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From the moment that normally staid British tennis fans began booing like soccer hooligans as the brash and abrasive John McEnroe entered Wimbledon's Centre Court to face off against the revered, number-one-ranked Björn Borg, it was clear that something was changing. In fact, almost everything was changing.
In Epic, tennis writer Matthew Cronin takes you on an unforgettable journey back to the pivotal year of 1980 and the two landmark matches that transformed tennis from a quiet sport to a loud one, from a mostly European pastime to an American obsession, from the exclusive preserve of the country club elite to an everyman and everywoman's game. They also marked McEnroe's emergence as a superstar and the beginning of Borg's precipitous decline.
Cronin alternates crisp, thrilling accounts of the 1980 Borg/McEnroe showdowns at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, widely considered the two greatest tennis matches in history, with insightful excursions into the lives of these two great champions both on and off the court. You'll discover how Borg's long-time coach Lennart Bergelin cured the teenage Björn of some surprisingly McEnroe-like behavior and why McEnroe's coach Harry Hopman's attempt to tame his star pupil backfired completely. You'll also witness the serious locker-room consequences of McEnroe's on-court tantrums and find out why Borg sometimes felt that he had sacrificed too much in his quest for greatness.
Apart from their mutual love of tennis, the two men emerge as polar opposites: Borg, the "Ice Man," was a pure, vintage baseliner famous for the machinelike consistency of his game. His reserved, polite, and even modest behavior epitomized what many viewed as the finest traditions of tennis. "McBrat" was a slightly crazed serve-and-volleyer whose blistering outbursts against court officials offended traditionalists but whose passion for the game attracted millions of new fans to the sport.
Complete with a touching portrait of the friendship that developed between Borg and McEnroe and a heart-stopping re-creation of their unforgettable fourth-set tiebreaker at Wimbledon, Epic is must reading for anyone old enough to remember one of the greatest rivalries in sports history or young enough to have missed it.See all Editorial Reviews
Alot of information but not put together well. The author tried to give context by providing information about currents events occurring at the same time as these matches, but he... Read morePublished 4 months ago by moviekat10
I have loved tennis since I was a boy. I grew up watching McEnroe and Borg. This is a fascinating inside look at two of tennis' best players and the rivalry they had on the... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Mark Bowser
the book was well written and well researched. the author clearly did his homework.clearly enjoyed book, a must read foe tennis fans.Published 21 months ago by Dave Moeller
Good memories from the 80's, you realize the way thing were, so you can maybe figure out how things are nowPublished on August 21, 2013 by JESUS BACA ESTRADA
I liked the book but I think it misses the point....there wasn't much rivalry between Borg and McEnroe.... Read morePublished on June 6, 2013 by Atticus62
Factual/Scoreline Inaccuracy: Page 49 re:French Open 1974. Page 60 re:US 0pen 1971. Page 74 re:French Open 1977. Page 129 re:Masters jan'79. Page 130 re:Masters jan'79. Read morePublished on September 4, 2012 by tennis maestro
'Epic' is a must read for tennis enthusiasts as well as sports lovers as it recreates the magical and intense drama that unfolded with clash of the titans.. Read morePublished on August 26, 2012 by sarita
Mr. Cronin's book is interesting, but it would have to be given the subject material. However, the timeline would be very difficult to follow if you didn't already know the story. Read morePublished on May 31, 2012 by Zach Dillinger
Cronin has done a great service to tennis fans, giving them a wonderful insight into the lives of those on the tennis tour. Read morePublished on July 23, 2011 by Joel D. Vaughan