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38 Reviews
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally entertaining
I was watching the tennis channel and I overheard Darren Cahill give a raving review about this book. I am a tennis freak and thought I would give it a try, well, I was totally entertained. There was so much information that one could gather from this read. There must have been hours and hours of research to find out all the interesting facts. I have had many people...
Published on August 1, 2011 by Helen

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book but title is very misleading
It's unfortunate that Tignor chose the title he did for this book as it mars what is otherwise a pretty good book on the tennis world of the 1970s and 80s. However, he did choose that title and as such, the book fails. In 235 pages, we get a fair amount of material on Borg, a fair amount on McEnroe - and little on their actual tennis. Oh, the epic finals at Wimbledon...
Published on September 29, 2011 by Tabe


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally entertaining, August 1, 2011
I was watching the tennis channel and I overheard Darren Cahill give a raving review about this book. I am a tennis freak and thought I would give it a try, well, I was totally entertained. There was so much information that one could gather from this read. There must have been hours and hours of research to find out all the interesting facts. I have had many people come up to me and ask if they could read it after I was done. I wish the author would publish another book dealing with other tennis players, maybe of the more recent era. I recommend "High Strung" not just for tennis players, but for anyone who would like to learn more about these two individuals: McEnroe and Borg. two very high strung individuals. MUST READ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tennis Deities, May 15, 2013
The 1970's, as the author adroitly points out, were the first generation of true professionals. There were no guidelines to teach the over-reachers how to behave, what to say in an interview, how to push humility.

This brought a generation of vivid characters who pushed the limits of behavior to cartoonishness. Not to say these were not phenomenal players and the matches were not epic. Short of the current triumvirate of Federer, Djokovic, and Nadal, the inhabitatants of this era may have been the best of all time.

There was the sphinx-like Bjorn Borg, beloved by men fans and women fans equally, if not exactly. There was the raw brilliance on the court, and the raw emotional behavior of John McEnroe, and the feisty, obnoxious, street brawling of Jimmy Connors. There was a cast of characters competing, like bad boy Ilie Nastase, and the ill-fated perennial runner up Vitas Gerulaitas constantly circling the front runners.

It made for dramatic tennis, great copy, but sometimes very ugly on court antics.

Borg, ultimately, was the only player on the tour McEnroe truly respected, and this elevated his game to its highest levels.

The author, Stephen Tignor, writes in a clear, concise manner, but has some deep insights into the psyches of these seminal players of their generation. He has an understanding of tennis history, and these players places in this hierarchy.

Thoroughly recommended read for the tennis fan and/or historian.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IceBorg, MacAttack and Beyond, September 15, 2011
Tignor takes you behind the scenes of one of the most intense, competitive, yet curiously respectful rivalries in the history of sport. Where the HBO documentary left off, High Strung picks up and paints a broad, engaging and complete picture of the tennis landscape well beyond the far-too-short period these two legends spent battling one another.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book but title is very misleading, September 29, 2011
By 
Tabe (Spokane, WA USA) - See all my reviews
It's unfortunate that Tignor chose the title he did for this book as it mars what is otherwise a pretty good book on the tennis world of the 1970s and 80s. However, he did choose that title and as such, the book fails. In 235 pages, we get a fair amount of material on Borg, a fair amount on McEnroe - and little on their actual tennis. Oh, the epic finals at Wimbledon and the US Open are covered but not much else. Instead, we get page after page after page of material on other players - Connors, Gerulaitis, Nastase, and multiple others. We get a couple pages on a McEnroe/Fleming doubles match and lots of descriptions of McEnroe meltdowns. Lost in all that is the actual rivalry which, quite literally, disappears for dozens of pages at a time.

So what are we left with? A good book on the tennis scene as it shifted from amateur to open/professional and the first superstars of that era. But a highly insightful analysis of a rivalry? No.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Memories from the golden era of tennis!, August 15, 2012
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This review is from: High Strung: Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, and the Last Days of Tennis's Golden Age (Kindle Edition)
It was very satisfying to re-enact the greatest match ever in centre court, even tough the Federer - Nadal rivalry has claimed a place among these legends, but to know the intimate way in wich Borg, and Mc Enroe came to be who they were, was a very different sort of tale, and one that we are not allowed to know as simple fans of the players and their sport.
There are many more chapters about Jimmy Connors, Nastase, Gerulaitis and others who made these years great for the sport, and who thrived in clay, grass, or the hard courts of New York. The most amazing fact is that Bjorn never conquered his personal nemesis: The US open and yet he's known as the greatest ever player who walked through the lawns of the sacred All England Lawn & Tennis club at the so called ' Championships'
It was a great read and it was worth every penny!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book with a very misleading title, January 22, 2012
By 
Charbel Eid (Pittsburgh, PA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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I've been a big fan of Steve Tignor's writing on Tennis.com for several years, so I came in with a good idea of how descriptive and balanced his writing is. This book fulfills my expectations and exceeds them in a few areas. It is extremely well-researched and well-written, and Steve's hard work is apparent in the pages. The book flows between chapters, and is very fluid in its transitions.

