I’m always looking for guests to appear on my sports show so when I discovered that sports journalist/author Scoop Malinowski had written a book about former ATP World Number One Marcelo Rios I contacted him about appearing on the program to talk all about the book….he said yes and you can listen to the show here.
Scoop was also kind enough to send me a digital copy of Marcelo Rios: The Man We Barely Knew and even though I don’t have all that much time for extra reading I decided to give this book a whirl.
I’m glad I did and so will you!
Anyone remembering the extremely talented southpaw from Chile will usually recall two things about him; he was widely respected and admired for his on court brilliance and for the most part abhorred for his aloof and erratic behavior off the court. Both the on court as well as the off court personalities play a dominant role in Malinowski’s book.
Malinowski examines Rios’ entire professional tennis career through the lens of those who seem to have known Rios best: competitors, fans, ball persons, photographers, former coaches, tennis insiders and legends of the game shared their personal firsthand stories and experiences of this much misunderstood man.
One of the interesting aspects of this book was the section of matches being analyzed by Eurosport commentators. I remember many of those matches Rios played and at times while reading the commentary I could visualize the brilliance of Rios. That made the book come alive for me which made me enjoy it all the more.
I was very disappointed that Rios’ former coach Larry Stefanki refused to discuss Rios with Malinowski. While I do understand the sensitive nature in a relationship with a former student he could have at least said something about someone he at one time was very close with and who arguably had the most impact on Rios career. This wasn’t Malinowski’s fault and the book is still a keeper without Stefanki’s imput.
Malinowski spent five years putting this book together and I think it was time well spent. While my opinion of Rios hasn’t changed at least this book showed that there is a human side to Rios that rarely, or barely was known.
Until now that is.
You can buy the book here.