"The Rivals" - A new book about Chris-Martina - TennisForum.com
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 25th, 2005, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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"The Rivals" - A new book about Chris-Martina

I found this book yesterday in "Barnes and Noble." It's a fascinating read so far.

A lot of the beginning of the book is devoted to background and "growing up" information about Chris and Martina, so the parts about their actual rivalry aren't until later. There's also a chapter about Billie Jean King, how she developed the WTA Tour, and how that affected the rivalry.

Lots of great stories, and a few surprising quotes and tidbits from and about Chris, Martina, and fellow players.

Has anyone else seen this book so far?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 26th, 2005, 10:51 AM
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Hi Richie,

I enjoyed the book as well, but more for the memories it brought back. Having devoured everything about Chris growing up there wasn't very much new information, but it was great to read about some of the vents that occured, and it was a great tribute to both girls that they have a book devoted to their rivalry.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 26th, 2005, 10:56 AM
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Hi Richie,

There was a thread about this book a few months ago where you'll get more opinions on the book. I did enjoy reading it as it brought back nostalgic memories, but I didn't learn anything new from it. I felt the book would have benefitted from more comments from fellow pros regarding Martina & Chris. The brief comments from Tracy Austin could have been very interesting if they'd expanded on them further.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 26th, 2005, 10:57 AM
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I saw this book in the bookstore as well. It looks very interesting but I didn't buy it. I did browse through it though. It has some great pictures in it.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 26th, 2005, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MLF
Hi Richie,

There was a thread about this book a few months ago where you'll get more opinions on the book. I did enjoy reading it as it brought back nostalgic memories, but I didn't learn anything new from it. I felt the book would have benefitted from more comments from fellow pros regarding Martina & Chris. The brief comments from Tracy Austin could have been very interesting if they'd expanded on them further.

Hi MLF,

I would like to know what were Tracy's comments on the rivalry. The book is not yet available in France or Belgium.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 26th, 2005, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeanmi18
Hi MLF,

I would like to know what were Tracy's comments on the rivalry. The book is not yet available in France or Belgium.
JM, how come you didnt just order it from amazon.co.uk??? its been out since the beginning of june.

Richie77, it starts out really really well i thought...te last 1/3 of it really sinks to a much lower level...like 2 close 7-5 sets the first 2/3 way, and then a 6-1 anti-climactic finish.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 26th, 2005, 07:32 PM
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I haven't got it yet either - I'll probably wait till Christmas now as I've got a few other books I want to read first.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 26th, 2005, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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I actually looked back for another thread about this book...I thought it had just come out, didn't know it had been out for a few months.

Daze, that was kinda my feeling, too. After the chapter that ended with the epic 1985 RG final, the tone was like "Oh, yeah, Martina and Chris played a few more times." But the beginning and middle parts of the book are great. I'll expound on them more when I get a chance.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 27th, 2005, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie77

There's also a chapter about Billie Jean King, how she developed the WTA Tour, and how that affected the rivalry.
Am I the only one who didn't like the "BJK as saviour of women's tennis" tone of this chapter?

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 28th, 2005, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samn
Am I the only one who didn't like the "BJK as saviour of women's tennis" tone of this chapter?
to quote steve flink: "That just wasn't how it happened."

It irritated a lot of people, but Johnette didnt grow up in this era, so she is reporting very much through the eyes of what is reported to her by others, so that was the story she was told & the one she wrote. Thats the central problem with the book--including the info on CE & MN--it is not a first hand account. She joined the chris/martina rivalry in the late 80s, and worked her way backward through an interest in their dynamics. I believe her career as a journalist may have begun when chris retired, in fact.

It was an admirable attempt to put a lot of information together that no one else had bothered to do so completely. If someone else had just stepped up to the plate prior, her book may never have been written. But someone had to document it.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 30th, 2005, 05:25 PM
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Im in the process of reading it at the moment and loving it. And umm, please do elaborate on how the tour really did begin if it wasnt thanks to BJK??

I mean she was the one who got it all started..

Im loving it so far. The differences in their personalities is so drastic. I can see why Ive been drawn to Martina - the vulnerability, the harder life she had to go through etc..

Ive learnt a few new tidbits but nothing drastic.. But so far I cant put the book down.. Althought IM always a bit bored, not bored but not engaged when reading about Evert at Holiday park..compared with Martina's upbringing behind the Iron curtain..

The book details really well the threats etc made to Martina which led to her defection..

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 30th, 2005, 05:40 PM
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Posted by Czechfan Im in the process of reading it at the moment and loving it. And umm, please do elaborate on how the tour really did begin if it wasnt thanks to BJK??

I mean she was the one who got it all started..
It was Gladys Heldman and Joe Cullman who really got it started. Without Gladys pulling the strings with all her connections Virginia Slims would never had taken the risk. To boot Gladys gave the women all that free advertising by plugging the tour through World Tennis.

So in many ways Gladys was the true creator of the tour; she deserves more credit than she ever got for giving birth to pro women's tennis.

None of these facts diminish Billie Jean's crucial role. But saying 'there would be no women's tennis without Billie Jean King" is a lot like saying "there would have been no civil rights movement without Martin Luther King".

The truth in both cases is a more complicated than the simplified versions of history we usually hear.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 30th, 2005, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollo
It was Gladys Heldman and Joe Cullman who really got it started. Without Gladys pulling the strings with all her connections Virginia Slims would never had taken the risk. To boot Gladys gave the women all that free advertising by plugging the tour through World Tennis.

So in many ways Gladys was the true creator of the tour; she deserves more credit than she ever got for giving birth to pro women's tennis.

None of these facts diminish Billie Jean's crucial role. But saying 'there would be no women's tennis without Billie Jean King" is a lot like saying "there would have been no civil rights movement without Martin Luther King".

The truth in both cases is a more complicated than the simplified versions of history we usually hear.
and billie jean is never shy about self-promotion, specific to the facts which neglect to ever mention gladys helman, without whom it is billie jean king who could have done nothing...but rebel without a tour. not exactly 'sporting' to take full credit of course but i guess its simpler to just mention one name, so as not to complicate the story too much.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 1st, 2005, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by daze11
and billie jean is never shy about self-promotion, specific to the facts which neglect to ever mention gladys helman, without whom it is billie jean king who could have done nothing...but rebel without a tour. not exactly 'sporting' to take full credit of course but i guess its simpler to just mention one name, so as not to complicate the story too much.
I totally agree, Daze. Without the financial security provided by Heldman and Cullman, the slims group would not have attracted the new recruits that enabled it to expand into a viable tour. Billie Jean deserves great credit for performing the rôle of spokesperson and figurehead/rallying point so well and for her dedication, energy, drive, etc, as do all the other women for their contributions.

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*Wealth without Work * Pleasure without Conscience

*Science without Humanity *Knowledge without Character

*Politics without Principle *Commerce without Morality

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