Tennis's gladiatorial beauty, its stylish duelling and fashionable court-wear make it a romantic's dream. Ever since young men and women first came together to play on vicarage lawns, this most Victorian of games has always had a peculiarly passionate undercurrent - love even makes it into the scoring system. And passion in other forms - the rivalry of Federer and Nadal, and John McEnroe's legendary angry outbursts.
Beyond the romance, tennis has always been a barometer of the times. French star Suzanne Lenglen was a celebrity trailblazer, Jimmy Connors channelled punk, and Henman Hill is unrecognisable from the days when the All England Club ostracised working-class Fred Perry - and the great English tennis champion who is now more famous as a leisure clothing brand than a sportsman.
Love Game is the must-have companion for tennis fans during Wimbledon 2015. It tells the story of tennis' journey from upper-middle-class hobby to global TV spectacle, taking in the innovators and trendsetters, the great players, heroes and iconoclasts, and the politics, class wars and culture clashes of what could rightfully be called the 'beautiful game'.
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 300 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 23 mm
Excellent ... Wilson makes a passionate, partisan case that tennis should be treated differently from all other sports. In fact tennis shouldn't be treated like a sport at all, but should instead be seen as a kind of burlesque gymnastic seduction, a business of passion and, above all, of love. * Guardian *
Hers is a sporting history unlike any I've read - one that, in its sophistication and thoughtfulness, shows up the hollowness of most other accounts. -- William Skidelsky * Observer *
A love-all letter to the beautiful, sweaty, glorious, grunting game * Saga *
A richly textured history distilled through an illuminating private passion * Literary Review *