The Pros: The Forgotten Era of Tennis, written by Australian doctor, writer and peace activist Peter Underwood, and which chronicles and narrates one of the most misunderstood and little-known eras of world tennis, the Professional or Pro Era, is now available for sale around the world in English via book publisher New Chapter Press.
The Pros describes the era through the stories of eight great tennis champions – Bill Tilden, Ellsworth Vines, Don Budge, Bobby Riggs, Jack Kramer, Pancho Gonzales, Ken Rosewall and Rod Laver – who dominated the pro arenas beginning in 1930 through to the start of the “Open Era” in 1968. Underwood explains why these celebrated champions were forced into what was often called a traveling circus, and where these sporting outcasts played each other during long and rather tatty tours all over the world, far from the cushy confines of what was then the amateur game at Wimbledon, Forest Hills and Roland Garros.
John Newcombe, one of the all-time greatest Australian tennis champions, contributed the Foreword to the book writing, “This is an important task Peter has chosen to tackle and I think his book should be a must read for any aspiring young player. Certainly any sports lover born between 1930 and 1970 will devour it. These players were all national and international heroes in their time, and media stories following some of their epic clashes make for fascinating reading.”
Underwood is a doctor and academic who also works as a peace activist with the Medical Association for Prevention of War, which achieved global fame in 2017 when the organization it had founded, the International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. A native of Perth, Australia, Underwood divides his time between peace work, medical education, growing fine wool, broadcasting and writing. A passionate student of tennis since childhood, The Pros is his first nonfiction book.