Comments from the Experts
|The players capture and contain our attention as in no other sporting
event. Within the limited space defined by a single tennis court, the infinite
possibilities of skill and strategy, power and persistence, make major matches between top
flight competitors unique and, at their best, historic.
The final scores do not fully convey the inherent drama when remarkable athletic ability and psychological undercurrents are brought to the tennis court in a confrontation between talented players. The mental calculation, the probing for weakness, and physical stamina, are tested on surfaces that vary, before audiences that may be partisan, and in weather that can confound both predictions and outcomes. The game has evolved from a genteel pastime for the wealthy into an international professional sport with high stakes and fierce composition.
Author and tennis historian Steve Flink has examined the developing nature of the game as it became a popular amateur sport, and then inexorably entered the realm of professional sports with its large spectator facilities, television coverage, and big purses.
Flink has illuminated that evolution by selecting thirty supremely interesting and consequential matches played by both men and women over the course of the twentieth century. He presents them chronologically and provides an in-depth description of each match, including what happened to the adversaries before and after the event.
Flink, in his introduction, tells us how and why he made his choices. In his match narratives, he provides the background and preparation of each combatant. The reader will become part of the audience, and will learn how the outcomes depended upon key points shaped by intuitive intelligence, along with physical strength and agility. His comprehensive accounts produce both depth and excitement.
About the Author
Steve Flink was the editor of "World Tennis Magazine," where he worked from 1974-91. Currently a senior correspondent for "Tennis Week," he has covered the French Open and Wimbledon for CBS Radio since 1982, and has appeared as a television commentator on cable networks over the years. He was present for 32 of the last 35 Wimbledons of the century, and missed only one U.S. Open in that span.