What this book is not, is 220+ pages on Borg and McEnroe, and their rivalry. I actually don't quite understand how those involved decided on this particular title, because it's almost laughably misleading. Instead, this is a book about the late 70s and early 80s tennis scene, as the sport transitioned from the amateur to the pro days. The main characters do include Borg and McEnroe, but more than a few dozen pages are used to follow the exploits of Jimmy Connors and Vitas Gerulaitis, and to some extent Ilie Nastase and Ivan Lendl. The author also spends a good amount of the book setting the various scenes, describing the evolution of tennis in the US, its high-class and grass past, and the transition to the modern game. The rivalries and tensions that marked the 70s-80s era of tennis are wonderfully described.

I bought this book simply because I wanted to learn more about the history of tennis. I've heard so much about Borg, McEnroe, Connors, the "old days" and the raucous nature of tennis back then. This book takes the reader straight to that period of time, and lets them explore every facet of that world. I left feeling well-versed and even more intrigued by this bygone era. Highly recommended for pretty much any tennis fan.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read!, August 8, 2011
As an avid tennis fan, I am always looking for good books about some of the tennis greats, and Steve Tignor's "High Strung" definitely filled the bill. Not only was it interesting to learn of some of the quirks of the tennis greats, but Tignor's writing style wouldn't let me put the book down. It was interesting to learn about the lifestyles of Borg, McEnroe, Connors, Nastase,and Gerulaitis and how fame and fortune affected them. I highly recommend the book and look forward to Steve Tignor's next one.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well done., June 27, 2011
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This review is from: High Strung: Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, and the Last Days of Tennis's Golden Age (Kindle Edition)
This book is a good read for any tennis fan.

Contains a lot of great info about some of the greatest tennis players of that era.
Their habits, their rituals.

Seems to borrow heavily from McEnroe's autobiography, "You Cannot Be Serious".

Combines a lot of sources to create a detailed snapshot of the era.
My only gripe is that the sources are completely uncited.
Can't imagine how the uncited excerpts don't cross into the realm of plagerism.

Still, a good read with great information seemingy compiled from a variety of unidentified but good sources.

I'd recommend "You Cannot Be Serious" if this book seems appealing.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Golden Age of Tennis Revisited, May 20, 2011
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"High Strung" is high quality reading - not just for tennis or sports fans but for any reader. The cast of characters is hard to beat - Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Bjorn Borg, Ilie Nastase, Ivan Lendl, Vitas Gerulaitis, and others - high strung personalities and racquets. This was the golden age of tennis and the Tignor makes it come to life.
The book is full of tense Grand Slam matches, interesting incidents, and new stories about these colorful pros, and well-researched background sketches of how they developed into the legends of the sport. The book is more than just Borg vs. McEnroe as chapters on Connors, Nastase, Lendl, Gerulaitis and others make for good reading.
The descriptions of some of the finals in the Grand Slam matches bring back the tenseness of such matches. This was the greatest era for professional tennis and the author does it justice.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars high on "high strung", May 18, 2011
those of us already familiar with tignor's work on tennis.com have come to appreciate his poignant yet relatable observations, and his ability to take what we thought we knew, or what was thought to be familiar, and refashion it with elegant phrasing, to reframe it smartly and infuse new meaning. and we dig his surprising but always apt cultural references.

"high strung" is a wonderful showcase for his talents--it makes the golden era of tennis, if not "shinier and glossier," then clearer and richer and deeper. it serves as the preeminent consideration of the most glorified, but arguably misunderstood era in tennis history. tignor broadens the understanding of sensational, complex personalities--mcenroe, borg, connors, gerulaitis, and nastase--not only with "saucy" anecdotes, but by elucidating the social and cultural phenomena of the time and tracking the game's important transition from amateurism to professionalism. "high strung" is a reminder of not just what it takes to play the game--and to succeed and endure-- but it's a fun and fair account what it was like for this collection of players to battle one another (and themselves), during the sport's most energetic, but unsettled time.
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