Sunday, May 8, 2011

Book Review: HIGH STRUNG: Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, and the Untold Story of Tennis’s Fiercest Rivalry



My favorite part of HIGH STRUNG is the awesome 70s & 80s pics of the awesome hairdos! Seriously though, I was excited to get this book to review to read about this interesting piece of tennis history.

One was an ice-cold Swede with an aura of invincibility. A poster boy for the sport who was equal parts enigma and Adonis. He was tennis’s version of a matinee idol. He was a Houdini in a headband who could outlast opponents for thrilling comeback victories. He was obsessive, unflappable, and unbeatable on grass and clay. They called him “Ice Borg”.

The other was the poster boy for everything that was wrong with Western society. He was a left-handed lightning rod who sought confrontation with nearly every living being on the court while he was in the midst of battle. He yelled at umpires and linesmen loudly and with reckless abandon. He was an exact balance of talent and the temper, perfect biomechanics and boorishness. They called him “Superbrat”.

With all of their differences, their battles were pure tennis magic, and their rivalry the stuff of sports legend. Stephen Tignor’s “HIGH STRUNG: Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, and the Untold Story of Tennis's Fiercest Rivalry” (Harper, May 2011) is a marvelously articulated chronicle of the matches that defined the rivalry and the personalities that fueled it.

Both were exceedingly talented. John McEnroe represented the blinding heat of youth. Bjorn Borg was the epitome of cool control. McEnroe externalized everything. Borg’s competitive fires burned deep within him. McEnroe respected Borg and was driven by the desire to unseat him as the world’s #1. Borg was already a legend and sought to remain as the most dominant player in the sport. McEnroe found refuge in the rivalry. Borg found his final opponent.

You can get your copy here.

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