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Winning Ugly

Winning Ugly

Mental Warfare in Tennis--Lessons from a Master

The tennis classic from Olympic gold medalist and ESPN analyst Brad Gilbert, now featuring a new introduction with tips drawn from the strategies of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, Andy Murray, and more, to help you outthink and outplay your toughest opponents

A former Olympic medalist and now one of ESPN’s most respected analysts, Brad Gilbert shares his timeless tricks and tips, including “some real gems” (Tennis magazine) to help both recreational and professional players improve their game.

In the new introduction to this third edition, Gilbert uses his inside access to analyze current stars such as Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal, showing readers how to beat better players without playing better tennis.

Written with clarity and wit, this classic combat manual for the tennis court has become the bible of tennis instruction books for countless players worldwide.
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  • Touchstone | 
  • 224 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780671884000 | 
  • May 1994
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Mental Preparation: The Pre-Match Advantage

Turning Pro: Young and Innocent


One of the first lessons I learned when I turned pro in 1982 was how much of an edge could be gained before the match even got started. It became obvious to me that for the best players in the world their match had begun a long time before the first serve. They came ready to play and wanted to grab me by the throat as soon as they could.

As a member of the tennis teams at Foothill Junior College and Pepperdine, I liked to just show up and play. I'd settle into the match mentally and physically during the first set. A lot... see more

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