120 Of The Best Tennis Books
We hope you love this article. Just so you know, TennisCompanion may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page to help keep this site running. Learn more.
If you’re looking for a new tennis book, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the best tennis books ever written by the biggest names in our sport, and organized them so you can quickly find a book you’ll love.
At the time of creating this resource, every book on this list had terrific reviews, and many sit on our bookshelf, so we’re confident you’ll find a book that you enjoy.
With 120 books on our list, there’s a lot to look through, so we’ve hand-picked 15 of the greatest tennis books that stand out from the crowd. If you’re in a rush or looking for the cream of the crop, then this section is for you.
Below you’ll find an overview of the categories of books we cover – click any of them to jump to that section of the article or keep scrolling to browse them all.
Click below to jump to a section
Tap below to jump to a section
New to TennisCompanion?
Create a free account and explore my latest videos below
About This Guide
If you’re just getting into tennis or you’ve been playing for years, we believe there’s a book out there for just about everyone.
At TennisCompanion, we’ve read more books than we can count. Unfortunately, finding tennis books was never all that easy, and finding a good book was even harder.
Over the years, we’ve kept a list of our favorite books, but we wanted to take that list a step further, so we’ve come up with a comprehensive list that includes our favorites, as well as other books, members in our community have read and loved.
As you’re scrolling, you’ll find individual books tagged with “TC.” These are some of our all-time favorites.
We hope you enjoy our list, and if you have any that you think we missed, we’d love for you to share in the comments at the bottom.
Tennis Books for Gifts
The Best Tennis Books of All Time
Here’s a selection of what we consider to be some of the best tennis books of all time. You’ll find each of these books represented in their respective categories of this guide as well. Enjoy!
by Andre Aggasi
by Rafael Nadal, John Carlin
The Inner Game of Tennis
by W. Timothy Gallwey
by Jimmy Connors
Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis
by Brad Gilbert, Steve Jamison
The Art of Doubles: Winning Tennis Strategies & Drills
by Pat Blaskower
A Terrible Splendor
by Marshall Jon Fisher
Tennis Strategy: How to Beat Any Style Player
by Grant Grinnell
Tennis Fitness for the Love of It
by Suzanna McGee
by Paul Roetert
Levels of the Game
by John McPhee
Complete Conditioning for Tennis
by Paul Roetert
by Frank Giampaolo
Tennis For The Rest of Us
by Dave Kocak
Tennis For Dummies
by Patrick McEnroe, Peter Bodo
Tennis Rule Books
In tennis or any sport, understanding the rules of the game is fundamentally important to ensure you’re playing accurately and fairly. For many players, the rules of tennis are learned slowly over time through tennis lessons, practice, and competition.
However, in my experience, few players take the time to thoroughly read the rule books, which can put you at a disadvantage, particularly in competition. After all, if you don’t know how to handle a specific scenario, you may give up a point unnecessarily.
For example, if your hat falls out of bounds during a point, and your opponent’s shot hits your hat, who wins the point? I guess you’ll have to do some reading to find out.
In this section, we cover a wide range of rulebooks per the different governing bodies in tennis, including the USTA, ITF, ATP, WTA, and ITA. If you haven’t had the opportunity to read through the most relevant rulebook for you, I’d highly suggest you do it at some point.
If you love the sport, you’ll most likely enjoy learning all the nuances and technicalities, and you’ll be a better tennis player for it.
History of Tennis and Coffee Table Books
With ancient forms of the game dating back thousands of years, tennis has a rich and storied history that has been captured thoughtfully by only a handful of books.
As avid tennis players, we have a great appreciation for our sport, and these books have provided us with meaningful opportunities to expand our knowledge and enjoyment of the game.
Whether you’re new to the game or have been playing for years, the following books are invaluable resources for learning more about the origins of our sport and for providing detailed accounts of more recent years in tennis. They also make great gifts for bringing younger players up-to-speed on past years and players who have played the sport before them, some of which you’ll find referenced by commentators.
Last but not least, this section also serves up excellent coffee table books for striking up a conversation. Even the casual tennis fan can enjoy pouring over these types of books for a few moments, while the tennis fanatic will have a hard time putting them down.
|The Bud Collins History of Tennis||Bud Collins|
|The Fireside Book of Tennis||Allison Danzig, Peter Schwed|
|The Tennis Book||John Parsons, Henry Wancke|
|Tennis: Origins and Mysteries||Malcolm D. Whitman|
|Love Game: A History of Tennis||Elizabeth Wilson|
|Tennis:Cultural History||Heiner Gillmeister|
|Wimbledon: The Official History||John Barrett|
|The Pros||Peter Underwood|
|50th Anniversary US Open Tennis Book||Rick Rennert|
Tennis Player Books: Memoirs, Autobiographies, Biographies
Books about tennis players are easily the best selling of any category we include in this guide.
