With tennis in full swing in Wimbledon, our Culture Editor Janie Smith selects four ace new books for you to love long after your visit to SW19…
Whether you are looking for a Wimbledon-based fiction, fun SW19 tennis facts or a heartfelt story from a tennis mum, we have all bases covered.
Knowing the Score: My Family and Our Tennis Story By Judy Murray
Tennis’ favourite super woman, Judy Murray provides the ultimate and fascinating insight into life with her tennis champion sons Andy and Jamie, in her incredible autobiography – it’s been long-listed for William Hill Book of the Year Award.
What happened when she realised she had exceptional children? Did she panic? Did she put her head in the sand? Or risk everything and jump in headfirst?
As mother to tennis champions Jamie and Andy Murray, Scottish National Coach, coach of the Fed Cup, and general all-round can-do woman of wonder, Judy Murray is the ultimate role model for believing in yourself and reaching out to ambition. As a parent, coach, leader, she is an inspiration who has revolutionised British tennis and charts the challenges she has faced, from desperate finances and growing pains to entrenched sexism.
The Tennis Club at Worple Road By Adrian Lobley
Set in London in 1877, Adrian Lobley’s novel instantly draws you in to a dark tale of love, rumours and brutal attacks.
Elizabeth Wyndam-Hill, a member of the Worple Road Tennis Club, is engaged to a violent and dangerous drunk. When rumours start spreading throughout Wimbledon Village that she has been cheating on her fiancé, Elizabeth is rightly scared for her life.
The first time that David Sterling partnered Elizabeth on the court he fell hook line and sinker for her. Despite being warned about her fiancé, David decides to take his chances and pursue her. For Elizabeth, the attention is the last thing she needs.
This is a superb novel exploring the dangers of love and life in Victorian Wimbledon. Worple Road is a major thoroughfare in the borough; it was the former location of the AELTC, and to this day still hosts a Racquets club. As you delve into the lives of the characters you will recognise areas of Wimbledon and the village which brings this wonderful, dark tale alive. Although this is a novel, the work is based around real life events that were fundamental to the popularity of lawn tennis exploding around the world.
The SW19 Club By Nicola May
If you prefer a light-hearted, funny-bone tickling riot of a story, The SW19 Club should be at the top of your Wimbledon-based fiction list.
Gracie Davies hits an all-time low when she is told she will never have children. In an attempt to find inner peace and happiness, she sets up the SW19 Club with Naomi, her hippie sister; Maya, a Czech girl; a rather unorthodox therapist and her new Wimbledon friends.
The road is, to say the least, rocky. Not only does she seek to travel the highway to happiness, she manages to have a fling with Ed, a handsome landscape gardener, and encounters a Hollywood film star. Add her persistent but adulterous ex and you have a chortlingly funny, chaotic and unpredictable piece of SW19 fantasy fiction!
You Cannot Be Serious – The Graphic Guide To Tennis By Mark Hodgkinson
Dazzle your friends and work colleagues with your extreme-facts tennis knowledge! Watch them marvel as you recount who moves fastest around the court or explain whether lefties or righties are the most successful. Baffle your boss by asking them who admits they smashed over 70 rackets during their career…
From detailed portraits of the icons of the sport to astonishing statistics and the champions’ most remarkable records, this collection of superbly entertaining infographics includes everything you need to know about the tennis world.
Whether it is Serena Williams’ record-breaking wins, the tallest and shortest players on the tour, or Sam Groth’s 163.7mph serve, You Cannot Be Serious! has it covered. The eccentric side of the sport is here too, including players’ peculiar training methods, Andy Murray’s and Maria Sharapova’s pet dogs, and the most outlandish fashion to have graced the courts. This is the perfect companion for devoted amateur players and armchair fans alike.
Written By: Janie Smith | Arts & Culture Editor