Tennis: It Serves You Right!
P.M. Powles was an OTA-certified Tennis Instructor who has coached in Peterborough, Ontario, for seven years.
The authors of this book know sport. They have written two other satires, on hockey and on golf, and now have turned their hands to tennis.
In the past five years, there has been a plethora of tennis books, including some first-rate “how-to-play” and “how-to-enjoy” tomes, but there have been several rather corny books as well, poking fun at tennis. In short there has been definite over-exposure to tennis, following its expansion as a sport in the seventies. Nicol and More, in Tennis: It Serves You Right!, have given us a satire on modern tennis, with patches of subtle humour and sections containing some extremely funny situations and lines. The sketches and drawings, produced with skill and insight, are really quite clever.
If the reader does not know tennis, its etiquette, and its history, large portions of the humour will be lost. There is no guidance on how to improve your game, but there are some good hints on how not to act on court. The first few chapters, which are subtly funny, describe the game, its history, garb, etiquette, and tactics. But the most original and funniest chapters are the last four: the tennis parent, the woes of geriatric tennis, tennis surrogates, and finally, letters to Dr. Tennis, with subsequent solutions to common on-court problems.
The chapters on tactics and alibis were disappointing, primarily because these areas have already been overworked. The remaining chapters, however, were great. The section on parents of would-be tennis brats is now very topical; most pros and supporters of junior tennis now consider parents as creatures who should be, if not shot, at least kept away from the tournaments and tennis clubs where the offspring are playing. Nicol and More point this out in their own style, which leaves no doubt as to where they think the problems lie.
With its large print and humorous drawings, this 160-page book can be read in a few hours. I can guarantee a lot of chuckles, some good belly laughs, a sense of sharing the sport with others, and some new insights into the game.