Yesterday, September 13th, was the men’s tennis US Open finals. As you may know, the winner was Spain’s Rafael Nadal with his first ever US Open win. In doing so, he joined Don Budge, Fred Perry, Roy Emerson, Rod Laver, Andre Agassi, and Roger Federer in the exclusive society of those who have won each of the four majors. He has also won three consecutive majors and is the first man since Australian Rod Laver in 1969 to take the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open titles in the same year. Laver swept the four majors that year for his second Grand Slam in a single season.

Rod Laver

Rod Laver

What does this have to do with books you may ask? Well, according to the Tennis Collector’s of America, ‘tennis memorabilia, compared to that of golf and baseball, is relatively undervalued, allowing collectors with modest budgets to build very satisfactory collections’. It is our opinion, however, that this may not always be the case. Although the tennis had its real heyday in the 70’s and the number of people who play has waned since then, it is once again beginning to see an increase in popularity, both in the amount of people who play and those that watch the sport.

For the book collector who also loves tennis, it is often a natural inclination to want to collect books on the sport or perhaps hold a small bit of history by collecting books signed by one of the tennis greats. Tennis has a rich history, both in its origins and how it has evolved in the last century. Many historians believe that the game began in France in the 12th century, although it wasn’t until the 16th century that rackets began to be used. It wasn’t until the late 1800’s however that the game really began to take off, with the formation of tennis clubs, the first championships at Wimbledon, and the setting down of official rules and regulations. Not much has changed with the rules since that time, although the intensity of the sport as well as player ability continues to increase all the time. Also, long gone are the days of women playing in long dresses or men in long pants, but now we have the sometimes glittering outfits of the Williams sisters or the always present RF brand of Roger Federer.

US Lawn Tennis, 1887

US Lawn Tennis, 1887

Anyway, if you love tennis, you might want to join the game of book collecting. It’s a great match!