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Hard Courts: Real Life on the Professional Tennis Tours
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Hard Courts: Real Life on the Professional Tennis Tours

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  178 ratings  ·  14 reviews
The new edition of this bestseller in hardcover features never-before-published, all-new inside info on the money, personalities and politics of pro-tennis: Jimmy, Monica, Boris, Martina, et al. Now in paper.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
ebook, 471 pages
Published August 17th 2011 by Villard (first published June 26th 1991)
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I expected this book -- an examination of the 1990 pro tennis season -- to be dated, but though the names have changed the behind-the-scenes games certainly seem relevant. A fascinating and excellent look at the sport, the tournaments, the people and the game itself.
Holly Cline
This is a really good look at the world of the professional tennis tour. Other than the Grand Slams, tennis is pretty much off the radar the rest of the year, and this provides a nice picture of the entire tour.

What helps to elevate this book is the fact that 1990 was such a turning point for the sport even though no one knew it at the time. We now know what happens to Jennifer Capriati (this was her first year on the tour as a brand new 14 year old). We know what Pete Sampras goes on to become.
Brian Wadman
The story of the 1990 Tennis tour. A forgettable read, truly a summer beach book.
The writing of the book was disappointing. I had heard of this Feinstein guy, I may have even read of one of his previous books. He is a Duke guy, who has made a living writing semi-controversial insider looks at the sports leagues he is familiar with (PGA tour, ACC basketball, college hoops) He also wrote the Punch, creating some 300 pages about the effect this punch had on the NBA, Rudy Tomjanovich and Kermit W
To read about the 1990 professional tennis tour in 2013 is like sitting thru history class. Some of the things I do remember and some I don't. Still it was interesting to read about Jennifer Capriati's beginnings, before the drug problems and then the return after the drug problems. Having read Andre Agassi's autobiography, it was interesting to get another point of view from that time period. I am a tennis fan so I'm a bit lenient on my grade of this book. Some people may find the chapters abou ...more
Lucy Montgomery
Hard Courts is a difficult book to rate/review. For the tennis fan, it provides an excellent look inside the world of professional tennis, and a unique perspective on the players, particularly several young ones whose trajectory following the period (1990) covered by the book is well-known. I also found having an insider view on the tennis governing organizations, tournaments, agents and others not usually covered by the tennis press (or by the many player autobiographies I've read) quite intere ...more
I love John Feinstein, but I was pretty disappointed in this book. It's too long, by at least 60 pages. And he tells the same stories (with some of the same quotes!) over and over. It's weird to be reading a book and think, Hey John, you already told that story when we talked about the French Open. Hey John, you just told that story 40 pages ago.

Maybe a failing of the editor? But I also sense that maybe Feinstein just loves tennis too much to be a good writer about it. As far as I know, this is
I do love sports books, especially those that take you through a season or with a team. And this book certainly does that. It focuses on the early 90s when McEnroe was still around, Agassi was nothing but a spoiled brat and Sampras was just beginning to make a name for himself. Since I got into tennis around this time, I found it particularly interesting. A bit long at times, but a nice rendering of both the stars' lives and the ones just trying to make a living playing a game.
This is an interesting take on a year on the tennis tour, but Feinstein's approach is not as successful with this sport as it was with some of his other books. Also, Feinstein gives obviously preferential treatment to the people who took the time to talk with him.

The book is also quite dated, but it is a valuable look at the inner workings of the tennis tour in the late 80's/early 90's.
Galen Johnson
A non-fiction account of a year on the men’s and women’s professional tennis tour, examining the characters that play, the politics behind the tour’s management, and the results of the tournaments.

Interesting; kind of confined by the season into somewhat sporadic story-telling, but for anyone vaguely interested in the tennis tour it is worth reading for the background.
Drew Danko
If you are a tennis fan and like behind the scenes reporting like John Feinstein does it, you should enjoy this book. The professional tennis scene is covered during the late 80's and early 90's. You learn about various players personalities, the agents,the tournaments, the political infighting,etc.
One of my favorite reads ever. Loved the pacing, loved the mix of personality and scenery and behind-the-scenes underbelly. Exhaustive but a lot of fun, always recommend it first to any tennis fan.
Rey Dekker
...another insider book, tennis this time...pretty amazing when you know what goes on behind the curtain...
Unfortunately the book is dated now, but for tennis fans it provides a good look at the inside of the tour.
I read this in the early 90s when I was around 14. Loved it.
Lilyleia78 marked it as to-read
Jan 10, 2015
Patti Turner
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John Feinstein is one of the nation’s most successful and prolific sports authors who has written 24 books to date. His most recent work Are You Kidding Me? , written with Rocco Mediate, was released on May 18, 2009, and is presently on the shelf at bookstores everywhere. In addition, he is an award-winning columnist and regular contributor in both radio and television.

John Feinstein is a 1977 gr
More about John Feinstein...
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