Most helpful positive review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
couldn't put it down
on 27 January 2007
This is a very well-written account not just of the extraordinary lives of Navratilova and Evert, but of the great changes happening in professional tennis in the 1970's. Martina's story is more exciting and turbulent - her defection during the Cold War, discovery of her homosexuality when society was less tolerant, and her physical transformation to maximise her natural talent. Chrissie's story is more of a coming of age, she started out as a naive 16-year-old phenom who grew up on the tour. The book emphasizes her legendary mental toughness, she had early success and had to change her game in response to the arrival of Austin and Navratilova. But the book also talks about their personal lives, the relationships they've had, their emotional strengths and weaknesses. What I enjoyed most are the background stories, Billie Jean King's fight for a women's tour, the camarederie that existed among players back then, Howard tells these stories so well and it sounds like an amazing atmosphere to have been part of. In a way it was the golden age of tennis, the game has changed so much (more money, more competitive players with their own entourages and seem more isolated from each other) that I cannot imagine that atmosphere being possible today. Overall, a very enjoyable read!