You Cannot Be Serious

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9780399148583: You Cannot Be Serious

John McEnroe was just an eighteen-year-old amateur from Queens when he stunned the tennis world by making it to the Wimbledon semifinals in 1977. He turned pro the following year after winning the NCAA singles title; three years later, he was ranked number one in the world. McEnroe dominated tennis in the eighties, winning three Wimbledon and four U.S. Open titles. His 1980 Wimbledon final match with Bjorn Borg is considered by many tennis experts to be the best match ever.

You Cannot Be Serious is McEnroe at his most personal, a no-holds-barred examination of contemporary tennis, his championship seasons, his cantankerous on-court behavior, his marriage to Tatum O'Neal, his current roles as a devoted father, husband to pop star Patty Smyth, senior tennis tour player, and controversial television commentator, and much more.

Funny, biting, close to the bone, this is exactly the book you'd expect-and want-from one of the most colorful figures of our time.

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About the Author:

John McEnroe has seventy-seven career singles titles and seventy-seven doubles titles to his credit.

James Kaplan is a frequent New Yorker and Vanity Fair contributor and author of two novels, Two Guys from Verona and Pearl's Progress.

From Publishers Weekly:

In his new role as TV commentator (and in his short-lived run as Davis Cup captain) McEnroe has tried to make the unlikely switch from tennis enfant terrible to tennis elder statesman. Judging by the welcome he has received from both the cognoscenti and the American public, it has been a largely successful transition. This memoir of growing up (or not growing up) on the men's tour tracks the same course. Unfortunately, when shifted to the page, the reinvention produces a much more muddled result. All of the career highlights and lowlights are here his idolization of Borg, his seminal matches with Connors and at Davis Cup, his clashes with the British press at Wimbledon, his romantic perambulations. But while appealingly self-aware ("For me, the relief of not losing has always been just as strong as, if not stronger than, the joy of winning") and consistently honorable, the effort feels a little dull. McEnroe's sincere pronouncements lack the cojones that might have made the book entertaining, and yet for all his openness, he engages in too much self-justification to seem truly vulnerable or poignant. The book grew out of a profile Kaplan wrote for the New Yorker two summers ago. That piece managed to present McEnroe as affable without diluting what is essentially brash and true about the star, and one wishes a little more of that boldness would have crept in here. For McEnroe, the persona hinted at in public remains more interesting and complicated than the person he gives us in this book. While the champion would no doubt argue, it appears that he has hit this one a little wide.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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