During this year’s French Open, the discussion of whether or not Roger Federer and Serena Williams had a chance to claim the ultimate goal in tennis, a complete sweep of all Grand Slam titles in one year, started and ended within a week as both players lost earlier than expected. And although they probably will get another chance at least one more time in their careers, the achievement earned by only a select group of players, the last being Steffi Graf in 1988, seemingly becomes more and more impossible to achieve as the years go on.
Those seeking insight in how one deals with the pressure of winning not only one Grand Slam, but all four, would do no wrong in picking up the recent re-release of “The Education of a Tennis Player” written by Rod Laver with Bud Collins. First published in 1971, the book is not only a sharp, funny, and candid look at the journey Laver took in 1969 to win his second career sweep of the Grand Slams, but also how “Open Era” tennis changed the way the sport was played forever. Continue reading