Book retailers are littered with tell-all books written by athletes who want to say something about their sport, themselves and their peers. Some recent publications include works by National Basketball Association coach Phil Jackson, baseball's Jose Canseco and Terrell Owens of the National Football League. New author Vince Spadea takes his swings at the tennis establishment
So-called tell-all books are rarely lasting works of literary achievement. After a splash during their initial release, athletes sometimes find the backlash of public opinion toward them harsher than what they wrote.
Once ranked as high as 18th and currently 95th in the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) world rankings, American Vince Spadea covers career high and low points in his book Break Point!: An Insider's Look at the Pro Tennis Circuit. "It is a candid and unplugged look at what it is like to be me. And what it is like to be a pro tennis player. And I talk about my family, my background, my workplace and sometimes the people in it," he said.
Spadea mentions several of the world's best known players in his book. He includes a heated on-court encounter with fellow American James Blake, who is currently ranked fifth in the world. Blake thinks it is better to
keep private some of the personal accounts.
"He talks a little bit about what goes on in the locker room, which I think some of the players might take issue with. And the fact that we feel like what we do out here on the road and what we share with each other, it is kind of a fraternity. We are all colleagues and we keep it
to ourselves," he said.
Spadea's book, which is not on national bestseller lists from the New York Times, has found limited popularity with tennis fans. His co-author,Dan Markowitz, has worked with other athletes in telling their stories.
But Spadea says most of the material is his. "The content is mainly things that I wrote and that I really felt strong about. When you have 290 pages or whatever it is, it is going to be a book of a lot of different characters and factors," he said.
Spadea was eliminated from the second round of the Legg Mason hardcourt tournament in Washington Wednesday, falling to third-seeded Australian Lleyton Hewitt (6-7, 7-6, 6-4) as the players prepare for the U.S. Open later this month.