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You Can Quote Me on That
( Photo credit: Art Seitz ©2009 )
Paul Fein's "You Can Quote Me On That," isn't a classic page-turner, full of
mystery, plot and intrigue. It's just what it sounds like -- a collection of
quotes about tennis.
Although it consists of 35 chapters, a necessity for organizing the vast
material, I still found it difficult to stop when reaching a chapter's
Under the chapter entitled "The Feminine Mystique" for example, Fein ends with a
quote from Anna Kournikova saying:
"You cannot just be a great tennis player, or just be a beautiful person anymore
to succeed in the game. You have to have it all, the talent, the looks, the
brains and the drive."
The next chapter, "Paeans To the Champions," starts with this praise for Pete Sampras from Jim Courier:
"He can hit shots the rest of us can't hit and don't even think of hitting."
And then continues as Becker, Agassi, McEnroe and Emerson assess Pete's standing
in the tennis pantheon.
What makes the book more than a sum of its considerable parts is the sense of
history that pervades it. Nineteen twenties star Bill Tilden, who wrote several
books on tennis, is quoted regularly, and we hear from Jack Kramer on early
professional men's tennis, Bille Jean King on the struggles of the women's tour,
Arthur Ashe on the class and race barriers, Martina Navratilova on sexual
orientation. Not to mention Gussie Moran's panties and Suzanne Lenglen's rock
star status in the 20s.
It's a whirlwind tour of tennis history in doses as small or large as you like,
and it's also a reminder that the more tennis changes, the more it stays the
I'll close with two of my favorite quotes:
"Under these absurd and antiquated amateur rules, only a wealthy person can
compete, and the fact of the matter is that only wealthy people do compete. Is that fair? Does it
advance the sport? Does it makes tennis more popular - or does it tend to
suppress and hinder an enormous amount of tennis talent lying dormant in the
bodies of young men and women whose names are not in the social register."
"Certainly there does not appear to be anything much wrong with the game of
tennis itself, although proposals for changing it always are with us. There has
been little change since the rules were settled upon and possibly improvement
can be had by changing some rules, but a game so stylized as tennis should be
treated with great restraint. One of the things wrong may be that so many people
keep trying to alter it to suit other people who do not really play it."
The first quote is from Suzanne Lenglen, circa 1920s; the second from
distinguished sportswriter Al Laney in 1968.
-Freelance tennis writer Colette Lewis
has covered topflight college and junior events for
The Tennis Channel, Smash Magazine, Tennis
Magazine, and The Tennis Recruiting Network. She serves
as editor of the USTA Boys 18s & 16s National Championships'
website in her hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan, and
maintains a website devoted to college and junior tennis
"People do say the funniest things, and
tennis players are no different from anyone else in
this respect. Paul Fein, author of the highly entertaining
Tennis Confidential, has come up with a simple idea
that really works. He has brought together memorable
quotes from big names in tennis down the years. Grouping
them by subjects such as women's tennis, Wimbledon and
sniping at fellow players ('Nothing Personal'), the
result is an amusing and revealing guided tour of the
tennis world through the words of its leading figures.
The obvious quotes, such as Richard Krajicek's chauvinistic
remarks about women players, and a plethora of McEnroe
musings, are backed up by more obscure but enlightening
insights on all aspects of tennis. Paul Fein has provided
an index which covers both the people quoted and the
subjects of their words of wisdom, so readers can easily
seek out those classic foot-in-mouth moments. Perhaps
the book could have been more lavishly illustrated,
but with such colourful remarks as these maybe Fein
felt there was no need."
-ACE, the UK's leading tennis magazine
"Paul Fein's book, You Can Quote Me On That, will be an amusing read for any tennis fan interested in great quips, zingers, and even insights."
-Peter Bodo, on www.peterbodosTENNISworld.com
"You Can Quote Me on That, by
Paul Fein, a new tennis book, contains almost 1,700
tennis quotes in 35 chapters, or categories. What's
fun about this book is that even though it's only quotes,
it really ends up telling stories of various players
and issues; it informs as well as entertains. On women
players, there are quotes from Bill Tilden saying in
the 1920s ("I have never believed a woman can successfully
play the net.") and Arthur Ashe from 1970 ("Women's
tennis won't draw flies.") Other quotes show how
players have handled fame, where they stand on various
issues, their playing style and other things. Fein,
who also wrote Tennis Confidential, is an award-winning
tennis journalist. Many of the quotes in the book are
from his own interviews."
-Ann LoPrinzi, Tennis Columnist,
"If you haven't already read Paul Fein's
latest book, You Can Quote Me on That: Greatest Tennis
Quips, Insights, and Zingers, check it out. Paul
has given us not only what's in the minds of players
off the court, but what their emotions and thoughts
are when they're playing. Among the quotes is a fellow
Frog Island Tennis Club member: 'I don't know that I
changed all that much. They just found someone worse.'
-Jimmy Connors, referring to John McEnroe. Paul says
he 'tried to make the book as substantive, authoritative
and historical as possible, while also striving to make
it entertaining.' Get a copy-it's worth it."
-John Powless, President, Super Senior Tennis
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