Patrick McEnroe's Hardcourt Confidential came out last summer, right around Wimbledon as I recall. I was excited to read it because I think McEnroe is a great ESPN commentator. He knows most of the major players, both young and old, has been on the Tour himself, and played in enough Slams to give some real insight into what's happening on court.
So here's my personal take on this – I am pretty clueless about what has been going on in the world of professional tennis beyond the last 5 or so years. I just wasn't paying attention when the US men won the Davis Cup in 2007 and certainly didn't keep up with John McEnroe's tantrums, Jimmy Connors' renaissance or the self-destruction of Vitas Gerulaitis. McEnroe goes into all of that and thus Hardcourt Confidential was, for me at least, interesting and insightful. Frankly, I like hearing what it took to get Andre Agassi to play Davis Cup. And I really was surprised to hear about Pete Sampras' gambling and cheapness. The only drawback to me – I think this is the kind of book McEnroe should have taken on 15 to 20 years from now – when he's in the sunset of his tennis/sportscasting career and wouldn't have to worry about stepping on toes. I don't know that he was worried about that but, he's in his ESPN prime, so he must be, right?
This isn't a book about how to survive the pro Tour. And it isn't a book revealing any deep, dark McEnroe family secrets. But its a great book to read during a Slam when Patrick McEnroe is commentating because it explains a lot about what it took for him to get to where he is today. The French Open is not too far down the road – this might be a good time to pick up a copy of Hardcourt Confidential and prepare yourself to enjoy that next Slam.
And – if you're interested in possibly getting yourself a FREE copy of Hardcourt Confidential, be sure and enter the Tennis Fixation giveaway where we're giving away a copy of this book. To enter, leave a comment on this post. For more entries (and all of the details), just click on this post: Happy 300th Tennis Fixation Post and Giveaway!