Archive for the ‘publishing’ Category

i think i mallorcan: the rafa nadal story

May 11, 2009

Isn’t it a little too soon for the 22-year-old Nadal to be writing (or even shopping around) a memoir? Discuss.

(Thanks, Chris)


required reading: tennishead magazine

January 23, 2009


It brought a smile to our face that the smart and sleek Tennishead, whose photographers helped us snag a pic of Masha’s 2008 French Open warmup jacket, has launched the premiere issue of its ezine. It’s a mix of great photos, videos, quotes, news bits, and gear roundups (this issue has a focus on adidas spring 2009).

Easy on the eyes and easy to consume. This is what TSF wants to be when we grow up.

Best of luck to you and your gang, Lee Goodall!

books: any BJK fans out there? + the tennis olympic book is not available for sale :(

August 12, 2008

The Borders Columbus Circle will hold a discussion/book signing with Billie Jean King next week. In her new book, Pressure is a Privilege, the tennis legend shares life sessons that led to her success in the Battle of the Sexes match, in sports, and in the world at large. Heck, she got a tennis complex named after her; she has to be doing something right!

Deets: Billie Jean King discussion and book signing for Pressure is a Privilege (Lifetime Media Inc., $19.95) on Tuesday, August 19 at 7pm.; Borders Columbus Circle in the Time Warner Center; 212.823.9775.

That sexy tennis photobook that the ITF published in time for the Beijing Olympics is not for sale. A limited number of books were produced as a media gift and that’s about it.

tennis’ journey to beijing

August 5, 2008

The ITF has published Journey to Beijing: Tennis celebrates the Olympics on the heels of the sport’s participation in its sixth Olympics (since returning to the roster in 1988). Over 40 of the world’s leading tennis players took part in the ITF project to help promote the 2008 Beijing Olympic Tennis Event.

The 140-page publication features a series of specially commissioned photographs of the game’s top names dressed as athletes from other summer or winter Olympic sports. The players also give an insight into the part the Olympics has played in their lives, with a series of exclusive interviews looking at their childhood memories, previous Olympic appearances and ambitions for this summer’s Games.

Among the 44 players represented in the book are Roger Federer as a fencer and Ana Ivanovic playing beach volleyball (both shot in Miami). Rafa posed as a soccer player in Shanghai, while Nole‘s indoor ski adventures in Dubai also got some print space.

Maria Sharapova (figure skater), Serena (rythmic gymnast), Massu/Gonzo (marathoners) also posed for the book.

Browse: The e-version of the book can be seen here.

More pics: And in case you just want to see some highlights, click here…

german loosens roger’s lips

September 10, 2007

After Roger’s most recent U.S. Open win — his 12th Grand Slam title — we check back in with Rene Stauffer, who penned an unofficial biography of Roger Federer entitled Quest for Perfection: The Roger Federer Story. (If you remember, we first talked to him prior to the book’s English-language release).

In the Q&A below, Stauffer comments on Roger’s spicier German-language press conferences, his revolving door of coaches, his absence in Davis Cup ties, and what it’s like to write a biography of someone who is still rewriting tennis history.

Rene Stauffer after the cut…

lacoste and roddick vs. nike and darth federer

September 4, 2007

Texan Andy Roddick heads into his U.S. Open quarterfinal match against Roger Federer with a 1-13 losing record.

This week, Andy added a darker version (above) of his Lacoste Short Block Polo. I prefer this colorway over the white version he debuted earlier this fall. If Roger wears his “Darth Federer” get-up to the quarters, it’ll be an all-black affair.

Flashback: The two last met at the semis of the Aussie Open, with Roger emerging victorious with a 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 win (in 83 minutes). After the win, Mirka went up to the World No. 1 and said, “Darling, you are a maniac.” Haha, I can’t picture her saying that. (quote from Quest for Perfection: The Roger Federer Story; New Chapter Press, $24.95)

Other Lacoste: The French clothier don’t exactly innovate with their clothes, but we liked what we saw:

Richard Gasquet got his own shirt.

While Michael Llodra, Edouard Roger-Vasselin, and Sebastien Grosjean all wore the standard issue. (If Nike‘s looked like this, none of us would be griping, right?)

On the women’s side, Alize Cornet, Tatiana Golovin, Emilie Loit, and Camille Pin all competed in pieces from the polka-dotted and cerise-themed Fall ’07 Women’s Sport collection.

What do you think of Lacoste’s U.S. Open clothes? Tell us!

