Tennis Club Business — September newsletter

BOOK REVIEW

THE FEIN POINTS OF TENNIS
2021.feinpointsbookThe subtitle of Paul Fein's great book is "Technique and Tactics to Unleash Your Talent." Agawam, Massachusetts-based long-time tennis writer Fein is also a USPTA Elite professional who won 40 writing awards in his career. He states that his book "treats you to fascinating facts and stats, humorous and revealing quotes, and memorable anecdotes."

As a self-proclaimed tennis historian, it's those anecdotes that piqued my interest. Yes, he writes about the "modern forehand," the "strike zone," balance, and the geometry of tennis. And he provides an in-depth analysis of several underemphasized topics, such as the half volley, playing in the wind, touch shots, anticipating, lobbing, and wrong-footing.

Fein analyzes the teachings from tennis greats Rick Macci, Patrick Mouratoglou, Nick Bollettieri, Toni Nadal, and many more and shares their wisdom with us. And when you're almost though reading his 511-page book, you get to the "All-Time Great Quotes." I lapped them up and memorized some. Like Bill Tilden from his 1925 book Match Play and the Spin of the Ball: "It is by twist and placement, rather than speed, that you can force your opponent on the defensive at the opening of the point. Speed alone is easy to handle. Richards, Johnston, and Williams, if they can put their racquet on the ball at all, and they usually can, all handle my cannon-ball flat serve more easily than either of my spin deliveries.”

Profound. I love those quotes and anecdotes. Paul Fein’s book is a gem in the big pile of tennis books that are published each year.