Oct/11

31

Marcelo Rios: The Man We Barely Knew, is now available at amazon.com

Finally, my second book, is available to the public via Amazon.com. “Marcelo Rios: The Man We Barely Knew” was a book project that was very important for me, for a few reasons. Rios was the player that captivated me with his playing style when I fell in love with the sport full force, back in 1997. I loved the way he mixed up spins, speeds and floated around the court, as nimble-footed as a ballerina but as clever and cunning with a racquet as a master swordsman. And of course, who doesn’t admire a renegade who takes on and conquers the world, his way? Rios was a maverick and an artist. He had the style of tennis that I patterned my game after, or at least tried to. I wanted to feel on the court the way he looked when he played. Not like Sampras or Agassi or Becker, but Rios. And I made a pretty wise choice, as in the next 5-7 years I went from a court clod (you should see the old photos when I started – my serve motion looked like a “frog” according to an old friend girl) with barely any noticeable talent, to a guy good enough to win USTA Open and 35s tourneys as well as reaching the quarterfinals of the National Public Parks held at US Open in 2006.

I loved the way Rios played the game at his best and I found his authentic and blunt personality to be as intriguing as any character I have ever encountered or covered in any sport. Dennis Rodman, John McEnroe, Andrew Golota, Roberto Duran, Jim McMahon, John Wetteland, Mike Tyson were all compelling champions in their own ways, but none quite matched up to Rios who always stayed true to his nature and never acceded to conformity.

The article I penned about Rios when he retired in 2004 was published by Tennis Week and received surprisingly positive acclaim. One respected tennis insider even called it a “great” article, in my presence, which is rare, at least for me. Other Rios admirers from around the world reached out to contact me about that article which provided inspiration. But the main reason why the article was well received was because of Rios himself, and the memories and stories he left behind.

Eventually the idea came to try to expand this article into a book. So once again, three years ago, I began to ask more tennis insiders for their memories, perspectives, anecdotes and lasting images of Rios. And once again, the more people I asked, the more excellent content I was able to collect. Some of it made me laugh till a tear formed in my eye, others made my jaw droop, still more puzzled and bewildered. How could Rios be such an enigma? How could Rios punch out a man at a restaurant? How could Rios decide to try to win a doubles match in New Haven while down triple match point – and then win the match? How could Rios be so insensitive to make a pre-teen girl cry? How could one man piss off so much of the tennis establishment with his “Me against the world” attitude?

I believe the book which has resulted from this five year study is better than the original article. Like Rios, the book is different, abstract, like a Steely Dan song. Through Marcelo Rios, this book shows the tennis realm like it’s never been seen before. If you want to experience professional tennis from a different perspective, you will enjoy this book about one of the greatest talents to ever grace a tennis court, Marcelo Rios.

The price for the book is 12.99, it’s a paperback consisting of 346 pages (in English, Spanish version will be translated next year). Here are some short excerpts (I will post more later).

Michael Chang: “Why are you writing a book about Marcelo Rios?”

Ilie Nastase: “He’s the worst prick I ever met.”

Marat Safin: “He had the talent to win ten Grand Slams.”

Roger Federer: “I was a big admirer of Marcelo.”

Thomas Johansson: “Rios could make you feel like it was your first time standing on the court.”

Mats Wilander: “I thought Rios was a ballkid.”

David Mercer: “I don’t think he respects many people in the media. I think he regards us as like parasites, living off his skills.”

Nick Bollettieri: “He was one out of a million. What he had you can’t teach.”

Mike Agassi: “In a way he was better than Andre because you could not read Rios’ shot.”

Michael Joyce: “He was serving down love-40. Triple match point. His first serve was a fault. Then he hits the second serve as hard as he can and it’s an ace. I walk back to the service line and then he says, ‘Now we win.’ I swear to God, then the guy hit like a winner on every ball.”

Mike Nakajima: “Marcelo cold-cocked him. We go into the bathroom and the guy is out cold.”

Peter Lundgren: “Marcelo said to me, I’m sorry I was like that. I thought you were a great coach.”

The book is available here:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=marcelo+rios+the+man+we+barely+knew&x=0&y=0

14 comments

  • Harold · November 1, 2011 at 12:12 am

    Just ordered my copy on Amazon…Good Luck Scoop

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 1, 2011 at 12:20 am

    Thank you very much Harold, really really appreciate it. Been a gut wrenching day, my beloved cat died today at 13 in my apt. Thanks again my friend.

  • Dan Markowitz · November 1, 2011 at 1:10 am

    Congratulations on the book, Scoop, and sorry to hear about your cat. I know from experience how wrenching it is to see a cat who has been your pet for a long time die. I’m sure that cat lived a good life.

  • Horacio · November 1, 2011 at 9:34 am

    dear Scoop,
    sorry to hear about your beloved pet. We’ll make sure to pass the word and promo this amazing book with the chilean renegades!
    copy on its way…

  • RIP · November 1, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Scoop, congratulations on the book! I will order a copy today. You put in so much time and conducted so many interviews about it so I am very much looking forward to it and I remember being in the US Open press conference with Safin when Safin said Rios had the talent to win 10 majors. Federer also spoke with high regard for Rios. Was there in Miami for the Agassi-Rios matches and his ability to change direction and speed from seemingly the same swing could be astounding. Really looking forward to this book – send one to Steve Flink – he will review it online for sure.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 1, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Thanks Dan, yes it was a bittersweet day for sure. To see a beloved friend die before your eyes like yesterday … I’d rather lose 6-0 in every set for the rest of the year lol.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 1, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Thank you so much Horacio, you were a big inspiration believe it or not. Your contributions of memories to the book are immensely appreciated also. Thanks so much my friend.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 1, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Richard, we gotta get together for lunch this week, I’m in the city all week for NYC Marathon stuff. Thanks for ordering it, from one Rios fan to another. Always remember that day sitting right next to you when Safin said that. And he said it with total belief. You could tell he liked Rios. Someone actually told me about a little story about the time she saw Rios and Safin talking together in the hotel lobby in Monte Carlo, those guys were pals, you know Safin had to respect the Chilean maverick on and off the court.

  • Steve · November 2, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    That’s surely a great price. I have to ask: did you rock a poney tail when imitating Rios all those years on the court?

    You seemed to describe your game as pusher-like not Rios-like. Look forward to checking the book out.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 2, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    No pony tail Steve, never even considered it, even when I had a full head of hair, too curly anway. Yes I was a pusher against the better players who I could only play defense against. Against same level players I could dictate and dissect and counterpunch like Rios. But as you get better you always run into better and much better players. After over ten years of grinding and improving, now that I’m one of the top players in NJ over 35s, now my Rios game comes out more, as there’s so few players who can smash me off the court and totally dominate me. In my mind I feel like I’m playing like Rios looked, despite using a one hander. But Steve you might have a good idea. Maybe should get some extension or toupee ponytail and pin it on my head – that might really give the full effect of feeling like Rios : – )

  • Steve · November 2, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    That would complete your tennis journey for sure! 🙂

  • Jena · November 3, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Congratulations on your book! Just placed my order at Amazon – can’t wait for it to arrive!

  • Dan Markowitz · November 4, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Congrats, Scoop. YOu made Jon Wertheim’s S.I.com notice.

    Moles tell us that there is a book on Marcelo Rios — unauthorized, no surprise there — coming out soon. Details to come.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 4, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Wow, that made my day thanks Dan. I told Jon about it at the US Open, he seemed interested about it. I will send him a copy.

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