“Pioneers of the Game: The Evolution of Men’s Professional Tennis,” the comprehensive tennis history book written by Marshall Happer, is now available for sale.
The book is the culmination of many years of research and work from Happer, who was the first and only “commissioner” of men’s professional tennis as the head of the Men’s Tennis Council, the first and last unified governing body of men’s tennis from 1974-1989.
“Pioneers of the Game” documents the saga and history of the inside struggles and conflicts of a surprisingly small group of international visionaries and activists who shaped the business, administration, and governance of men’s professional tennis from 1919 to 1990 and beyond. The book details the pioneer’s 40-year competition between amateur and professional tennis which eventually forced the approval of Open Tennis in 1968, followed by the creation and development of the business, administration, and governance of men’s tennis as a professional sport between 1968 and1990 and beyond, with the divided governance and the advent of the ATP Tour.
This historical volume profiles, honors, and ranks these administrative legends which include Jack Kramer, Phillippe Chatrier, Lamar Hunt, Herman David, Derek Hardwick, Robert Kelleher, Donald Dell, Mike Davies, Stan Malless, Tony Trabert, Arthur Ashe, and Cliff Drysdale, among others.
“I am proud that I had the opportunity to meet and work for and with many of the Pioneers of the Game,” said Happer. “I wish I had known all of this history when I was privileged to be involved in men’s professional tennis.”
Steve Flink, the Hall of Fame tennis writer and historian, contributed the Foreword to the book, writing, “In this compelling and immensely significant book, Marshall Happer—a central figure in the evolution of pro tennis and one of its most crucial citizens— writes the definitive historical account of how (men’s pro tennis) all transpired, of those who contributed most mightily to the growth and wellbeing of the sport, of why the many challenges confronted by the those in and around the establishment were ultimately successful in their quest to turn the men’s game into a place of growing prominence along the landscape of sports.”
The book, which has suffered through some supply chain delays but be ordered now here XXXX via Amazon.com, has also already captured the attention of some of biggest names from the board rooms to the courts over the last 50 years.
Said five-time U.S. Open champion Jimmy Connors, “This is about the development of men’s tennis from the beginning. The Pioneers molded the game, but did those involved have their own agendas? Marshall Happer had to deal with all the ‘players’ – those on the court and those behind the scenes. This is a story that needs to be told – to understand how tennis has gotten to where it is now. Many questions will be answered, and maybe, just maybe, a few more will be asked.”
Said three-time U.S. Open champion Ivan Lendl, “I was opposed to many of the rules that Marshall held us to and we fought all the time, but looking back he had an impossible job which he tried to manage in the fairest way possible.”
Said Craig Tiley, the CEO of Tennis Australia and the tournament director of the Australian Open, “Success is optimised by having respect and a better understanding of the past. Marshall’s book will help everyone in tennis reflect and gain greater knowledge of what came before them.”
Said Cliff Drysdale, the first President of the ATP, “There were so many moving parts to this interesting story. At that time tennis organizations and players in this drama were staking their claim to a place at the table. Marshall Happer was in the right place then, and he led the game thru its formative stage when there was no clear end in sight. He steered the discussion forcefully but gently through those turbulent times. Indeed, for a long while he was the lead pioneer. Marshall has done diligent research so this book is a definitive historical account. It is a great trip down memory lane and a fascinating tale of the birth of pro tennis.”
Said Miami Open Founder and Former ATP Executive Director Butch Buchholz, “Men’s professional tennis today owes a huge thank you to Marshall Happer who was the Administrator for the Men’s Tennis Council, the first and only unified governing body for men’s professional tennis. Professional tennis needed someone with Marshall’s passion for tennis and legal background to build the foundation for the sport we enjoy today.”
Said long-time Indian Wells tournament owner and tournament director Charlie Pasarell, “As a founding member of the ATP and later a member of the Men’s Tennis Council representing the North American Tournaments, I had the privilege of spending many hours in meeting rooms with Marshall….Much of the success that Tennis has achieved is due to some sound fundamentals that were established under Marshall’s leadership then. This book tells the accurate historical story of that period. It is a must read for Tennis fans, and should be mandatory reading for all players, tournament directors and tennis officials.”
Said Micky Den Tuinder Lawler, President of the WTA, “Pioneers of the Game provides the reader with a unique and inside personal insight into the fascinating world of tennis. This game is as competitive and intense behind the scenes as it is on the court. The thick plots that evolved on the international stage rival any adventure in Ian Fleming’s James Bond series.”
Said Tennis Channel President Ken Solomon, “Marshall Happer has written the definitive history of one of the most unlikely and least understood origin stories of any major sport, chronicling the tumultuous 40 year birth of men’s, and eventually all, professional tennis. Commissioner Happer’s meticulous, fascinating and thoroughly entertaining narrative has never before been told, and is a must read for any tennis fan or player seeking the unique origins of the professional game.”
Founded in 1987, New Chapter Press (www.NewChapterMedia.com) is also the publisher of “Juan Martin del Potro: The Gentle Giant” by Sebastian Torok, “The Greatest Tennis Matches of All-Time” and “Pete Sampras: Greatness Revisited” by Steve Flink, “The Education of a Tennis Player” by Rod Laver with Bud Collins, “The Bud Collins History of Tennis” by Bud Collins, “The Pros: The Forgotten Era Of Tennis” by Peter Underwood, “The Wimbledon Final That Never Was” by Sidney Wood, “Titanic: The Tennis Story” by Lindsay Gibbs, “Macci Magic: Extracting Greatness From Yourself And Others” by Rick Macci with Jim Martz, “The Secrets of Spanish Tennis” by Chris Lewit, “Andy Murray, Wimbledon Champion: The Full Extraordinary Story” by Mark Hodgkinson, “Cattle To Courts: A History of Tennis In Texas” by Ken McAllister, “Sport of a Lifetime: Enduring Personal Stories From Tennis” by Judy Aydelott, “Trojan Tennis: A History of the Storied Men’s Tennis Program at the University of Southern California” by S. Mark Young, “Absolute Tennis: The Best And Next Way To Play The Game” by Marty Smith, “How To Permanently Erase Negative Self Talk So You Can Be Extraordinary” by Emily Filloramo, “Acing Depression: A Tennis Champion’s Toughest Match” by Cliff Richey and Hilaire Richey Kallendorf, “Your Playbook For Beating Depression: Essential Strategies For Managing and Living with Depression” by Cliff Richey and Mary Garrison, “Roger Federer: Quest for Perfection” by Rene Stauffer, “The Days of Roger Federer” by Randy Walker, “Jan Kodes: A Journey To Glory From Behind The Iron Curtain” by Jan Kodes with Peter Kolar, “Tennis Made Easy” by Kelly Gunterman, “On This Day In Tennis History” by Randy Walker, “A Player’s Guide To USTA League Tennis” by Tony Serksnis, “Court Confidential: Inside The World Of Tennis” by Neil Harman, “A Backhanded Gift” by Marshall Jon Fisher, “Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games” by Tom Caraccioli and Jerry Caraccioli (www.Boycott1980.com), “Internet Dating 101: It’s Complicated, But It Doesn’t Have To Be” by Laura Schreffler, “How To Sell Your Screenplay” by Carl Sautter, “Bone Appetit: Gourmet Cooking For Your Dog” by Suzan Anson, “The Rules of Neighborhood Poker According to Hoyle” by Stewart Wolpin among others.