1925 - American Lawn Tennis, New York - First Edition
Champions are born in the labor of defeat’’

Thus spoke Bill Tilden who, after being humiliated by Bill Johnston in the finals of the US nationals for his weak backhand, spent 12 months obsessively developing a topspin backhand by mixing repeated backhand strokes with chopping wood to gain strength, returning the following year to beat Johnston and in the process the legend of Big Bill Tilden was born. A man whose theatrics led him to fame fortune, infamy and poverty.

A ‘handsome genius’ who would arrogantly hold hold four balls in his hand, serve three aces, throw the fourth aside and walk away.

A bright copy of this classic work, not only covering what was at the time revolutionary spin technique for the back hand, but the art of strategy, and the psychology of the game. Illustrated with 96 black and white photographs.

‘Tilden [1893-1953] reigned supreme over the world of tennis in the 1920s. He won a record seven U.S. Championships, won three WImbledons, played on a record seven consecutive victorious American Davis Cup squads, and held the No. 1 American ranking an unprecedented 10 times. Tilden was in many ways larger than the game he played, a master strategist who wrote probing instruction books that held up decades later. Exceedingly tall for a player of his era at 6’2”, Tilden was a towering figure of almost ineffable greatness’. - International Tennis Hall of Fame, Newport, Rhode Island.
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Price HK$ 2,500

Modern Lawn Tennis - Illustrated by Explanatory Diagrams and Action Photographs taken expressly for this Work. - Pembroke Arnold Vaile

1904 - William Heinemann, London - First Edition
A near fine copy of a comprehensive work by Pembroke Arnold Vaile, an attorney who wrote what for years were considered the authoritative texts on golf and tennis. Brilliantly illustrated with 29 full page photographic plates taken by George W. Beldam, a renowned sports photographer .

This copy is cleaner than a set of whites at Wimbledon in 1904, although as one can see from the image of Mr. Vaile ‘
playing a smash’, the fashion for black knee-length socks and black belt is, for better or worse, no longer fashionable. 
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Price HK$ 1,400

How to Play Better Tennis - Ellsworth Vines

Circa 1950 - Bell Publishing Company, Duxel Hill - Early reprint in scarce jacket
When he was at the height of his powers in the 1930s, serving prodigiously and striking the ball with awesome power off the ground, Vines was nearly invincible on his best days.

An overwhelming force on grass courts, he won two U.S. Championships in singles and once ruled at Wimbledon in the early 1930s. Turning professional at 22, he went on to topple Bill Tilden, 47 matches to 26, in a 1934 head-to-head tour, and then eclipsed Don Budge, 49 matches to 35, following up in 1938 by beating Fred Perry 49 times to 35 in another tour.
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Price HK$ 800

Fifteen-Thirty: The Story of a Tennis Player - Helen Wills

1937 - Charles Scribner's Sons, New York - First Edition
A delightful book by one of Tennis’ all time great female players, once described as ‘the first American born woman to achieve international celebrity as an athlete’. Illustrated throughout with drawings and sketches of the author.

Helen Wills [1905-1998] - 31 Grand Slam titles, eight at Wimbledon, seven at the U.S. Championships, two Olympic gold medals. From 1919 through 1938 she produced the amazing statistic of 398 matches won to 35 lost, this included a 158 match winning streak during which she did not lose a set.

Charlie Chaplin was once asked what he considered to be the most beautiful sight that he had ever seen. He responded that it was "the movement of Helen Wills playing tennis”.
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Price HK$ 2,300