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Foreword by Billie Jean King



Billie Jean King
( Photo credit: Art Seitz ©2009 )
You Can Quote Me on That brought back a flood of wonderful memories, and I discovered plenty of juicy quotes I never heard before.

Ever since I first picked up a tennis racket as an eleven-year-old in Long Beach, California, I’ve crusaded to improve the sport I love. I battled country club elitism and snobbery, the reactionary establishment, “shamateurism,” racism, homophobia and sexism.

Winning thirty-nine Grand Slam titles, including twenty at Wimbledon, and thumping Bobby Riggs in the famous “Battle of the Sexes” match gave me the public platform I needed. Early on, I learned the power of words. They can make people laugh and cry, think and argue, and ultimately inspire us to do good and great things.

Tennis history has always been a huge fascination for me. I loved stories about the tradition-breaking flamboyance of Suzanne Lenglen, the classic elegance of Helen Wills, and the serve-and-volley boldness of Alice Marble.

As an enthusiastic teenager, I not only dreamed of playing like these champions, I wanted to be like them. Lenglen liberated tennis women in the 1920s with her attitude as much as her then-risqué attire. “I just throw dignity to the wind and think of nothing but the game,” she proclaimed.

Those words stuck in my mind, as did the eloquence of Helen Wills Moody, the first American to dominate women’s tennis. Seventy years ago she said: “Concerning the limits and limitations of the women’s game—why should we believe there are any?” My thoughts exactly!

That passion for tennis is reflected every day around the world, whether it be at a gritty public court in Compton, California, where Venus and Serena got started, or Centre Court at Wimbledon—my favorite place in the world. Tennis players tell it like it is. They praise and lambaste opponents, confide their hopes and fears, talk tennis issues, and express themselves in every conceivable way.

Andre Agassi is one of my favorite players because he’s a champion off the court, too. He’s raised millions of dollars for charities, and his college preparatory academy in Las Vegas has given hope to hundreds of disadvantaged children. After Andre rebounded from a devastating career slump to win Roland Garros in 1999, he said, “I’ve got to say, what turns me on more than anything is just making a difference in people’s lives. That’s one thing I’ve taken with me and I’ll keep. Probably even more so than the accomplishments itself at the French Open is the fact that somewhere along the line it gave hope to people.”

Paul Fein, an award-winning journalist, is also a sectional tournament player, former satellite tournament director and regional TV commentator, and teaching pro, who knows first-hand about the pressures, joys and disappointments of competition.

Paul’s You Can Quote Me on That contains hundreds of funny, informative and provocative quotes by and about present and past stars on thirty-five different topics. No one and nothing is spared.

I found the entire book engrossing. I’m sure you will, too. And you can quote me on that!


Tennis superstar Billie Jean King




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Tennis Quotes

Also by Paul:

Tennis Confidential 1

Tennis Confidential II

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