by Bob Stockton
Nearly three-quarters of the top men’s tennis professionals elected not to play Wimbledon in 1973 due to a player boycott in support of Yugoslav player Nikki Pilic being suspended from the event for failing to play Davis Cup for his country.
The men’s event was the most-watered down Grand Slam tournament of all time, but was still dramatic and eventful in its own right, as the eventual champion, Hall of Famer Jan Kodes describes in an ebook called “Jan Kodes and the Boycotted Wimbledon: The Czech Champion’s 1973 Triumph at The Championships” for sale and download here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08B3342PP?pf_rd_r=5CJA4T9DB4W88TYQMSH5&pf_rd_p=edaba0ee-c2fe-4124-9f5d-b31d6b1bfbee
This ebook is part of a larger book by Kodes and narrator Peter Kolar called A JOURNEY TO GLORY FROM BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN, available here at New Chapter Press at www.NewChapterMedia.com on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Jan-Kodes-Journey-Behind-Curtain/dp/0942257685/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384451547&sr=8-1&keywords=jan+kodes+journey+to+glory
The coffee table book, originally published in Czech, provides a narrative and illustrated history of Czech tennis through the eyes of Kodes and author Peter Kolar. The book, filled with hundreds of unique and personal photographs, documents the successful journey of Kodes from political turmoil of the Cold War to international tennis fame, detailing the early days of darkness and family persecution in communist Czechoslovakia and the complexities of becoming a professional tennis player under a totalitarian regime. Entertaining anecdotes featuring Czech tennis legends Ivan Lendl and Martina Navratilova are also featured as well as the stories behind Kodes’ victories at Wimbledon and the French Open and his two runner-up finishes at the U.S. Open.
“I am very pleased that this book is now available in English so fans outside of the Czech Republic can learn about my story and some history of tennis in my country,” said Kodes. “I am happy to share stories of my triumphs and failures as well as stories about Martina Navratilova, Ivan Lendl and other Czech tennis greats.”
“A JOURNEY TO GLORY FROM BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN” is available for $49.95 in bookstores and retail outlets across the United States and Canada. It is a deluxe glossy photo and text hard cover that fills 548 pages.
Kodes is considered the most under-rated tennis champion of the Open Era, reaching five major singles finals, winning the French Open in 1970 and 1971 and the men’s singles title at Wimbledon in 1973. He also reached the U.S. Open final in both 1971 and 1973, losing to Stan Smith and John Newcombe, respectively. Kodes played Davis Cup for Czechoslovakia for 15 years, leading his country to the final in 1975, where it lost to Sweden in Stockholm. His Davis Cup finale came in representing the team in 1980 when it won the championship over Italy in the final. Kodes has served as his country’s Davis Cup captain, president of the Czech Tennis Association, and tournament director of ATP Czech Open tournament.
“I believe that, in his time, Jan was one of the best players in the world,” said five-time Wimbledon champion Bjorn Borg. “He earned his place in tennis history as a great champion.”