We’ve compiled a list of the best tennis books every player and fan should check out.
If you’re like us and love everything tennis, then you’re always on the lookout for new and interesting reads about the game. From inspiring autobiographies to tennis books on psychology, fitness and coaching, there’s something for everyone. And we can vouch for their quality, as we’ve read many of them or had them highly recommended. So go ahead and add them to your reading list – you won’t regret it!
Open: An Autobiography By Andre Agassi
The Inner Game of Tennis By W. Timothy Gallwey
Winning Ugly By Brad Gilbert
- The Inner Game of Tennis
- Winning Ugly
- String Theory
- Knowing the Score
- Chasing Points
- Serve to Win
- A Champion's Mind
- The Outsider
- Days of Grace
- Billie Jean King
- The Master
- The Mind of a Tennis Player
- Getting a Grip
- Serena Williams
- Coaching For Life
- The Player
- Breaking Back
- The Coach
- Strokes Of Genius
- Final Thoughts
- Extra Resource
Andre Agassi’s autobiography, Open, is a candid and insightful look at his life and career. In the book, Andre Agassi discusses his early years as a junior tennis prodigy, his highly successful professional career, and his eventual retirement from the sport.
While Open does provide some behind-the-scenes glimpses of the world of professional tennis, it is primarily a story about Agassi’s journey as a person. He is candid about his struggles with addiction and depression and offers readers an honest look at the highs and lows of his life. Written with humor and insight, Open is an engaging autobiography that will appeal to fans of tennis and biographies alike.
The Inner Game of Tennis
Gallwey’s Inner Game of Tennis introduced a new way of thinking about the psychology of sports and competition. The book was based on his experiences as a competitive player and tennis coach and challenged many conventional ideas about improving one’s performance. Gallwey argued that the key to success in any activity is not to focus on the external goals but the internal process.
In other words, it is more important to focus on the quality of one’s actions than on the results. This philosophy has been applied to many areas, including business, education, and personal development. The Inner Game of Tennis remains one of the most influential tennis books ever written on the subject of sports psychology.
In his book, Winning Ugly, former player, Olympic medalist and tennis coach Brad Gilbert explores the role of psychology and mental warfare in tennis. Gilbert argues that while mental toughness is undoubtedly important, it is not the only factor determining success on the tennis court. He believes tennis players who focus too much on winning can often become their worst enemy.
Instead, Brad Gilbert advocates for the “ugly game.” This approach involves playing to your strengths and making your opponent work hard for every point. Playing smart and taking advantage of your opponent’s weaknesses can win even when you’re not playing your best.
While “Winning Ugly” may not be a pretty tennis strategy, Gilbert’s “ugly tennis game” is a proven winning tennis strategy for success.
Rafael Nadal’s autobiography is a fascinating inside look at the world of competitive tennis. Nadal takes the reader on a journey from his early days as a junior tennis player to his years on the professional tour, sharing intimate details about his matches, training regimen, and personal life.
Along the way, Rafael Nadal candidly discusses the ups and downs of his career, including his Injury struggles and rivalry with Federer.
Ultimately, Rafa provides an inspiring story of perseverance and dedication, proving that anything is possible with hard work and determination. Whether you’re a casual fan or a die-hard tennis enthusiast, RAFA is a must-read.
Andy Murray’s Seventy-Seven autobiography chronicles his incredible journey from a talented youngster to a world-famous player.
Andy Murray takes readers on a behind-the-scenes look at his life, from his earliest days playing tennis in Scotland to his remarkable Wimbledon victory in 2013.
Along the way, he opens up about the ups and downs of his career, including the injuries and setbacks that threatened to derail his progress. Seventy-Seven is an inspiring and insightful read that provides an intimate look at one of the world’s most popular athletes.
In Fedegraphica, Mark Hodgkinson tells the story of one of the world’s best players, Roger Federer.
Hodgkinson chronicles Federer’s early years in Switzerland, his domination of the tennis world in the early 2000s, and his remarkable comeback after a series of injuries in the latter part of his career.
Along the way, Hodgkinson offers insights into Federer’s unique playing style and personality, as well as the incredible pressure he has faced throughout his career. Fedegraphica is an essential read for any tennis fan, and it provides an intimate look at one of the game’s true legends.
In her new autobiography, “Unstoppable: My Life So Far,” Maria Sharapova chronicles her extraordinary career, from her humble beginnings in Siberia to her improbable rise to the top of the tennis world.
Sharapova writes with honesty and insight about the ups and downs of her life, offering readers an intimate look at her drive and determination.
With her trademark wit and humor, Sharapova takes readers on a captivating journey through her life and career, culminating in her stunning victory at Wimbledon in 2004. “Unstoppable” is an inspiring story of grit and grace from one of the most iconic athletes of our generation.
David Foster Wallace’s String Theory is a book about the psychological aspects of tennis. David Foster Wallace, a former professional tennis player, uses his experience to explore the mental game of tennis. He delves into topics such as concentration, anxiety, and self-doubt.