>> TSF’s u.s. open coverage

making the cut

August 28, 2007

Michael Shaw shares his memories of the U.S. Open’s qualifying tournament

Ten years ago, Aussie Pat Rafter won the U.S. Open men’s title, defeating Canadian-turned-Brit Greg Rusedski in four sets. Though Rafter was known as a very talented player and received ample attention going into the Open that year, he certainly wasn’t among the favorites. Frequently self-aggrandizing commentator John McEnroe made the mistake of calling Rafter a “one slam wonder” after his win. Rafter responded by dominating the following year’s summer hardcourt season, taking titles in Montreal and Cincinnati before winning his second Open title (over Mark Philippoussis). As it turned out, those two U.S. Opens were Rafter’s only slams, though he did make the finals of Wimbledon, also in consecutive years. This past summer he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

As the landscape of the game has shifted over the last decade, it’s highly plausible that Rafter will be the last unheralded player to win a men’s slam title. OK — if not that, then at least the last winner of a Slam who had at some point in his career played in the qualifying of the same event. In 1993, during Rafter’s first year with a full schedule on the tour (he turned pro in 1991), I was able to see him play the qualies — the tournament of 128 players competing for 16 spots in a tournament’s “main draw”.


masha bits, althea gibson’s book, rip brooke astor

August 14, 2007

Chernobyl to get a visit: After getting a surprise from some Russian children at the Acura Classic (above), Maria Sharapova plans to return the favor by visiting Chernobyl — as a U.N. ambassador — sometime after next year’s Wimbledon. (IHT)

The grunting stays out of the bedroom: Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, who had a brief romance with Masha after her 18th birthday, reveals why they broke up. Apparently, the “Shriekapova”, as DTL calls her, is totally silent in bed! (Fact or not, this made me chuckle…)

“She wouldn’t make any noise during sex…said. “I can’t tell you how disappointed I was. I really thought, like a lot of guys, that she’d be the loud screaming type. But instead, she just lay there like a dead frog. She even got angry if I started to moan, said it ‘ruined her concentration.’ It was so disillusioning that I went on Paxil for a month afterwards. Really, it was much more of a shock than when I found out there’s no such thing as the Easter Bunny.” (The eXile)

Althea Gibson gets her due: While she may have gotten left out of Venus‘ acceptance speech at this year’s Wimbledon, tennis pioneer Althea Gibson gets her due with Sue Stauffacher’s Nothing but Trouble: The Story of Althea Gibson. The author chose to write about a great athlete with a compelling story: “Given all our American history, I would guess that most kids in the United States haven’t heard about Althea Gibson,” she said. “I’m 45 and I can talk to people my age, and they’ve never heard of her.” (Knopf, $16.99, Buy.)

RIP: New York philantropist and socialite Brooke Astor died yesterday. She was 105.

short balls: haas canoodles, blake dishes, tursunov makes a plea

July 19, 2007

From the sidelines: Yep, that’s German Tommy Haas at last night’s match between Safin and Bastl at UCLA. Haas isn’t defending his Countrywide Classic title due to a shoulder injury. He’s nursing it with some lovin’ from…Sandy Woelden? …Sara Foster? Who is it? (Thanks for the photo, Chris.)

Glowing shuttlecocks!: While night tennis might have failed, everyone’s a-ravin’ about Blackminton.

Bollietteri’s New York outpost: He’s joining the staff at CityView Racquet Club, the newest addition to NYC’s tennis scene. Now accepting applications, the club will have valet parking, limo service, and a tiny membership — which’ll guarantee you a court when you want one. (via UrbanDaddy NYC)

Tursunov rallies for support: At a tournament overshadowed by the arrival of Becks, Norcal-based Dmitry Tursunov makes a plea to his fellow players: promote the sport any way they can, be a little friendlier with the fans, and do things to keep them coming back.

Revealing the secrets of celebrity: You want to become the next Anna Kournikova? Follow this L.A.-based agent’s instructions.

Tennis non-whites: The New York Times Book Review wrote up James Blake‘s Breaking Back and Charging the Net by Cecil Harris and Larryette Kyle-DeBose. While Blake doesn’t reveal much dirt in his own book — likely because he still needs to show his face on the tour — he makes comments about the racial battles being fought on the courts in Charging the Net. On the brouhaha surrounding his ’01 U.S. Open match against Lleyton Hewitt:

“(Lleyton and I) talked about it in the locker room, and he did apologize. … He said he didn’t mean for it to come out the way it did. … I knew we would both be on the tour for a long time, and I told him that if he said anything like that again, I wouldn’t be so kind.”

