5 books for tennis fans

Literature to get you in a tennis state of mind.

Open by Andre Agassi

As the title suggests, Open is a searingly honest account of Andre Agassi’s tennis career, revealing his love-hate relationship with the game, his rigorous training and his struggles and comebacks on and off the court. From a rebellious 16 year old to winning Grand Slams to becoming the oldest man ever ranked number one, Agassi brings to life some of his most pivotal tennis matches and the personal battles fought with his own loss of self-confidence. As much as it is a sports memoir, it’s a story of a man falling and getting back up again, told with courage and clarity.

The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance by W. Timothy Gallwey

“Every game is composed of two parts, an outer game and an inner game.” This inner game, W. Timothy Gallwey says in his 1972 classic, is the one played inside your head, against the self-doubt, nerves, and lapses of concentration that stop you from playing your best. The Inner Game of Tennis became a bestseller long before sports psychology existed – many pro tennis champs have cited it as changing the way they play, and Billie Jean King called it her ‘bible.’ The new edition refines Gallwey’s insights and theories on concentration, awareness, gamesmanship, breaking bad habits and learning to trust yourself on court, providing strategies grounded in zen thinking that help you to overcome interfering thoughts and just play good tennis.

A Terrible Splendor by Marshall Jon Fisher

Take a courtside seat at one of the most thrilling and significant tennis matches ever played. In 1937, on the brink of WWII, Don Budge faced off against Baron Gottfried von Cramm for the 1937 Davis Cup in an intense deciding match on the hallowed Centre Court at Wimbledon. It was a fight between the world’s number one player and the world’s number two, and for von Cramm the stakes were particularly high – it was his sporting success that was keeping him safe from the Nazis. A Terrible Splendor moves between a play-by-play account of the match and the events leading Germany, Britain and America into war, blending the social significance of the sport with international drama.

Handful of Summers by Gordon Forbes

If you want an inside glimpse of life on the international tennis circuit during the 50s and 60s, this witty and memorable cult classic is the book for you. South African former tennis pro Gordon Forbes looks back with laughter on his life shared with world-class players, at a time where the likes of Fred Perry, Roy Emerson, Lew Hoad, Tony Trabert, Rod Laver and Virginia Wade ruled the courts. It’s a coming of age story, tracing Forbes’ path from childhood on a farm in South Africa, where he learned to play tennis on a gravel court, to travelling the world with his long-time tennis partner Abe Segal. More than the game itself, A Handful of Summers recalls the antics and escapades of the players off the court, providing a warm account of life in the pre-Open era.

Rod Laver: A Memoir by Rod Laver

From one of Australia’s most revered sporting champions comes a moving new memoir, tracing the journey of a country boy from Rockhampton to unparalleled Grand Slam success. Rod Laver was a power force in tennis for two decades, and he recalls in vivid detail the challenges, victories, great players and incredible matches along the way. It’s a nostalgic trip through the life of one of the world’s best tennis players and provides a thrilling snapshot of the golden era of Australian tennis. Laver also reflects on some of his major off-court life events – suffering a stroke in 1998, and losing his beloved wife Mary in 2012 among the most poignant – bringing a deeply personal touch to a story of remarkable sporting achievement.

What’s your favourite tennis book? Tell us using #GenBetter

Recommended reading - Mindfulness

Experts

10 things you need to know about the mind

Psychologist Emily Toner takes us inside this mysterious mass of nerves and fibres in our heads.

Read more
Advice

10 ways to bring mindfulness into your day

Mindfulness isn’t just about meditation – here’s how to incorporate the art into your everyday life.

Read more
Guides

4 calming mindfulness apps

Meditation can be intimidating – but these apps make developing a daily practice a breeze.

Read more
Community

5 tips for mindfulness at work

How the practice of mindfulness can introduce awareness and acceptance to our workplace.

Read more
Lifestyle

6 essential apps for mind and body

Want to fuel your body, reach those targets and tune your mind? Let these apps sweat it out for you.

Read more
Advice

10 best mental health apps

Top apps for managing anxiety, boosting your mood and checking in with your mental wellbeing.

Read more
Lifestyle

10 fitness and wellbeing podcasts to get you inspired

Supercharge your motivation, learn something new, and be entertained with uplifting health podcasts.

Read more
Community

Capturing mindfulness

Pairing mindfulness with photography to become ‘photopresent’.

Read more
Community

Clear the mind, tone the body with reformer pilates

How reformer pilates can help you get long and lean – and move better every day.

Read more
Community

Free mindfulness training for groups

Build happier and healthier workplaces, classes, teams or groups with a free Smiling Mind program.

Read more
Experts

Flowing vitality: The Chinese medicine approach to exercise

How to balance gentle movement and intense exercise for energy, flow and nourishment.

Read more
Experts

Exercise for mental health treatment

Anxiety and depression can be exhausting, but exercise is one fantastic way of fighting back.

Read more
Community

Happy Melon Studios: Mindfulness meets exercise

Discover the yoga, pilates and meditation centre Happy Melon Studios.

Read more
Advice

How mindfulness makes you calm, clear and focused

Ready to silence your mind, untangle your nerves, and really connect with your world? Here's how.

Read more
Guides

How to be mindful at work

Soothe those office stresses and connect with coworkers to create a fulfilling work environment.

Read more
Community

How happy is your melon?

Follow yoga teacher Masha Gorodilova in the journey into the art of yoga and mindfulness meditation.

Read more
Experts

How to build mental resilience

Life has a habit of testing our limits - mental resilience is your chance to bounce back.

Read more
Travel

Mind, body and soul in Tasmania

Regular mini breaks can be a refreshing, cost-effective way to recharge.

Read more
Community

MindBodySpirit Festival

Find inner balance at Australia’s largest health, wellbeing and natural therapies event.

Read more
Advice

Mindful eating

Slow down your eating and really experience the flavours, textures and sensations.

Read more
Guides

Mindful in May

The true definition of a win/win: your daily meditation providing clean water for those in need.

Read more
Advice

Mindfulness in tennis

Play better by bringing your attention to the present moment.

Read more
Community

Mobile mindfulness

We look at how technology, meditation and mindfulness can work together.

Read more
In Brief

SAFEMinds for youth mental health

Helping equip parents and teachers to provide better support for young people who may be struggling.

Read more
Community

Smiling Mind: Mindfulness made easy

Making mindfulness meditation free, Smiling Mind improves the mental wellbeing of young Australians

Read more
Advice

Stephanie Rice on mindfulness and clarity

The Olympic superstar shares the clarifying influence of meditation on life in and out of the pool.

Read more
Guides

The art of mindfulness meditation

The General Manager of Smiling Mind shares how mindfulness meditation improves mental wellbeing

Read more
Community

Wayapa: Mindfulness and movement

Based on traditional Aboriginal teachings, this wellbeing practice encourages deep connection.

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.