MY LIFE WITH THE PROS by Bud Collins

MY LIFE WITH THE PROS

By

KIRKUS REVIEW

Collins, the Joe Garagiola of tennis broadcasters, strives to become the Tom Wolfe of tennis writers with this flashy and engaging memoir of the pro circuit and his intimate involvement with it. Collins has turned a deft combination of charm, flair, and controversy (he once asked bad boy Ilie Nastase after a tournament win: "What's a nice Communist boy like you going to do with all this capitalistic prize money?") into a successful career as a Boston Globe columnist and NBC and PBS announcer. Here, he takes his narrative from the days when Wimbledon was closed down during WW II up through the present day, when "fled to Flushing is the US Open." Along the way, he rues the loss of some of the tradition--"There is no romance to Forest Hills now. Smog and Queens press in"--but his indomitable love of the game always overcomes the sadness. Collins is as alluring in print as he is on air, whether being self-deprecating ("A life of watching games and avoiding labor attracts people to sportswriting") or writing anecdotally of (now) rich and famous stars ("If Tiriac ever cries, it will be all the way to his safety deposit boxes, because the game of tennis has never known a shrewder operator"). Meanwhile, Collins doesn't let the opportunity go by to suggest some improvements to the game. High on his list? "A return to wooden rackets--for male pros--would be as wise as the continued use of wooden bats" in professional baseball. He also suggests a nine-month season (instead of the current all-year affair): "The sport cries out for a time to heal mind and body, refresh, reflect, and recharge batteries." As enthusiastic a work as we have come to expect from Collins' witty and verveful announcing. An ace.

Pub Date: May 29th, 1989
ISBN: 525-24659-2
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:




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