National Senior Men's Tennis Association website
THE FEIN POINTS OF TENNIS: Technique and Tactics to Unleash Your Talent by Paul FeinNSMTA Member
Reviewed by Jimmy Parker
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August 2021
If you really want to improve your game, or just enjoy a good tennis read, this is the book for you! This tome weighs in at 511 pages and is the size of a workbook. As expected from a writer of Paul Fein’s gravitas, it is thoughtful and thought-provoking. The author, winner of more than 40 writing awards, is not just your dilettante journalist, observing the game from the sidelines. He himself is a top senior tournament competitor and a USPTA Elite Pro. His multiple vantage points give him a unique ability to challenge teaching myths and ask the right questions of his knowledgeable sources.
A lot of the book is written in an easy-to-read Question and Answer format. He queries many of the world’s best coaches on a fascinating array of questions. Technique and tactics are addressed in detail. The pictures he uses to illustrate various techniques are especially relevant. Pat Cash, Rick Macci, Patrick Mouratoglou, Nick Bollettieri, and Harold Solomon are just a few of the coaches whose brains are picked mercilessly by Paul. Their responses reflect profound understandings of the game of tennis.
However, the book is not all work and no play! There are many features that together make this book unique—stories from the tour, a trivia quiz, entertaining and useful random thoughts, and extensive insightful quotations from the game’s greatest players down through the years. Sampras tells us
“Anyone who says they don’t choke..they’re lying.” Sacha Zverev says “All the big guys are using data analysis, they just don’t like to talk about it.”
The author puts himself in the role of the eager student who wants to absorb every drop of wisdom his teachers have to offer. And then he explores numerous subjects of interest on his own, letting his long years in the game provide insights as he ruminates. He has even compiled a list of his favorite tennis books that could further engross a tennis lover for years.
An honest reviewer is tasked with pointing out any flaws in the book being reviewed. All I can say is that Paul Fein’s masterwork definitely lacks brevity —I hope that’s not what you were looking for here!