At, we have tons of friends who are tennis lovers. One plus side to this is it makes it a little easier to think of gifts when it comes to Birthdays and Christmas. Rather than trawling the shops all day looking for inspiration, we often turn to tennis gifts, particularly, tennis books to satisfy our buddies’ love of the game.

Not only do tennis books make an ideal gift, but they are also an excellent way to improve your tennis. There are some books out there that are a must read for beginner players, but there are also books that offer great insight for more advanced players.

Over the years, we’ve flicked through all kinds of tennis books, from autobiographies to tennis tuition to tennis humor. There’s a lot of great content out there. The great thing about these books is that if you’re buying them as tennis gifts, then you can’t go too wrong.

So, without further ado, here’s our list of the best tennis books that we’ve come across. No matter what level your loved ones play at, or how often they play, there’s bound to be something for every tennis lover on this list.


String Theory by David Foster Wallace


We found this book to be one that we could never put down. Pulitzer Prize nominee, David Foster Wallace is as knowledgeable about tennis as he is a supremely talented writer, and this combination of essays is a breath of fresh air.

Growing up, Foster Wallace was a highly rated junior in the Mid-West, whose love of playing in windy conditions made him the opposite of most tennis players. His book, String Theory provides a wonderful insight into all aspects of tennis, particularly, the thoughts of a junior trying to make it big in the sport.

The most enjoyable part of this book is Foster Wallace’s wonderful ability to use language to explain the game in such a unique way that makes it stand out in sports literature. Foster Wallace has often been labelled the greatest tennis writer of all time and String Theory does little to make you question that.

Many tennis books can be quite heavy and too technical, but String Theory is anything but that. Anyone who has grown up playing junior tennis, or even taken to the court competitively can easily relate to this book. Therefore, we think it makes for the ideal tennis gift.


Open by Andre Agassi


This book has been out there for a long time now, but it is still a wonderful read for any tennis fan. Agassi was one of the greatest players of a generation, winning 8 Grand Slam titles over a 20-year period, but he was certainly not without drama.

The American famously opens the book by asserting that he hates tennis, but like any relationship, it is clear that it was love-hate. While String Theory gives you the view of tennis from someone who played it as a youngster but now is an avid observer, Agassi’s book, Open paints a true picture of what it takes to get to the top.

The life of a tennis player is often glamorized, but the reality is, many players find it very difficult, and Agassi was no different. This story of a sporting great is so open and honest that you cannot help but be taken away by Agassi’s story. He may have lived many people’s dream, but it was not without great sacrifice.


The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance by W. Timothy Gallwey


No matter how good you become at tennis, the mental side of the game is a struggle that never leaves us. You can be on the best winning run of your life and suddenly it comes to a shuddering halt, the next thing you know, you can’t buy a win. Love it or hate it, tennis is a game that is played out in your head as much as it is on the court.

One book that can help any tennis player with this area of the game is the Inner Game of Tennis. We find that if you are looking for tennis gifts and want to make a significant impact on your friend’s game, a little help on the mental side is the quickest way to do it. This tennis book is perfect for that.

I always like to think of tennis as a condensed version of life. There are so many crossovers between the two and this is certainly true when it comes to the mental side of things. Not only can this book help with your approach to tennis, but it can also help you make positive changes to your life.


Brain Game Tennis by Craig O’Shannessy


This is more an online course than a book, but we thought we would put it on here because it can make such a big difference to people’s tennis. We saw Craig speak at a conference recently and loved his approach to tennis.

We make so many assumptions about tennis, but we have no idea whether the stats actually back up what we think about the game. O’Shannessy has been the strategy analyst for some of the biggest names in tennis and his data can force you to rethink the way you look at tennis.

As we’ve said, the mental side of the game can be one of the easiest areas to improve your tennis game and with Brain Game Tennis, you can discover the areas where you need to adjust your thinking.

Hopefully, my fellow Tennis Bros will take this as a hint, because I’d love to check out some more of these brilliant courses. There are 8 courses in total, but I started out with the 25 Golden Rules of Singles Strategy, which is well worth the time.

I wouldn’t hesitate to get this as a tennis gift for players of all levels; there is simply so much you can learn from the data and insights in this course.

It’s Not My Fault: 150 Hilarious Excuses Every Tennis Player Should Know by Joshua Shifrin


If you’re looking for something a little more light hearted then this collection of tennis excuses makes for a lovely tennis gift. I’m pretty sure our Tennis Bro Larry has used every one under the sun while I’ve been beating him, but even he might find a new one in this book!

Tennis can be an infuriating game at times, so it’s nice to see the lighter side of it sometimes! It’s not my fault is an ideal little tennis gift that your friends and family can flick through and forget about an abject performance.

Perhaps you always beat your friend and think they could use some new excuses as to why you beat them. If so you can have a chuckle at their expense with It’s Not My Fault: 150 Hilarious Excuses Every Tennis Player Should Know.


Winning Ugly by Brad Gilbert


Winning Ugly by Brad Gilbert, Andre Agassi’s former coach, has to be one of the most well-read tennis books out there. If you haven’t read any of it, then I’m sure someone will have quoted you something from it. It’s that big in tennis circles.

As the title suggests, this book is a little Bible of making the most of your tennis tactically and mentally. Gilbert might have risen to fame as Agassi’s and later Andy Roddick and Andy Murray’s coach, but he was first known for his unbelievable grit and determination as a professional tennis player.

Just like some of the other guides to mental and tactical tennis, this book can have a profound effect on your game and your results. The tactics in this book are easy to follow, and with a little bit of mental work, they are possible to implement.

Just think, you’re looking for a birthday gift, but by getting this book you can give someone the eternal gift of learning how to win more matches on the tennis court!


Nick Bollettieri’s Tennis Handbook by Nick Bollettieri


We’ve talked about the mental side of the game a lot, but there is also a lot you can learn about the technical side of tennis from books. If you’re looking for big name coaches then perhaps Nick Bollettieri is the biggest of them all, and he has put together a very handy book on tennis.

Bollettieri’s Handbook gives you insights into all aspects of the game, with featured drills that can improve your shots, effective conditioning exercises, and mental training that will help take your game to the next level.

This book gives you all the tools you need to improve your game, the only thing that’s required is a little bit of hard work and persistence.

People pay extortionate amounts of money to have a one on one session with Nick Bollettieri, so why not give a tennis player you love the opportunity to pick his brains by reading his Tennis Handbook?


Article by: Will