- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins UK; 1st ed edition (June 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0007181418
- ISBN-13: 978-0007181414
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 28 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,546,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Mr Nastase: The Autobiography Hardcover – June 1, 2004
Rare Books by Legendary Authors
Discover collectible books by legendary authors on AbeBooks, an Amazon Company. Learn More on AbeBooks.com.
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
'One of the greatest entertainers the game has ever seen' BBC
About the Author
Ilie Nastase, born in Romania in July 1946, won 88 singles and 80 doubles titles, which included the US and French Opens, three Grand Slam doubles titles and was ranked No.1 in the world in 1973. He remains successful on the Senior's tour and is President of the Romanian Tennis Federation.Debbie Beckerman formerly ran the sports imprint Partridge Press at Transworld Publishers and now divides her time between writing articles for The Times, the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian among others, and ghost-writing.
Top customer reviews
I learned a lot of things about him that I never knew.
Unfortunately, I felt he was very biased at times and all too often
he was boasting. It seemed as though I tried to justify immoral actions
that he made on and off the court. But who am I to judge.
If you grew up playing tennis or learning how to play back when wooden
rackets were all we had you'll gain from the book. Even if you
grew up watching tennis or playing after the wooden racket era this
book will give you a window into how we played back in the old days
and the pros and cons of playing during that time.
Illie especially provides a great view what European players used to
deal with on the tour and their approach to tennis. This book shows
tennis as it was in the 70's and 80's while Blake's book is more focused
on playing in the late 1990's and early 21st century.
Maybe the most interesting news in the book is how little he trained early in his career. This of course could never happen now in the current incredibly competitive and lucrative sport. But he consistently talks about how little he trained and how inexperienced he really was as he started his rise as a Junior player.
Most people will be interested in the personalities and they are all here, Ion Tiriac and their unique relationship, Stan Smith, Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. Of course he must also touch on his personal life of three marriages and children that he loved even though he may not always have been around as a father.
Overall this book does an excellent job of detailing the life of a 1970s fun loving tennis pro who was not on the court all day but rather in the discos and bars every night. Nasty, a true legend, on the court and off.
The book's appendix discloses fascinating statistics. You can see his win/loss track record against many players. His career being so long, it tied the Australian era to the Open era. Thus, he had a 9-2 record against an aging Rod Laver (8 years older) but a 3-5 record against a young McEnroe (13 years younger). These records don't mean anything. One champion is aging while the other is entering his prime.
As a man, he had much fun. Per his own estimate, he bedded 2,500 groupies. He had a wonderful love affair during his first marriage. Even though it predictably ended in divorce , the divorce was not wrenching affair vs what Becker and McEnroe endured. Nastase's relationship with women was similar to the one he had with the public. No one could be mad at him for too long.
Nastase lost mental control in his matches. Unlike Connors and McEnroe who could create winning strategies out of the chaos, Nastase was the victim of his shenanigans. His bad behavior cost him tens of thousands of dollars in penalties.
As a result of his lack of mental control, Nastase's legacy is a fraction of what his talent warranted. He won only two Grand Slam tournaments (73 French Open and 72 US Open). Tens of players have far greater legacies.
Nevertheless, Nastase still fascinates. In fact Federer's versatile game most resembles Nastase. Both men have the ability to win on any surface against any opponents, and hit shots nobody else can. Adding Nastase's unpredictable behavior to the versatility of his game just contributed to the legend.
There is no doubt Nastase was an all around extraordinarily gifted athlete. As an aging star, he had to play sports he had never learned for various TV shows. After just 5 minutes of learning the grip, he hit par on his first golf hole. After Ion Tiriac teaches him ice hockey. Within 15 minutes Nastase was chasing Tiriac around the skating rink. Not bad for a guy who had never skated.
The biography gets even more interesting as he retires from the ATP circuit. Because of his profile, he met everybody. He is on a first name basis with Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, George Bush Sr. and Jr, Jack Nicholson, Mick Jagger. He likes everyone of them. Nastase also describes the chronic political crisis plaguing Romania. His firsthand experience makes for a fascinating account about the living condition in this country.
If you like this book, I also recommend McEnroe's You Cannot Be Serious, Becker's The Player: The Autobiography and Sampras' A Champion's Mind: Lessons from a Life in Tennis. They are all fascinating reportage of tennis superstars.