(via NYT)

>> short balls archive

chatting with the author of federer’s upcoming biography

June 12, 2007

Tennis Served Fresh sat down with Rene Stauffer, the author of Roger Federer‘s upcoming biography, Quest for Perfection: The Roger Federer Story. The book covers his childhood, his days as a temperamental junior, and his early days at the top of the ATP tennis heap (including life with girlfriend Mirka Vavrinec.

Rene has been a sports writer since 1981, and first wrote about Federer in 1996. Currently, he’s on staff at the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeigers. Over e-mail, we chatted about what compelled him to write the book, why he picked Roger, and who he thinks is the greatest tennis player of all time.


Tennis Served Fresh: What made you decide to write this book? Why now? Why Roger?

Rene Stauffer: I always dreamed of writing a book, and having covered tennis and Roger’s career as closely as I luckily was able to do, I felt I was in the best possible situation for this task. I first wanted to write the biography after Wimbledon ’03, but Roger and his family felt it was too early.

Why now? Because all that has happened in the last few years is more than enough to be told in a book and to be made available for people that did not follow Roger in the early stages of his career. I have covered professional tennis for about 25 years now and think I’m in the right position to put Roger and his career in the right perspective.

TSF: It seems like you had Roger’s cooperation in writing this book. What was his reaction when you told him that you were writing this biography? How much help did he give you as far as getting sources?

RS: I have done a lot of interviews with Roger over the years and asked him basically all the questions I ever had. Roger gave me the green light for this book, but he did not want to put out his official biography as of now. That is why his involvement is marginal and he himself only got to read it when it was published.

TSF: Federer is a very public figure. Did you feel compelled to find new ways to present information about him? Especially in this internet age where everything is available at a fan’s fingertips, what was the most difficult challenge as far as making the biography “fresh”?

RS: I am very happy to have a large personal archive with some old and so far unpublished quotes from Roger. I have a lot of personal memories with him over the years. What helped a lot was to find people who were willing to share their memories of him in Switzerland, like his parents, the family he lived with as a junior, friends, former junior rivals, and coaches. I also collected many newspaper articles from around the world over the years. So this is not at all an “internet-book”, which makes it even more satisfying for me.

TSF: Who is your target audience for the book? How long did it take you to write the book?

RS: Since I had the idea to write this book for many years, I was ready to go when I was offered the chance to write by the German publishing house Pendo. It took me four months to write the first edition, but ever since then I have been more or less involved with it, updating it for the second German and English editions and overlooking the translation into English. I tried to write it for people who have no idea about tennis, but also for tennis insiders who like to go through Roger’s career once again from a different angle.

TSF: What was your experience with selling the book proposal?

RS: I only started to write the book when I had the guarantee that it would be published, so I had nothing to do with that.

TSF: Are you planning on writing any other tennis biographies? If so, of whom? If not, why not?

RS: Not for now, since I am a full-time staff writer and have a family. Covering Roger is a pretty full-time job nowadays for a Swiss newspaper, as you might imagine. To be honest: I would be able to write a similar book about Martina Hingis, but there, things are a little bit more complicated.

TSF: What are your thoughts on men’s tennis? What is Roger’s ultimate impact on the sport? Would you consider Roger to be the Greatest Player of All Time?

RS: I think we have to wait to answer this question until his career is over (or until he wins Paris). As of now, I would not put Roger over everybody else… I would rather go with Borg, with his rivalry against McEnroe. But I am sure that there has never been a stronger player in tennis history, regarding Rogers level and the progress in technology.

TSF: Do you cover women’s tennis as well? Junior level tennis?

RS: I cover women’s tennis as well, especially Swiss players of course. I followed Martina Hingis from the earliest stages and have done a lot of interviews with players such as Steffi Graf, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, up to Maria Sharapova and Justine Henin and so on. I also do interviews now and then for magazines. Junior tennis is not my main focus.

TSF: Before the Roger era, who was the player with the most impact?

RS: Certainly Borg, and later on Boris Becker — mainly in Wimbledon and in Germany, where a whole country went nuts about tennis for a while.

Quest for Perfection: The Roger Federer Story, New Chapter Press, $24.95, by Rene Stauffer. Release date: June 25. Available for pre-sale through

>> sup pete how r u?: another excerpt from R-Fed’s new biography
>> an excerpt from Federer’s new bio: life with girl, Mirka Vavrinec
>> roger and pete play an exhibition in Malaysia
>> roger and pete play an exhibition in Macao

sup pete how r u?: another excerpt from R-Fed’s new biography

June 4, 2007

Tennis Served Fresh got an advanced look into the biography of Roger Federer hitting the shelves in about a month.

Quest for Perfection: The Roger Federer Story covers his childhood, his days as a temperamental junior, and his early days at the top of the ATP tennis heap.

