The Atlantic

A Book That Honors an Underrated Sport

The Circuit, Rowan Ricardo Phillips’s latest book, deftly chronicles tennis’s 2017 season with a joyful reverence.
Source: Clive Brunskill / Getty

Full disclosure: I have a tennis bias. I played as a young boy, keep close tabs on the professional circuit, and have had the good fortune of covering the sport for The Atlantic and other outlets. Right above the home-office desk from where I’m writing now hangs a picture of a grimacing Jimmy Connors lunging for a ball at the net, keeping me honest. It hadn’t really occurred to me that I could snooker a book publisher into paying me to binge-watch tennis for a year, something that I basically do already. When The Circuit landed on my doorstep a few weeks ago, I could only kick myself and curse Rowan Ricardo Phillips—the estimable poet and Paris Review sports contributor who, alas, has beaten me to the punch.

the first of Phillips’s books dedicated solely

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