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Nasty Hardcover – February, 1979

4 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Stein & Day Pub; First American Edition edition (February 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812825403
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812825404
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,997,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful biography of one of the greatest talents and most controversial personalities of Open Tennis which I highly recommend to any tennis fan. The book, written by someone who knew well and understood Nastase goes a long way in exploring and analyzing the multifacets of Nastase's complex character and personality.
From the summer of 1972 until the end of 1973 the richly gifted Nastase was the best player in the world. The United States champion of 1972 and the French champion of 1973, he was also the runner-up in three other Grand Slam finals, one of these being the memorable 1972 Wimbledon final. In doubles and mixed doubles Nastase shared a total of five Grand Slam titles. Nastase won Grand Prix Masters tournament four years out of five, a record only surpassed by Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras. His Davis Cup record is also phenomenal, playing and wining more Davis Cup matches than anybody else except Nikki Pietrangeli. His combined singles titles (57) and doubles (51) of Grand Prix, WCT and ATP sanctioned tournaments of Open Tennis is only surpassed by John McEnroe: no coincidence here since they are the two greatest natural talents seen in 35 years of Open Tennis.
Despite such an impressive career, still regarded by some to be an underachievement considering such a vast potential and natural talent, is sad that Nastase is still remembered by some, particularly in the United States, mostly for his antics rather than for his brilliance and pure artistry displayed on the tennis court. To some extent this is his own fault for being at times too eager to cultivate his image of enfant terrible to an American audience all too enthusiastic to indulge in show business.
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Format: Hardcover
The problem for the immensely talented Ilie Nastase was his practical joker kind of sense of humour that not everyone could understand or appreciate and his quick temper if he felt he was being insulted. He seemed unable to control that quick temper in some situations whilst in others he could be not far off exemplary.

Although in those days I had no means to see him play except at Wimbledon or the slight amount of tennis shown by the BBC other than Wimbledon, I learned, much to my surprise as a Brit, that he was not so popular in say the USA as he was in the UK. But reading Richard Evans' book about Ilie, I realised this is due to the very different sense of humour in the USA compared to the UK. Brits can be very anarchic, and because Ilie made us laugh so much, we didn't see so much of the temperament. Americans are undoubtedly very puritanical. Just one of those things. Sad for Ilie but I am proud that in the UK he was very popular - he deserved to be. He was awesome to watch even when behaving badly. For me he has only been superseded in exciting and "beautiful" play in more recent years by the most amazing and best, of course Roger Federer, and earlier by Rod Laver. This doesn't mean Ilie was the No.3 greatest ever although he's in my top 10. I am referring to artistry as well as ability.

I can't possibly however agree with the petulant reviewer who has criticised Ilie so much. I get the impression this reviewer never even saw Ilie play if he didn't even know Ilie's age.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ilie Nastase, was a flashy star from the 70s who quickly dipped into obscurity by his own making. Had I known how close in age he was to me, I might have practiced enough to play him and teach him a lesson or two. First, doors should not open for a--holes like him, under no circumstances. Two, a winner never gets distracted by something off-court. Three, civilized men are polite and courteous to everyone they meet. Four, no one in this world should rise without polishing their own character. In Nastase' case, he was lucky to be in the limelight, make money and fame, but he deserves to be uninvited into Wimbledon's graces. Why? He was in it only for himself. A man reflecting upon his life, should address his juvenile, barbaric ways. He never does. His explanations are empty.This book was a painful read for one who believes character is destiny. Nastase is the poster-boy for every infantile-athlete who paraded around the tennis court. He had God-given speed and agility, but he thought it cute to clown around. His mentor, Pancho Gonzales, was a lion on the tennis court. The only reason to buy this book is for the personal record tally documenting his promise, not his prowess. Gonzales was winning into his 40s. Nastase sank much sooner. How does he explain his juvenility? With no explanation but a shrug and a grin. I've seen his type of character before in the film "Champion" (Kirk Douglas role) about a boxer who uses everyone to get to the top. Somehow, Romanian gigolos got a pass on character and deportment. A shallow, colorful hunk. A shallow memoir.
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