In The Tennis Player from Bermuda, Fiona Hodgkin tells the story of her short but spectacular career as an amateur tennis player in the early 1960s. Fiona met Claire Kershaw, the number one woman tennis player and twice a Wimbledon champion. Claire was an imp. To get Fiona into the qualifying round for Wimbledon, Claire makes a comical, tongue-in-cheek offer to the mysterious Committee that runs the Championships at Wimbledon. Fiona and Claire quickly become best friends – as well as rivals on the brilliant green grass tennis courts of Wimbledon. Against the backdrop of the London social season, the tennis competition at Wimbledon, and the tennis fashions designed by the irrepressible Teddy Tingling, Fiona has two love affairs, one of which Fiona ends forever – or perhaps she doesn’t.
This book is a coming of age novel set mainly in Bermuda and London. It tells the tale of a young Fiona Hodgkin, her rise in the world of tennis as well as her laughs and loves along the way.
I found this book to be quite an easy read and finished it over a couple of days. Initially, I found the writing style to be a little confusing, if I’m honest. The author and the main character have the same name and background, yet it’s a novel. It even had the feel of an autobiography. However, I settled into the story quite well as soon as I stopped asking myself why it had been written in the way it had!
I didn’t ‘click’ with Fiona’s character in the book especially, but did relate well with her two close friends. There are a fair amount of quite in depth descriptions of tennis games which would make the book very appealing to someone involved or interested in tennis and sport in general, but they didn’t detract from the story.
In all a decent read.