As fans, we can’t help but want to learn more about some of the most celebrated players in our sport, and a memoir, autobiography or biography will provide the most exceptional insight.
From Andre Agassi’s hugely popular “Open” to Jame Blake’s remarkable story “Breaking Back” and classics like Arthur Ashe’s “Days of Grace,” there are plenty of classics to consider.
Each book provides detailed accounts of the lives and experiences the most famous tennis athletes ever to step foot on a court. If you’re looking for an entertaining tennis book, then this section is for you.
|Rafa||Rafael Nadal, John Carlin|
|The Outsider||Jimmy Connors|
|Serve to Win||Novak Djokovic|
|Unstoppable: My Life So Far||Maria Sharapova|
|A Champion’s Mind||Pete Sampras, Peter Bodo|
|On the Line||Serena Williams|
|Breaking Back||James Blake|
|Getting a Grip||Monica Seles|
|Days of Grace||Arthur Ashe, Arnold Rampersad|
|Rod Laver||Rod Laver, Larry Writer|
|Mr Nastase||Ilie Nastase|
|Pressure is a Privilege||Billie Jean King|
|Facing Federer||Scoop Malinowski|
|Novak Djokovic and the Rise of Serbia||Chris Bowers|
|Hard Courts||John Feinstein|
|The Court Jester||Mansour Bahrami|
|Andy Murray||Andy Murray|
|The Days of Roger Federer||Randy Walker|
Books for Beginners: How to Play Tennis
If you’re new to the sport and looking for some books on how to play tennis and the fundamentals, then this section is for you. As a beginner, these books will help provide you with the necessary foundation to be successful in tennis.
From scoring to equipment, strokes, how to improve your game, and just about everything in between, these books are the perfect starting point for beginners or players looking for a refresher on the fundamentals.
We also believe these books have the potential to help flatten the learning curve for new players, which can be quite steep and therefore discouraging.
Often, the first place new players will turn is private or group lessons when they’re first starting to learn how to play tennis. While lessons are a fantastic way to get started, there is only so much an instructor can cover in an hour, so these books provide a great way to fill in the gaps and accelerate how quickly you learn the game.
|Tennis For The Rest Of Us||Dave Kocak|
|Tennis For Dummies||Patrick McEnroe, Peter Bodo|
|Eight Golden Rules for How to Play Your Best Tennis||Sally Huss|
|Tennis Strokes that Win||Frank Early|
|How to Play Tennis||Margie Gallagher|
|Tennis Skills: The Player’s Guide||Tom Sadzeck|
|Tennis Fundamentals||Human Kinetics, Carol Matsuzaki|
|Visual Tennis||John Yandell|
Fiction Tennis Books for Kids
What better way to introduce kids to the sport of tennis than through a bedtime story?
If you love tennis and you have kids, there are a handful of great fiction books that cater to different ages of children from babies, to toddlers, preschoolers, and young children, while also appealing to the adults that help read them.
These books for kids are a fantastic addition to any child’s collection of bedtime stories and also make terrific companions for vacations or gifts for friends and family.
|Legacy and the Queen||Annie Matthew, Kobe Bryant|
|A Magical Racquet Ride||Marissa Irvin Gould|
|Cam Jansen: the Tennis Trophy Mystery||David A. Adler|
|Alice the Tennis Fairy||Daisy Meadows|
|Tennis A to Z||Aaron King, Melody Lee|
|Murphy Bear’s Tennis Lesson||Maura Moynihan|
|Arthur Ashe: Young Tennis Champion||Paul Mantell|
|The ABC’s of Tennis||Cheryl Lagunilla|
|Williamsbeagle: Play Tennis||Jonathan Appata|
|The Adventures of Buddy the Ball||Brando Christo|
|Tennis, Anyone?||Shane McG|
Tennis Strategy and Tactic Books
If you’re looking to improve your game and take things to the next level, then this section of strategy and tactic books is for you.
When first learning the game, there’s no substitute for stroke development and technique – it’s fundamental to achieving success on the court. However, players stand to gain higher levels of success if they learn to treat their matches like a chess match.
In other words, tennis is as much a game of strategy as it is a physical battle between two opponents. More often than not, lessons and clinics, where the focus tends to skew toward the fundamentals, do not include the strategic end of tennis and the specific tactics players can use to win more matches.
