New Tennis Books: Reviewed by Jim Martz
Oct 16, 2023
“Billion Dollar Mind - Practical Guide for Mental Strength” by Rick Macci and Nivedita (Niva) Uberoi Jerath MD, MS.
When you plunk a routine volley into the net or double fault to drop serve, no doubt at some time you’ve said to yourself, “You idiot!” or uttered an expletive. After a few more miscues you may think you need a lesson.
What you may need is an attitude adjustment, “Billion Dollar Mind” can show you the way to achieve it. Seven-time USPTA Coach of the Year Rick Macci has teamed with neuromuscular medicine specialist Dr. Niva Uberoi Jerath (a former junior tennis star coached by Macci) to help readers win the game against yourself and conquer the mind.
This is a quick read that not only offers advice but provides a practical exercise at the end of each chapter. And there’s space to write down your responses.
Example: “Say 10 positive affirmations every day.” Then there’s a list of examples and space to create and write down your own.
The subtitle on the book’s cover is accurate: “Stories that will enlighten, entertain, and inspire.” Curly Davis, a long-time teaching pro in Florida and Kentucky, has culled five decades of tales from his countless hours on the court into a fast-pace book that will make you smile or say “that’s interesting” or “what a crazy story.”
It’s also filled with life lessons and inspiring quotes from Warren Buffet to Zig Ziglar.
Davis opens the book with a fascinating story about when he felt chest pains while playing in a tournament in Naples, Florida, endured a convoluted trip to heart bypass surgery, to what happened when the bill arrived.
A nit pick: the spelling of the last name of golf legend Jack Nicklaus is incorrect twice on page 28 (Nicholas) but correct when quoting him on page 93.
Whether you read in English or German, this oversize hard cover tome chronicles the sport from its beginning through 2022. It’s filled with captivating photos and brief text, with English on the left side of the page and German on the right (or English at the top, German below).
There are photos and bios of the authors’ choices of the 20 best men and 20 best women of all time, and the five best matches of all time, not listed in any particular order.
There are brief histories of racquets, balls, fashion, celebrities, movies, advertising and the biggest scandals. And there are features on the Battle of the Sexes series of matches highlighted by the one between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, and on Players Who Made History (and aren’t in the top 20 lists).
Plus there are spectacular photos of tennis courts above the clouds, in the wind and under water.
Not spectacular: The Battle of the Sexes item included a promotional photo of King and Riggs with the caption saying “the winner receives $100,000, New York, 1973” and implying they played in New York. The photo appears to have been taken in New York (tall apartment buildings in the background) but the match was played in the Houston Astrodome.
And I wish they hadn’t written: “Arthur Ashe was the first colored player to win the US Open and the Davis Cup in 1968 ...” First African-American or First Black player” would be appropriate.
Book reviews by Florida Tennis Founder and Editor Jim Martz. Top Photo: Engin Akyurt / Pexels. This article also appears in the September-October 2023 issue of Florida Tennis Magazine. Be sure to subscribe for expanded coverage, exclusive interviews, and in-depth tennis news.