The book is informative and engaging, offering valuable insights for tennis players and coaches. While some concepts may be challenging to grasp, String Theory is a well-written and informative book about tennis psychology.
Knowing the Score
In her new autobiography, Knowing the Score, Judy Murray lifts the lid on her extraordinary life in tennis. From her early days as a driven youngster determined to make it to the top to her years as a tennis coach nurturing the talents of Andy and Jamie Murray, Judy has always had a passion for the game. In this candid and revealing book, she discusses the highs and lows of her career, including the heartbreak of missing out on Wimbledon glory and the enormous pride she feels in her son’s achievements.
She also offers an insight into the notoriously competitive world of professional tennis, sharing stories of some of the biggest names in the sport. Knowing the Score is a must-read for anyone interested in tennis or the ambition to succeed in any field. It is an inspiring story of one woman’s dedication to her sport and her family, told with humor and honesty.
Chasing Points is a must-read for anyone who has dreamed of playing professional tennis. Gregory Howe didn’t start his pro career until he was 34 years old, and he chronicles his journey through the lowest levels of tennis competition in his book.
Through his stories, readers get an insight into what it’s like to be a professional tennis player, from the long hours on the road to the mental and physical challenges of the sport. Perhaps most importantly, Howe provides useful advice for aspiring tennis professionals, sharing what he wishes he had known when starting. Chasing Points is an essential read whether you’re a casual fan or a future pro.
Serve to Win
In “Serve to Win,” tennis superstar Novak Djokovic shares the gluten-free diet plan that helped him achieve unimagined success on the tennis court. The book introduces the basics of a gluten-free diet, including foods to eat and avoid. Djokovic then outlines his 14-day plan to help readers gradually transition to a gluten-free diet.
The plan includes breakfast, lunch, dinner recipes, snacks, and dessert options. In addition, Djokovic includes helpful tips on dining out and staying on track when traveling.
Whether a casual tennis fan or a hardcore competitor, “Serve to Win” is an essential read for anyone interested in improving their physical and mental performance and a better game overall.
A Champion’s Mind
In his autobiography, Pete Sampras shares the insights and advice that allowed him to become one of the greatest tennis players.
Filled with personal anecdotes and stories from professional tennis, the tennis book offers valuable tennis lessons on everything from dealing with nerves to staying focused in facing adversity.
In addition, Sampras provides an inside look at the mental game, offering readers a rare glimpse into the mind of a tennis champion. Whether you’re a tennis fan or simply looking for inspiration, A Champion’s Mind is sure to provide plenty of food for thought.
Jimmy Connors’ autobiography, “The Outsider: A Memoir,” is a candid and fascinating look at the life of one of tennis’ most successful – and controversial – players. In it, Connors pulls no punches, recounting his upbringing in a tough East St. Louis neighborhood, his early days on the tennis circuit, and his tumultuous relationship with his father.
Connors takes readers behind the scenes of his storied career, from his early days as a brash up-and-comer to his reign as the world’s No. 1 player. Along the way, he opens up about his relationships with some of tennis’ biggest names, including John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg. “The Outsider” is an unforgettable memoir from one of tennis’ most colorful characters.
Days of Grace
In his memoir, Arthur Ashe candidly describes his life as a professional tennis player, from his early days on the court to his last days battling AIDS.
Throughout the book, Ashe offers insights into his motivations for playing the game, his relationships with other tennis players, and his challenges on and off the court.
He also discusses the politics of race and sports and how he used his platform to advocate for social justice. Days of Grace is an intimate portrait of a remarkable man and an inspiring story of courage in facing adversity.
Billie Jean King
In her autobiography, “All In,” Billie Jean King chronicles her journey to becoming one of the most successful athletes in history. Raised in Long Beach, California, King began playing tennis early and quickly developed a passion for the sport.
As a young girl, she endured racism and sexism on and off the court, but she used these experiences to fuel her drive to succeed. In 1973, she defeated Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes” match, cementing her reputation as a champion of gender equality. Throughout her career, King won 39 Grand Slam titles, including 12 singles titles, 16 doubles titles, and 11 mixed doubles titles.
She was also a driving force behind the establishment of the Women’s Tennis Association and the creation of the Virginia Slims Series. In 2009, she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Today, King remains an active voice in the fight for gender equality in all areas of society.
Few athletes are as revered as tennis legend Roger Federer. In his new book, “The Master: The Long Run and Beautiful Tennis Game of Roger Federer,” Christopher Clarey chronicles the tennis star’s incredible career, from his early days on the court to his domination of the sport in the 2000s.
Clarey paints a portrait of a disciplined and talented athlete who has brought joy to millions of sports fans worldwide with otherworldly tennis skills. With its insights into Federer’s character and competitive drive, “The Master” is a must-read for any tennis fan or anyone interested in the story of one of the greatest athletes of our time.
The Mind of a Tennis Player
As any tennis player knows, the mental game is just as important as the physical one. That’s why The Mind of a Tennis Player by Steven Brady is an essential guide for anyone looking to up their game.
