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Courting Fame: The Perilous Road to Women's Tennis Stardom Hardcover – March, 1986

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Debbie Spence, 16, was ranked first in the nation among female tennis players age 18 and under for the year 1983. This fast-moving yet sobering story chronicles her life for the next two years, and shows the requirements for success in a game where the competition is brutal and the stakes run into millions of dollars. Almost without exception, tennis prodigies are pushed into the game by ambitious parents, according to the author; the girls who are winners are those who become monomaniacs about their careers. That they must eschew normal lives is a given, and the more victories they score, the more they are catered to and fawned over. That Debbie is not unique is suggested by the parallel stories of some of her opponents, especially Shawn Foltz and Melissa Gurney. The lesson that early maturation of women who have risen to the top at age 14 or 15 is no blessing is underscored on every page. Photos. First serial to New York Times Magazine.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This is a book about the phenomenon of the female teenage tennis player in America. It is a story of sweaty girls in terrycloth headbands and polished fingernails, as well as of the business of professional tennis. The book begins at the 1983 U.S. Open with three promising amateur starsDebbie Spence, Shawn Foltz, and Melissa Gurneyand ends at the 1985 U.S. Open in which 18-year-old Spence turned professional. Although the lives of these women are described in a readable style, too much time is spent on the behind-the-scenes work of parents, coaches, and agents. The most interesting sections of the book cover Billie Jean King's influence on the development of the Women's Tennis Association and the short-circuited careers of Andrea Jaeger and Tracy Austin (who get very little coverage, however). For tennis groupies only. Dennis J. Phillips, Allentown Campus Lib., Pennsylvania State Univ., Fogelsville
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.


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