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Hardcourt Confidential: Tales from Twenty Years in the Pro Tennis Trenches Hardcover – Bargain Price, June 8, 2010

24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Patrick McEnroe was never the tennis stud his brother, John, was, but he has made a nice career out of the game. As a player, he was a Grand Slam doubles champ, advanced to the singles semis in another Grand Slam, and is currently the U.S. Davis cup captain. He's also ESPN's lead tennis analyst. But can he write? Yes, he can. His inspiration sprang from his storytelling ability over dinner and drinks; people kept urging him to gather his tennis stories and put them in a book. The result is a mischievously entertaining and wholly informative, anecdote-heavy look at the relatively insular world of professional tennis. The PG-rated anecdotes are never malicious and usually chuckle-worthy; the analysis of the game and its global growth owes its acuity to McEnroe's unique vantage point as a former athlete, current administrator, and professional observer. Serious tennis fans will find information and perspective here that will add depth to their knowledge of the sport; casual observers will delight in McEnroe's wry wit and sense of the absurd. --Wes Lukowsky

About the Author

Patrick McEnroe is a former world no. 28 singles and no. 3 doubles player, and a former Grand Slam doubles champion and singles semifinalist. He is presently the United States Davis Cup captain (ninth year the longest of any captain in US history), a tennis commentator for ESPN, and head of the United States Tennis Association's player development program. He's married to the actress/singer/songwriter Melissa Errico, with whom he has three daughters; the family lives in New York city.

Peter Bodo has been a senior writer/editor at Tennis magazine for almost 30 years, and he's written numerous books, including four on tennis (in addition to a previous collaboration with Patrick McEnroe, he collaborated with Pete Sampras on the recent New York Times bestseller, A Champion's Mind). He also writes the popular Peter Bodo's TennisWorld weblog, and was a long-time contributor to the New York Times as an Outdoors columnist. He lives with his wife, Lisa, and six-year old son, Luke, in New York city and the upstate town of Andes.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; 1 edition (June 8, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401323812
  • ASIN: B0046HAJ4U
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,920,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A. Green on June 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was so underwhelmed by this book, that for the first time since using, I felt obligated to write a review to warn other potential readers that this book is a total waste of time. I was really looking forward to reading this book because Patrick McEnroe seemed like a decent tennis commentator and the title, "Hardcourt Confidential" lead me to believe that the book would contain a behind the scenes look at the pro tour. No such luck. The author reveals little or nothing that even a casual fan doesn't already know. His great insights into the game are that Federer and Nadal are "special" players. Really??? That's your big reveal about the modern pro tour! Worse yet, the stories are just boring, and poorly written. Maybe the author is hamstrung to be any more revealing because he has Davis Cup responsibilities or a commitment to the USTA, but if that's the case, just don't write a book, or don't write a jacket cover for your book promising interesting tales from the tennis tour. I feel burned.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Luke Malone on July 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Seeing as Patrick McEnroe is an astute commentator, I was looking forward to some insider insight into pro tennis. Boy, was I disappointed. MacEnroe spends the book outlining the tour schedule and basic rules of the game, intermittently rehashing tennis headlines from the past 30 years. Does he not understand that anyone reading a book by Patrick McEnroe probably already has a good handle on the fact that a Davis Cup match is called a Tie, or that players used to skip the Aussie Open? This is a serious case of a writer having no idea what audience he should be writing to. People are reading this for inside dirt, and there's just nothing there. The most interesting anecdotes were already covered by Andre Agassi in his far superior Open. To compound the problems, the book is poorly written and littered with errors. Unless 34-40 actually is a possible score in a tennis game, or sometime this year while I wasn't looking New York and Melbourne became international capitals, or Bjorn Borg was in fact 25 in 1987. What a waste of time - I'm thankful I got this at the library, but it's not even worth a borrow.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By H. T. Ma on July 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I am given this book a mixed review. I find it interesting when author discusses other tennis players, their games and off the court personality, the atmosphere at the grand slam events especially the Wimbledon, speed control at the hard court and to some extent the author's experience as the captain of David Cup. Yet at the same time, I find it boring and totally irrelevant when author writes about his personal life such as the plane crash in Long Island, his family members, his former girl friends and his wife.

I am reading this book to learn about tennis-related events, stories or even gossip, but not on Patrick McEnroe the person. If this was his memoir, his stories/anecdotes would be relevant, yet I would then have no interest in reading such a book. I also find the writing about David Cup a little bit too lengthy and self serving. In addition, I would expect to learn more about his brother, John McEnroe ("the bad boy"), yet he is often described simply as a "genius" and no further insider scoop.

I like Patrick McEnroe as the ESPN tennis commentator, and that was the reason I decided to read this book. After reading this book, I am disappointed. This book is just too off topic.

I do learn and appreciate the hard work, athleticism and the solitude life of the players. Only the elite few can make a good living on playing the game.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Michael Amis on January 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I felt the writing was disjointed, skipping from one partially-finished topic to another and then, occasionally, back again. What I did find of value was bringing the reader from the "old era" up to date with explanations about the change of the game from the strokes to the surfaces. A more in-depth discussion of these subjects would have been of great interest to me and others who were taught the way Tony Palafox, Patrick, thousands/millions ever since the last previous western forehand known to man, that of William Johnston, Tilden's rival in the 1920's. Hitting winning groundies off the rear foot deliberately and the shift in teaching would be an example of how greater depth of treatment would have been helpful. One thing I did not understand, eiether on the part of Patrick or his collaborator, was the necessity for the f-bombs. What's the deal? Does this help sell books these days? Is this a requirement of the publisher? I can understand a direct quote from Andy Roddick containing the f-word calling for literal accuracy, but why does the reader need it from the authors? Why do they need it?

John Amis, Richardson, Texas
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By bjb on August 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was disappointed in this book. Hardcourt Confidential connotes really behind the scenes looks at players, matches, etc. Davis Cup is covered ad nauseum. Andy Roddick is covered ad nauseum as is James Blake, and, of course, Patrick McEnroe (surprise, surprise). I wanted more on Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, Maria Sharapova (less about Serena and Venus), a little less about John McEnroe. More about Stephen Edberg, Steffi Graf, Gabriela Sabatini, Andre Agassi, Pat Cash, Pat Rafter. Guess it's a generational thing. It could fall under the category of autobiography, but such is the beast. Not what I expected. I'm a little bummed I spent the money. I did so look forward to reading it.
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