A Journey to Glory from behind the Iron Curtain

A Journey to Glory from behind the Iron Curtain

He lived through tennis in two political regimes; first, as a player, then as an official. Besides Wimbledon he won Roland Garros twice, reached the US Open finals twice, he played an important part in helping Czechoslovakia get to the Davis Cup finals twice, whereas the second attempt completed his career with a victory and acquisition of the legendary "salad bowl". He won a string of International tournaments in singles and doubles, and defeated six Wimbledon champions – Rod Laver, John Newcombe, Manuel Santana, Arthur Ashe, Stan Smith and Bjorn Borg. In fifteen years he played ninety-five matches for the Davis Cup team; he received an ITF award for "Services in the Game" and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

After his own competitive career came to an end he embarked on a formidable complicated period as a Davis Cup team captain. He was also a driving force behind the construction of a new Stvanice Tennis Center and stood at the brink of an ATP Series tournament in Prague. His characteristic uncompromising, honest, resilient character and a habit of saying even unpleasant things directly to one’s face sometimes created conflicts that climaxed during his Czech Tennis Federation presidency.

A Journey to Glory from behind the Iron Curtain
By Petr Kolar with Wimbledon Champion Jan Kodes

Hardcover: 548 pages
Publisher: New Chapter Press (June 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0942257685
ISBN-13: 978-0942257687

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From the book: What his rivals said about him...

John Curry, Chairman of The Championships and the AELTC at Wimbledon 1989-1999, wrote about the book:

Dear Jan,
I am very indebted for the wonderful autobiogaphy you gave me. It has been fasinating reading about a part of tennis history that is unknown to me and dipping into the pictures and documents illustrated in your book. Of course I knew and watched your successes in the US, Paris and of course Wimbledon but I knew nothing of the Czech history and the experiences in a totalitarian state.
As a matter of coincidence at university some 50 years ago I wrote a thesis entitled "The police force in a totalitarian state", I am sure with your personal experience you would have done a better job!
You and Petr Kolar have produced a highly readable,enjoyable and worthwhile book for anyone who is interested in tennis. Well done and very many thanks I am sure I will continue to enjoy the illustrations over many years.
All the very best

A letter from Tony Trabbert, president of International Tennis Hall of Fame (ITHF):
Dear Jan, A note to thank you very much for your wonderful book. It is very interesting, and well done. Naturally, I like the part about our Hall of Fame.