When I first heard of the book “Break Point“, I thought it was going to be a “tell-all” story with a revealing, behind-the-scenes commentary on professional tennis (the Jose Conseco book on tennis). While he does have comments about many of the players such as Andy Roddick, Andre Agassi, James Blake, etc., there aren’t any great revelations beyond a fan’s general perception that can be gleaned from Tennis magazine.
The book is essentially a diary covering Spadea’s experiences on the pro tour throughout 2005. It is organized in chronological format starting with Auckland, New Zealand in January and ending in Los Angeles in November. He spices up the stories with commentary about players, tennis groupies, and officials. I enjoyed reading the roughly 270 pages and finished the book over a weekend.
As a regular fan at some of the professional tennis events (ATP Cincinnati, US Open, etc.), I’ve seen Spadea’s name and recognized him as an above average player. After reading the book, the general sense I have is that he is disappointed that he hasn’t been better recognized as a professional tennis player.
While he does have a few idiosyncrasies (e.g., he’s proficient at creating rap lyrics), I don’t think he’s as much of a flake as he wants people to believe. In many ways, he’s a good Catholic boy that wanted to have greater fan recognition, but he doesn’t have the mind set to be the Dennis Rodman of tennis.
He’s an honorable guy that’s played professional tennis for over twelve years. He’s been very competitive throughout that time, but he’s obviously disappointed that he’s only been champion at one major tournament.