BIG BILL TILDEN: The Triumphs and the Tragedy by Frank Deford

BIG BILL TILDEN: The Triumphs and the Tragedy

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Deford expands upon his recent two-part series in Sports Illustrated with this thoroughly engaging portrait of a sportsman who ""was tennis, body and soul."" A ""Philadelphia patrician of intellectual pretension,"" William T. Tilden II couldn't even make the varsity tennis team at the University of Pennsylvania. After spending several years rebuilding his game on his own he finally won his first Wimbledon in 1920 at the relatively late age of 27. Over the next six years he proved ""invincible"" despite the amputation of the middle finger of his right hand. Tilden is believed to have been ""primarily asexual"" for most of his life when ""the crowds and the game were his sex."" Later an open homosexual, he was twice arrested for child molestation, publicly humiliated, and sentenced to a road camp. Tilden's fall from grace ended only when he died ""a penniless ex-con, scorned or forgotten."" A compelling, long overdue tribute.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1976
ISBN: 1894963245
Publisher: Simon & Schuster