We’ve found that books about tennis strategy are eye-opening to intermediate and advanced players. If you’re feeling comfortable with your strokes, but you don’t have a game plan when you step out on the court, then it’s likely you’d benefit from a book on tennis strategy.
|Tennis Strategy: How to Beat Any Style Player||Grant Grinnell|
|The Art of Doubles: Winning Tennis Strategies and Drills||Pat Blaskower|
|Senior Tennis: Strokes, Strategies, Rules and Remedies||George Wachtel|
|Championship Tennis||Frank Giampaolo|
|Tennis Secrets: Discover What the Pros Know||Frank Sberno|
|Killer Doubles: Strategies and tactics for better tennis||Rick Altman|
|Tennis Doubles Beyond Big Shots||Greg Moran|
|Unlimited Doubles!!||Steve Tourdo|
|Tennis Course, Volume 1: Techniques and Tactics||German Tennis Organization|
|Winning Singles Strategy for Recreational Tennis Players||Gerry Donohue|
|Tennis Tactics: Winning Patterns of Play||USTA|
|Tennis: Tennis Strategies||Ace McCloud|
|Tennis Strokes and Tactics||John Littleford, Andrew Magrath|
|Tennis Beyond Big Shots||Greg Moran|
|Real Tennis Tips For Real Tennis Players||Kim Selzman|
|Game, Set and Match||Mark Hodgkinson|
Psychology and Mental Tennis Books
As any top player will tell you, tennis is just as much a mental game as it is physical.
Have you ever started a match where you’re on fire in the first set, only to tank things in the second and third? How about getting frustrated at a poor line call by an opponent, double-faulting on game point, or stepping out on the court some days, and you can’t seem to find your rhythm.
If you’ve played tennis for any length of time, you’ve likely experienced first hand how a poor mindset has the potential to derail a match completely and, unfortunately, make tennis significantly less enjoyable – after all, it’s just a game, right?
Unfortunately, many players fail to recognize their game can benefit from an honest look at their mental and emotional state before, during, and after tennis matches, or they fail to realize there are resources and proven strategies available to them.
If you play competitive tennis with friends, at your local club, in high school, college, or even beyond, then we believe you’ll find a book on psychology, and the mental game of tennis, useful. These books will help you elevate your game and win more consistently.
|The Inner Game of Tennis||W. Timothy Gallwey|
|Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis||Brad Gilbert, Steve Jamison|
|Zen Tennis: Playing in the Zone||Dr. Joseph Parent, Bill Scanlon|
|Tennis Inside The Zone: 32 Mental Training Workouts for Champions||Rob Polishook M.A.|
|The Best Tennis of Your Life: 50 Mental Strategies for Fearless Performance||Jeff Greenwald|
|Mastering the Mental Game in Tennis: 11 Tips for Winning More Tennis Matches||Jamie Andrews|
|How To Play Tennis: Think Like A Pro, Not Like An Amateur||Alan Margot, Anne Rosales|
|Mental Toughness 101||Greg Levine|
|Coaching Mentally Tough Tennis||Anthony Ross|
|Smart Tennis: How to Play and Win the Mental Game||John F. Murray|
|Vision Tennis: A Story That Teaches the Secrets of Mental Toughness||Michael Zosel|
|Tennis: Play the Mental Game||David Ranney|
|Tennis: Winning the Mental Match||Allen Fox|
|Vic Braden’s Mental Tennis||Vic Braden, Robert Wool|
|Master Your Tennis Game: 50 Mental Strategies and Tactics||Ken DeHart|
Tennis Coaching and Instruction Books
If you’re a tennis coach, then having a collection of books that you can refer to for inspiration and advice can be incredibly useful.
If you’re looking to help one of your players out of a slump, need a new set of drills to improve your team or player’s strokes or guidance on how to train players, then this section of books is for you.
These coaching books are also great for parents who are working directly with their children on improving their game or existing players who are interested in coaching a team or becoming a tennis instructor.
Lastly, as a player, you may find these books incredibly insightful to understand what to look for in a coach or private instructor.
|The Art of Coaching High School Tennis||Bill Patton|
|Developing High Performance Tennis Players||Edgar Giffenig|
|Coaching Tennis||Chuck Kriese|
|Building a Champion: The Fundamentals of Playing & Coaching Tennis||Dan McCain|
|Let’s Play Tennis! A Guide for Parents and Kids||Patricia Egart|
|Coaching Tennis Successfully||USTA|
|Competitive Tennis for Young Players||Manfred Grosser, Richard Schonborn|
|Raising Big Smiling Tennis Kids||Keith Kattan|
|Coaching Tennis Technical & Tactical Skills||American Sport Education Program|
|Nick Bollettieri’s Tennis Handbook||Nick Bollettieri|
|Kids Book Of Tennis||Reggie Vasquez Jr.|
|Pressure Tennis||Paul Wardlaw|
Tennis Conditioning and Fitness Books
Tennis conditioning and fitness is easily the most overlooked part of our sport. As an incredibly technical sport, stroke development and technique are often at the forefront of player development. The mental side of tennis gets some attention too, but conditioning and fitness are often entirely ignored, and it’s a shame.
