How Tennis Invented Everything is a book that started life as a throwaway line in a conversation he had with a coach who was explaining some of the complicated terms used in the ancient game of Real Tennis, at the end of which Christian flippantly remarked, “Ah, so tennis invented banking then?”
It was a lightbulb moment that began a 20 year hobby with collecting all sorts of weird and wonderful tennis anecdotes, including one truly historic find where he was researching something completely different and accidentally stumbled across a 2,000 year old secret, buried by the Romans, that he believes correctly reveals for the first time why tennis is scored at 15 points at a time. A debate which has previously been raging between scholars and historians across six centuries and two millennia.
There are over 120 stories in the book all neatly categorised into 22 sections, and hopefully you will be just as surprised as the author was to discover the incredible range and diversity of things that tennis has influenced throughout history. From the fall of kings to the birth of democracy, from inventing banking to causing the global financial crisis, tennis has shaped our world in ways you had never imagined.
Although all the stories are based on true historical fact, the author freely admits that he may have stretched one or two of the conclusions in order to fit the conceit of the title, but hopes that this is as much part of the fun of the book as the extraordinary tales themselves.
It’s not all levity though, the chapter on the Second World War is truly harrowing, as are the heart breaking accounts of the famous tennis stars that were on board the Titanic that fateful day. And keep a box of Kleenex handy when you read the poignant love story about the Japanese Davis Cup player, it’s a real tear jerker.
Christian describes the book “as a love letter to tennis’, and that certainly shows in the level of detail and research that must have gone in to putting it all together. It absolutely deserves to fulfil his hope of going on to become a must have accessory to tennis lovers everywhere.