not as chaste in the area of romance as he is.

Spadea does talk alot about women in his book. He even gives us a hilarious, though not meant to be, analysis of how to sucessfully woe women. He is, however, a tease. Spadea talks of meeting up with "hot" women and even taking them back to his hotel, but he quickly begs off after a little making out and sends the women back where they come from.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By D. Z. Sokol on August 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
When I first heard of the book "Break Point", I thought it was going to be a "tell-all" story with a revealing, behind-the-scenes commentary on professional tennis (the Jose Conseco book on tennis). While he does have comments about many of the players such as Andy Roddick, Andre Agassi, James Blake, etc., there aren't any great revelations beyond a fan's general perception that can be gleaned from Tennis magazine.

The book is essentially a diary covering Spadea's experiences on the pro tour throughout 2005. It is organized in chronological format starting with Auckland, New Zealand in January and ending in Los Angeles in November. He spices up the stories with commentary about players, tennis groupies, and officials. I enjoyed reading the roughly 270 pages and finished the book over a weekend.

As a regular fan at some of the professional tennis events (ATP Cincinnati, US Open, etc.), I've seen Spadea's name and recognized him as an above average player. After reading the book, the general sense I have is that he is disappointed that he hasn't been better recognized as a professional tennis player.

While he does have a few idiosyncrasies (e.g., he's proficient at creating rap lyrics), I don't think he's as much of a flake as he wants people to believe. In many ways, he's a good Catholic boy that wanted to have greater fan recognition, but he doesn't have the mind set to be the Dennis Rodman of tennis.

He's an honorable guy that's played professional tennis for over twelve years. He's been very competitive throughout that time, but he's obviously disappointed that he's only been champion at one major tournament.

Postscript: After reading the book, it was quite interesting to see Spadea playing a match in Cincinnati ([...])... he conducted himself just as he described in his book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Henri La Plume on October 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Especially tennis players.

Has some interesting stories/dirt on other tour players, but for the most part this book ping pongs back and forth between "I'm really a spoiled brat / No, I'm not / Well, maybe I am." Spadea's intermittent "rap" paragraphs are enough to produce douche chills in even the most ardent Vanilla Ice fans.

As for Vince's tips on how to pick up women.... I guess you can take the boy out of Gavone City, but you can't take the gavone out of the boy. Mamma lucia.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Davita on October 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I read this book only for its tell-all possibilities - if you're at all familiar with professional tennis, you know how tightly controlled the image of the sport has become; in other words, its ripe for a tell-all. And Spadea, a bitter outsider with access to players at every level, would seem to be in perfect position to deliver. Of course he doesn't, so any fellow gossip-mongers can stop reading here. Among the insights he does offer the reader: that he's painfully aware of being older; that he has a habit of dismissing perfectly reasonable advice; that he equates stubbornness with bravery and delusion with ambition; that at 31 years old, he will occasionally "mess around" with various girls; that he swings from sky highs to career-ditching lows like a metronome; that he intensely dislikes James Blake; that he desperately wants to be famous; that the standards of the publishing world couldn't get any more lax.

There's not much more to be found. If you think you'll be engrossed by 277 pages of this kind of dysfunction and misery, I suspect no review will change your mind, anyway.
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