Unfortunately, for most players, talent will only take you so far. Tennis has become so competitive and physical that you need to be in excellent shape to go the distance and hang with top players.
Think about some of the game’s top players over the past decade. Names like Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Simona Halep, Novak Djokovic, and Angelique Kerber are a few that come to mind, each with incredible physical prowess.
When Andy Murray finally took his conditioning seriously earlier in his career, it transformed his game, and it helped him last longer 3-5 set matches. It’s also a huge part of what’s helped him come back from many injuries, including his most recent hip surgery.
Conditioning and fitness enable your best strokes and ensure you can compete at the highest level throughout a match. Most players find that as they get tired, their game slowly diminishes. In turn, it’s harder to get their feet planted before a groundstroke, drop low for a volley, or maintain their form through their service motion, and in general, their game suffers. In turn, it becomes harder to maintain a positive mental frame of mind, which is crucial in tennis.
Whether you’re looking to gain a considerable edge over the competition, outlast tough opponents in longer matches or ensure that you maximize your talent, I’d highly recommend you check out these conditioning and fitness books. If not, at least work with a coach with a few copies, as there is no substitute for being match fit.
|Tennis Fitness for the Love of it||Suzanna McGee|
|Tennis Anatomy||Paul Roetert, Mark Kovacs|
|Complete Conditioning for Tennis||Paul Roetert, Todd Ellenbecker, USTA|
|Tennis Fitness||Ranil Harshana|
|Fit to Play Tennis||Carl Petersen, Nina Nittinger|
|How the Tennis Gods Move||Daniel McCain|
|From Breakpoint to Advantage||Babette Pluim M.D. Ph.D, Marc Safran M.D.|
Best Tennis Books for Doubles
When competing as a younger player, particularly in high school and college, doubles can play a critical role in a team’s success and help buffer a singles lineup that doesn’t have as much depth.
If you ask us, it can be more fun too. Some of our best memories of playing tennis in college were doubles. It’s also popular at the club and recreational level.
On the pro tour, doubles teams like the Bryan brothers, Williams sisters, Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, and Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Šafářová, have all enjoyed great success in doubles over the past decade. Not to mention the fact that it remains a crucial part of team tournaments like the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, and decided the winner at the inaugural 2020 ATP Cup.
However, many players and coaches don’t give doubles the credit it deserves, which is an entirely different playbook. Success in singles does not guarantee it in doubles, far from it. Luckily, we have this group of books to refer to that give doubles the attention it deserves and provides eager players looking to take it to the next level some excellent resources.
|The Art of Doubles: Winning Tennis Strategies and Drills||Pat Blaskower|
|On the Ball: Doubles Tennis Tactics for Recreational Players||Gyata Stormon|
|Dynamite Doubles: Play Winning Tennis Today!||Helle Sparre|
|Doubles Tennis Tactics||Louis Cayer|
|Winning Doubles Strategy for Recreational Tennis Players||Gerry Donohue|
|Doubles Wisdom for Every Level: How to Gain Real Confidence on the Tennis Court||Derek Myers|
Other Noteworthy Tennis Books
The following list is a selection of great books that didn’t quite find a home in our main categories above, but they’re worth including, so we wanted to make sure you still knew about them.
|A Terrible Splendor||Marshall Jon Fisher|
|Levels of the Game||John McPhee|
|Photographing Tennis||Chris Nicholson|
|A Game to Love: In Celebration of Tennis||Mike Powell|
|The Art of Lawn Tennis||William T. Tilden|
|Tennis and the Meaning of Life||Jay Jennings|
New Tennis Books for 2020
This year, we already have a few new book releases and others to keep an eye on. These haven’t officially made our list of the best books because we haven’t read them yet, but they’ll get their shot.
|Seeing Serena||Gerald Marzorati|
|Little Wonder: The Fabulous Story of Lottie Dod, the World’s First Female Sports Superstar||Sasha Abramsky|
|Serena Williams: Tennis Champion, Sports Legend, and Cultural Heroine||Merlisa Lawrence Corbett|
|Bianca Andreescu: She The North||Stephanie Myles|
Play Better Tennis
Improve your game alongside our community of tennis players
Join the conversation with other members of the community.
5 Point Friday
Read our weekly recap of the 5 most interesting things we dig up in tennis.