Carrie Soto is Back

By Taylor Jenkins Reid

Six years after retirement, Carrie Soto and her father Javier are in the heart of the massive screaming crowd at the 1994 US Open finals in Flushing Meadows, New York. But this time they are sitting in the stands. At 37, Carrie earned multiple world records, 20 Grand Slam titles and a lot of wagging tongues as she was once nicknamed “The Battle-Axe.” At this moment, Nicki Chan is one win away from overtaking Carrie’s record – the most Grand Slam wins ever. By a stroke of fate, Nicki doesn’t win the match, and Carrie decides in that moment that she will come out of retirement with her father coaching her to take one more victory. This incredible journey through the cutthroat, all-consuming world of tennis highlights a very complicated father-daughter relationship and Carrie’s latest, most surprising friendship with top-seeded men’s player Bowe Huntley, who helps Carrie get back in the game. Swept away by women’s tennis, the pages simply turned themselves as the next match approached. With fascinating characters, this is five-star fast-paced fiction at its best.

Open: An Autobiography

By Andre Agassi   

A beloved tennis star and 1980s icon opens his heart and soul to the world. The reader does not need to be an avid tennis fan to enjoy this incredible memoir of Agassi’s life story – a child prodigy and early professional tennis champion who rose to fame and fortune as the world watched in awe. Growing up in Las Vegas, Agassi found himself under the volatile thumb of his demanding, perfectionist father. He was soon sent away to the infamous Bollettieri Academy in Florida and dropped out of school by the ninth grade, a constant regret. Agassi describes a rollercoaster career filled with emotional highs and lows the public rarely gets to witness. His faithful brother, caring coach and, later on, Stefanie Graf, provide the love and support he desperately craves. It is never easy, and maybe it is the struggle that makes one stronger – but Agassi illustrates how it can also wear you down – too fast, too young. His unflinching honesty is humbling as we try to imagine how exhausting penning this autobiography must have been. Kudos to Agassi, a player we loved watching and a person we can admire.

String Theory: David Foster Wallace on Tennis

By David Foster Wallace

Five extraordinary essays ranging from his younger success as a promising junior player in the heart of the Midwest to the idolization and heartbreak when Tracy Austin’s biography was released. Between 12 and 15 years old, Wallace was better at calculating wind and ball grids than he was on the actual court. His geometric thinking and calculating angles gave him an unexpected advantage, which led to unlikely wins. During his later adolescence, when his teammates grew exponentially taller and stronger, he finally gave up competing. Wallace’s early life left him with a unique understanding of the heart of the game and its players. He went on to become a successful writer, keeping a close eye on the tennis world and following its biggest stars. Even for non-playing readers, DFW translates the beauty of the game and its complicated athletes into something everyone can appreciate. Sadly, Wallace lost his life in 2008, but there is no doubt his writings will continue to inspire and entertain the world for years to come. If you are a tennis fan, or even an essay fan, this book is a must.