“Tennis belongs to the individualistic past – a hero, or at most a pair of friends or lovers, against the world.” ( Jacques Barzun)
Published in 2021, ‘Confessions of an Ageing Tennis Player’ tells the story of a man of a certain age – known to himself as ‘Lord Andrew John Paul George Ringo Murray of Kirkintilloch’ – who lived out fantasies of sporting super powers when he was young and never quite moved on as he grew up.
By the end of the story, he has (he thinks) succeeded at his final and most demanding quest of being elected Chairman of his local club: but in the minds of most of the rest of the world, he has become a complete social misfit who causes nothing but chaos everywhere he turns. Far from ‘preparing for government’ of his club in the New Year, Lord Andrew has in everyone else’s eyes been issued with a lifetime ban from the club and been arrested for arson.
‘The Courting Lives of an Ageing Tennis Player’ picks up from where ‘Confessions’ left off.
What’s the next challenge for the tennis player who’s just won Wimbledon? It’s to win the next Grand Slam in Australia. So, he goes back to his tennis roots, bades farewell to his club and sets off on his journey over the equator to Melbourne (also known in the ‘real’ world as HM Prison North Sea Camp in Lincolnshire.)
His desire to win the Australian Open in ‘Melbourne’ however is not as straight forward as he would like. He has an open prison regime to contend with, opponents who don’t play by the book and the ongoing attentions of another champion tennis player, ‘Serena Williams’ who has taken pity on Lord Andrew due in no small part to the guilt she feels about her role in banning him from their club in the first place. And lurking deep in the background is his spurned coach, Mrs Hacienda Buscando Stanley Carter (Hac) who has several scores to settle.
The Courting Lives of an Ageing Tennis Player brings our characters back together for another epic tennis final played out in the tennis courts of Melbourne, the magistrates courts of Liverpool and eventually the romantic wilderness of the East Lincolnshire coast line.
As with Confessions, we’re delighted to be working again with our illustrator, Paul Warren, who is producing yet another collection of memorable illustrations for the book.
Planned for publication in 2023, you can pre-order your copy here: