Book Reviews

Anne Arundel County, Maryland

Book Review by Brent Herrick

October 19, 2009

Strokes of Genius

Federer, Nadal, and the Greatest Match Ever Played

Copyright 2009 by L. Jon Wertheim

ISBN: 978-0-547-23280-5

The match was one to save on video for the ages and to instruct all future players in both method and behavior.  This book gives you the emotional high points of the match as well as the emotional heaves and falls consistent with any tennis match that assumes the proportions of a life and death struggle.  These men were out here to win, not just to show, and Wertheim gives you the intimate details of the match and of the players behind the match. This book gives you Tennis and all of the background behind what most consider the greatest match of modern tennis.

The Game of Gentlemen:

Before he is finished, you feel not only that the gameTennis has assumed a higher position than it already had in the world of sports, but that it truly is the game of gentlemen when the two participants are Federer and Nadal.  Wertheim states it and proves it throughout the book.  His admiration of the two players comes through as well as his obvious respect for the game. 

A Battle of the Titans:

He imparts some great insight into the technique of each player obviously the result of excellent analysis from other experts in the field of tennis, and also places the statistical evidence of near parity in result between the two players when it comes to points won and lost.  I found Wertheim excellent in his rendition of the points as he converted them from visual art into words that conveyed the images. The move back and forth between background and play also gives the reader some rest and time for contemplation of how to value this match-up between the two titans of Tennis.

The Match rated the Best by the Best:

The viewers of the match, the match announcers, and everyone associated with the tournament at some stage knew they were watching something timeless and magnificent in the making. Wertheim recounts the awe many of the former players, some now in the announcer's booth, as they stop talking and let the play speak.

Add it to your Collection:

This book is one for the Tennis Collection of any serious participant or fan.  As it goes, I also admit that it will be one of the few tennis books that I can see myself reading many times.


Very Highly Recommended – 5+ stars


Review by Brent Herrick –

Reprinted with permission given by the reviewer: Brent Herrick -

Copyright –