IanB Gave a Five-star Review on Amazon to “Marcelo Rios: The Man We Barely Knew”

Be forewarned, this is kind of a rant but one that maybe others recognise as well in terms of the tennis media.

As probably a lot of people wonder here already, and as Michael Chang is quoting as saying in this book: Why a book on Marcelo Rios? Well… I have posted maybe one or two reviews here on Amazon total but I think this deserves one. If not just because of the book itself but also the subject matter. And believe me I realise this will also seem probably like some form of soliloquy.

Like a lot of the reviewers here I was a huge admirer of Rios. Much has been written & said about him and I can only thank Scoop for writing this book. I remember watching Rios demolish Agassi at the Miami tourney in ’98. There was definitely something magical about his game. And again you’ll have to forgive me as I will probably go on and on not just on the book’s merits, which I think are many, but I wanted to call out the U.S. tennis media in general as Luke Jensen did (if indirectly). He has some of the most poignant comments amongst many in the book. I mean, if you were only connected to tennis through ESPN via Cliff Drysdale & pals and Bud Collins you probably would never have paid any attention to Rios because both of them told the general public he is a jerk/not worthy/fill-in-the-blank. Don’t get me wrong; Bud Collins’ talent as a commentator, tennis historian as well as a writer is unparalleled. As I am sure much could be said about many other reporters there is something to be said that just because you guys are slighted by someone (Cliff and Bud) doesn’t mean he sucks. As a journalist I would think it’s part of your job to want to understand your subjects better however hard that may be. Getting to know someone is always difficult. Sometimes we never know how someone ticks. If it turns out to be too much of a pain to delve don’t assume anything and just write that person off, which is what both of the two aforementioned journalists did. I would much rather read or hear that as a reporter you don’t know what he/she is like or what he thinks, as Mary Carillo and McEnroe amongst many others, did in the book. I think by assuming certain things as C. Drysdale and B. Collins did they are performing a disservice to their profession and in some form or another failed in that facet as a journalist. And sadly you still hear it to this day as they will never give any credit to Rios. You can love him or hate him but you cannot deny Rios’ mastery. He is a very intriguing subject.


  • Martin G · January 30, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Hi Scoop,

    Why are you surprised by bad reputation of Rios?

    Rios never did any damage control as he’s got older
    or left competitive tennis.

    If he would have improved his approach towards public/players and media in late stages of his career, he would have changed that public perception.

    Famous commentator are saying that you are a jerk and so on …
    Then approach them and sit with them, make them see your real character.
    Explain your side of the story. He never did it or did he?

    It’s not us that needs to change here.
    It’s him if he wants to change public perception of himself.
    If he doesn’t care or it’s not important to him then all is good on both sides.

    Just my 5 cents.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 30, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Hi Martin, The review was by a person named IanB who I do not know. It’s his words. Agree with everything you said. Rios didn’t care about his public image at all. He didn’t care to explain why he was the way he was. He liked to be on his own, most of the problems happened when people approached him and he rejected them. Many people were annoyed by that. But Rios just wanted to be left alone. We have to respect that, those were his conditions.



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