Wimbledon 2014: excerpts from 5 noteworthy books about tennis

Tennis takes center stage again as this year's Wimbledon Championships begin on June 23. Want to read about tennis as well as watch it? These five books take readers deep inside the world of tennis to consider everything from the thoughts of super coach Nick Bollettieri to the life stories of Venus and Serena Williams as told by their father Richard. Check out these excerpts. 

1. 'Andy Murray: Wimbledon Champion: The Full Extraordinary Story,' by Mark Hodgkinson

In 2013 Scotsman Andy Murray became the first British male to win a Grand Slam singles title in the Open era and the first to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936. 

“After embracing [opponent Novak] Djokovic, Murray dropped to his knees on the grass, and then bowed his head. Once he was back on his feet, he was walking around slapping hands with spectators in the front row, and he was floating about, not quite sure what to do with himself. All this was being broadcast to the largest TV audience of the year to date, and it was a long way from being poor telly.

This has been nothing less than epic. It had been an unexpected end to an unexpected fortnight, while the great majority of the sport’s former champions had predicted that Murray would win, had anyone imagined that he would beat the world number one player in straight sets? And had there ever been a less straightforward straight-setter? Some past five-setters at the All-England Club suddenly seemed a little unremarkable when put next to Murray’s excruciating 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 victory. ‘If you saw the scores,’ noted a past winner, Richard Krajicek, ‘you’d think, “Oh, that must have been a boring final,” but that was one of the most exciting finals I’ve ever seen.’ It was the product of some three hours and ten minutes of uninterrupted stress. How different this had been from [Fred] Perry’s victory over a German aristocrat, Gottfried von Cramm, in the 1936 final. That truly had been a straightforward and lop-sided straight-setter, with Perry winning 6-1, 6-1, 6-0 after von Cramm injured himself in the opening minutes and tore all drama out of the day.”

1 of 5

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.