Friday, June 14, 2013

Tennis, Anyone?

Jimmy Connors isn't a tennis player I remember following when I was a kid, but his name is a part of the group of players I recall watching while growing up. Each summer I found a way to lounge around on the couch while watching Wimbledon.  Although I don't know the big names in tennis anymore (at least most of them), I love watching the sport, and credit my viewing in the 80s with this interest.

The Outsider is Jimmy Connors memoir - a blunt and honest account of his tennis career along with memories of childhood, his marriage, and anything else Connors feels the need to share.  Connors isn't a player I knew much about before reading his memoir, but even though my information was scant, I did recognize him as a somewhat controversial player.  Connors doesn't shy away from that reputation.  He acknowledges his temper and tumultuous relationship with John McEnroe, one of his rivals.  And, Connors is even willing to share about his own missteps with his wife, taking full responsibility for cheating on his wife early in their marriage.

I ended reading The Outsider knowing a whole lot more about Connors than I did before reading, and also liking him.  Reading The Outsider helped round out my tennis memoir collection a bit.  Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, and John McEnroe have written memoirs I have previously enjoyed.  And, my favorite rivalry between Chris Evert Lloyd and Martina Navratilova has already been written about in The Rivals by Johnette Howard.  With Connors' memoir, I once again feel ready to take up my spot on the couch and enjoy watching a bit of Wimbledon tennis.

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