Brady, who spent over four decades helping pro tennis players with the mental side of their game, uses all of his experience to help readers overcome issues like fragile confidence, the tension of competition, and the fear of losing.
Whether you’re an amateur player who just wants to be more competitive at your local court or preparing to compete in tennis tournaments, this book can help you take your game to the next level. So if you want to improve your Mental Tennis game, pick up a copy of The Mind of a Tennis Player today!
Getting a Grip
Monica Seles’s book, Getting a Grip: On My Body, My Mind, My Self, is a candid and insightful look at her life and career. Seles, best known for her remarkable tennis accomplishments, opens up about her battle with an eating disorder and her journey to recovery.
In addition to discussing her struggles, Seles also offers advice and guidance to readers who may be facing similar challenges. With its mix of hard-won wisdom and humor, Getting a Grip is an inspiring and empowering read.
In a sport dominated by men, Serena Williams has carved out a place for herself as one of the greatest tennis players of all time. This biography tells the story of her early life and career, from her debut at the U.S. Open in 1999 to her present-day dominance on the court.
Readers learn about her dedication to the sport, her competitive rivalry with other top tennis professionals, and her astonishing achievements on and off the court. With over one hundred seventy pages of informative and inspiring writing, this Serena Williams book is a must-read for any winning tennis fan.
Roger is one of the most successful tennis players of all time. He has won 20 Grand Slam titles and has been ranked as the world’s No. 1 player on numerous occasions. But Federer is more than just a phenomenal athlete – he is also a great Enthusiast and philanthropist.
Through interviews and articles, philanthropists and readers are given a unique insight into the tennis star’s personality. Graf paints a picture of a man who is not only an incredible player but also a down-to-earth, humble person who is passionate about his sport and giving back to others.
If you’re a Federer fan or want to learn more about one of our time’s greatest tennis gods, this book is worth checking out.
Coaching For Life
In his book Coaching For Life: A Guide to Playing, Thinking and Being the Best You Can Be, Paul Annacone offers readers a candid look at what it takes to be a successful athlete.
Drawing on his experience as a tennis coach for Federer and Sampras, Annacone provides readers with an inside look at the mindset of some of the greatest players in the game.
In addition to offering useful insights into the world of tennis, Annacone also provides readers tips for transferring the skills learned on the court to other areas of their lives. As a result, Coaching For Life is an essential read for anyone looking to improve their game, both on and off the court.
In his autobiography, “The Player”, Boris Becker talks about his long and successful career in professional tennis. He covers everything from his early days as a 17-year-old Wimbledon champion to his more recent battles with pills and alcohol.
Throughout the book, Becker is open and candid about his personal life and experiences, giving readers an intimate look at the man behind the headlines. Although he is no longer actively playing tennis, Becker’s story is sure to interest and inspire any fan of the sport.
James Blake’s autobiography, Breaking Back, is the inspiring story of his battle to become the world’s best tennis player. Despite having the skill and drive to succeed, Blake faced a series of setbacks that threatened to derail his career.
However, he never lost faith in himself, and his perseverance paid off in the end. Blake’s story is a testament to the power of determination and serves as an inspiration to anyone who faces adversity.
As a tennis coach, I found Patrick’s book very inspiring as he touches on inner thoughts and tough decisions a coach has to make in a very difficult environment of professional tennis.
Another aspect is that Patrick did not play tennis himself professionally, and in his book, he shares his journey of making himself the coach and the man he is now.
In addition, his book is completely different from autobiographies of ex-players and tennis legends. I believe this book can truly reveal what goes into the making of a tennis player.
Strokes Of Genius
This book weaves together the lives of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal and their epic 2008 Wimbledon final – an extraordinary battle so close and symbolic of their competitive balance that, in the end, the ultimate winner was the game itself.
Jon Wertheim recreates this historic match in vivid, intimate detail and a portrayal of a rivalry as spectacular as Ali-Frazier, Palmer-Nicklaus, and McEnroe-Borg.
Tennis books can be helpful for tennis lovers and players, whether you just love the sport or seek something to do while you aren’t on the center court. It is hardly surprising that tennis books of all kinds are abundant in bookstores, given the sport’s popularity.
Selecting the best tennis book with so many biographies, instruction manuals, history materials, and even fiction novels can be challenging. All of the best tennis books mentioned above are excellent choices. Enjoy your read!
Also, check out our article on the Best Tennis Gifts if you are interested in surprising a loved one with a truly unique gift.
Christoph Friedrich is a German tennis player and coach currently residing in Oakland, California. He began his tennis journey at the age of eight and has since dedicated his life to the sport. After working as a tennis coach and hitting partner in New York City for eight years, Christoph decided to share his knowledge and experience with tennis players around the world by creating the My Tennis Expert blog. His goal is to make tennis education accessible to everyone and help players select the best equipment for their game, from racquets and strings to shoes and overgrips. Christoph's extensive research and expertise in tennis technology make him a valuable resource for players of all levels.