Here’s an excerpt on Roger’s text message relationship with Pete Sampras:

After his (2006) US Open victory, Federer returned home to Switzerland when he received a surprise phone call. Pete Sampras, whose legacy and records were now one of Federer’s biggest rivals, called to offer congratulations. “He had already text messaged me three days ago and now he was calling me to congratulate me personally,” said Federer shortly after the US Open. “He asked if I had gotten the message. I said I was just about to reply. It was almost embarrassing. Perhaps I should have replied quicker.” Sampras told Federer how much he liked to watch him play and emphasized that he now was more clearly dominant than he was during his prime. “To hear something like this from him was incredible,” Federer said. “It’s never happened to me before that my earlier idol called me to compliment me.”

Sampras and Federer continued their text message relationship, with Sampras offering more good wishes over the following few months. Before the tournament in Indian Wells in March of 2007, Federer then took the initiative and called Sampras, who meanwhile announced he was returning to competitive tennis on the Champions circuit run by his contemporary Jim Courier.

Federer asked Sampras if he would like to hit some balls and train together. “I wanted to see how well he could still play because, after all, he was one of my favorite players growing up,” Federer explained. With a wink in his eye and devilish grin, he then said, “beating him in his backyard in Wimbledon was so special to me, so I wanted to try and beat him in his house.”

Federer and Sampras only played once during their careers — the memorable round of 16 match at Wimbledon in 2001. Late in Pete’s career, the two had one brief practice session together in Hamburg. “It started to rain,” Federer recollected. “I was so disappointed, but he was happy to get off.”

After their training session together in Los Angeles in the spring of 2007, Federer expressed his surprise at how well Sampras could still keep up during their practice session. “We played some great sets and tie-breaks. I’m glad to see that he’s actually still enjoying tennis.” The scores of these practice matches? “They’re secret,” Federer said. “Surprisingly, he was very good, but not good enough to beat me!”

Quest for Perfection: The Roger Federer Story, New Chapter Press, $24.95, by Rene Stauffer. Release date: June 25. Available for pre-sale through

>> an excerpt from Federer’s new biography: peek into his life with girlfriend, Mirka Vavrinec
>> roger and pete play in Malaysia
>> roger and pete play in Macao

an excerpt from Federer’s new biography: peek into his life with girlfriend, Mirka Vavrinec

May 29, 2007

Tennis Served Fresh got an advanced look into the biography of Roger Federer hitting the shelves in about a month.

Quest for Perfection: The Roger Federer Story covers his childhood, his days as a temperamental junior, and his early days at the top of the ATP tennis heap.

Here’s an excerpt on Roger’s life with girlfriend Mirka Vavrinec:

Roger and Mirka lead a quiet, harmonious life together and seem compatible with each other. “Mirka likes to cook and I like to eat. That’s a perfect arrangement,” he said. “I help from time to time, make the beds, vacuum or dry the dishes. We make sure that we divide the work evenly.” He knows that his girlfriend sacrifices a great deal for him and he tries to do something in return whenever the opportunity presents itself. He goes with her to the movies, to the theater, to concerts. He said that “on vacation, I’m willing to change roles. Then she’s the center of attention.”

Quest for Perfection: The Roger Federer Story, New Chapter Press, $24.95, by Rene Stauffer. Release date: June 25. Available for pre-sale through

(Click here to read a few more paragraphs on Roger and Mirka…)

agassi: what will be in his memoir, etc.

March 29, 2007

This post was going to be all about Andre Agassi, but it feels weird writing about present-day Agassi without mentioning Steffi Graf. It’s funny how quickly she disappeared from the limelight after retirement. (Kim Clijsters needs to take a page from her book on how to gracefully move from tennis to motherhood.)

Anyway, it’s been a good month for Agassi: he turned around his real estate woes by having his Agassi Graf Development’s Idaho project — named Tamarack Resort — sell out in seven hours.

And yesterday everyone was abuzz about his unwritten, untitled memoir, which — after bidding that reached the madness usually reserved for retired heads of state (i.e., $5 million plus) — was sold to publisher Alfred A. Knopf. Agassi’s camp didn’t receive the highest bid from Knopf, but a good word from Bill Clinton, whose memoir was published by Knopf, sealed the deal. There is currently no timetable for the book’s release.

From the New York Post:

The book is expected to cover Agassi’s stormy marriage to Brooke Shields, his current one to tennis great Steffi Graf, as well as his work with underpriveleged youths at the Agassi College Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas.

That’s all fine and good, but Andre you have to answer the meaty questions, like what made you pick on Karol Kucera, and… hmm, I’ll let this picture ask the other question:

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