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Tough Draw: The Path to Tennis Glory Hardcover – September, 1992

2.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Berry, once a nationally ranked junior and pro tennis player, here presents keen analyses of the current court stars' strengths and weaknesses. He also offers an irksome number of unnecessary metaphors and similes, often indulging in such unclear descriptions as "a man with a 1950s baseball player's body." The book's main problem, however, is not the writing but the subjects, since today's tennis stars are simply less interesting than the flamboyant Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe, the icily efficient Chris Evert and Bjorn Borg and the high-powered Martina Navratilova and Ivan Lendl. Hence, interviews with Stefan Edberg, Pete Sampras, Aaron Krickstein, Gabriella Sabatini and Monica Seles, although adroitly conducted, don't have great appeal, and Berry's review of the 1990-1991 season's high points doesn't catch fire. Author tour. ( Sept.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

"What makes some people win and others come in a close second?" Berry attempts to answer this question in the context of the 1990-91 men's and women's pro tennis tour. He interviews players, coaches, family members, and former champions to try and determine why some technically advanced players lose and other less talented players win. Berry's background as both a former ranked junior player and a published novelist give him an insider's point of view and the ability to communicate that view in a fluid, storytelling fashion. Although structured chronologically like John Feinstein's Hard Courts (Random, 1991), Berry writes without malice, and his imagery is rich and poetic. Highly recommended.
- J. Sara Paulk, Concord P.L., N.H.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Co; 1st edition (September 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805023143
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805023145
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,748,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wonderfully interesting and a top notch commentary on the Tennis Pro Tour and that most difficult to capture distinction - the fine line between winning and losing; even further, what makes a champion? Told through the eyes of a top level athletic competitor, the author himself. He examines and understands the cruel nature of one on one tennis competition and makes the most of the internal workings, struggles, and moments of insight for the pros, themselves. Great perceptions and commentary as he travels from tourney to tourney. The matches are enjoyed and examined; the interviews sparkle as the author fills in the real chemistry within the room; and the insightful interviews with all those figures from the Pro Tennis scene fill in much of what is really going on. Eliot Berry has an eye for the complexity, giftedness, and turmoil ( spiritual and otherwise) of the Pro scene. You may find that he leaves out the gossip, the locker room stuff that comes with a snicker and a smile, and dramatized action for the sake of attention. Yes, he stays on track. It is the real athletic stuff that he is after - the giftedness of the pros and the psychology of the day to day struggle - what is it like to play Chang? How did Capriati's young talent and instincts react to that first match with a personally distracted but dominant Steffi? Where did Edberg's determination really come from - how deep was it? What was Becker's genius and struggle? Eliot Berry even has the notion and travels to the home city of both Edberg and Becker for possible answers - was it of family or cultural or ? Again, the psychology of top competition and the nature of winners is drawn as carefully and exactly as possible. You just know and feel Mr.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
I love tennis and 1990 was a terrific year in that it threw up eight different Grand Slam champions in the 4 slams. It saw the breakthrough of Sampras, vulnerability in Graf, history for Martina, Sabatini's lone moment of Grand Slam glory, the arrival of Capriati and cementing of Seles, a feel-good shock victory for Gomez and the third consecutive Wimbledon final between Becker and Edberg. But this book doesnt capture it. The interviews are uneven but the reporting even more so. The author has travelled to Leimen and Vastervik, but not to much avail. Read John Feinstein's Hard Courts instead - amazingly covering the same year, but showing us all how its done. Disappointing.
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Format: Hardcover
Berry reaches for the literary high ground, but he stumbles on endlessly repeated imagery and numerous stunning errors of fact. He's obviously interested in his topic, and perhaps a less confident writer would have paid closer attention and gotten the details right.
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