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Reviewed by Fran L. for Readers' Favorite
Take a seat in the stands and feel the excitement growing as the players are introduced and take their positions on the court. Can you see them? Hear the balls hit the rackets and the sound of the players moving across the court as the tension mounts and the tournament begins. Take a trip back in time as you read David Wood's The Wimbledon Final That Never Was and share his father’s life, experiences and friendships. Hear the story told in the voice of the legendary tennis player Sydney Wood, himself.
Sydney Wood was a thin, wiry young man who had many disabilities that he managed to overcome and became "a great achiever." Determined, persistent and not willing to give in to his shortcomings, this amazing man at the age of 19 managed to play in the Wimbledon Championship in 1931. He won, but by default due to the injury of Frank Shields, a great tennis player whom Woods had befriended when he first played Wimbledon three years earlier. They both vowed to a playoff in order to determine the real winner, but you'll have to read the end result for yourself.
Friendships with Gertrude Lawrence, Gary Cooper, Groucho Marx, Errol Flynn and many world leaders, movie stars and athletes round out the wonderful stories that both Sydney and David share with the reader. For those interested in understanding more about the sport, Sydney Wood provided this as an added bonus in Chapter 39.
This book is filled with humorous stories of the many escapades the author and his fellow tennis players had...the ups and downs he encountered and the many disappointments, too. One thing holds true as you hear his voice: Sydney was determined, persistent and filled with tons of adrenaline every time he took the court. No matter who his competition was, Sydney Wood played an honest, clean and fair game and was a total gentleman. As the author states in his own words, ”Kinship through competition never needed confirmation.” Believe it or not, he even invented and patented a synthetic playing surface to be used in indoor tennis courts and for the World Championship Tennis Series between 1973 and 1978. Sydney Wood, thank you for sharing your life, your career and your stories. It was a pleasure to review this book.