Quitting a steady job which has brought progression and the responsibility of managing a team to chase your childhood dreams is something we all wish we had the bravery to do. In 2006, Gregory Howe did just that.
Resigning from his job as a high school teacher in London, Howe embarked on a journey to add an ATP world ranking to his CV. His fascinating journey is detailed in his debut book, Chasing Points: A season on the pro season circuit, and is a must-read for any tennis fan.
From Namibia to Australia and Germany to Uganda, Howe expertly details just how crazy and intimidating the world of tennis can be. For those who participate at the lowest level of professional tennis week-in and week-out, this book will surely comes as a breath of fresh air: somebody has truly articulated the life of these players who have a dream of being a professional tennis player.
The disappointment in the book lies in its length, but that’s only because Howe’s journey is something that is truly unbelievable. He excels at detailing the plane-hopping, make-or-break culture the ITF tour brings. It probably isn’t going to stun fans across world, but his journey on the ITF Futures circuit at the age of 34 is breathtaking, almost inspirational, and provides a book that you simply cannot put down.
Each chapter leaves you wanting more and at the end you just want the story to continue. Don’t be surprised if you Google every player that is mentioned – who are they, what did they achieve and where are they now? I really want to find out and I’m sure you will, too.
Chasing Points is a classic underdog story that shows how hard it really is to earn a ranking point on the tennis tour. The highs, lows and bravery players put themselves through needs to be understood, and this book provides a fantastic outlook on the sacrifices you have to make to become a tennis player.
Just how many others will be able to follow in Greg’s footsteps, given the ITF’s new ranking system coming to 2019, remains to be seen. It’s a brutal sport and the reality dawns on you about the dangers players put themselves through in the name of ‘making it’. Hospitals, illness, surgery, fully booked hotels and martial law, this book has it all and paints a welcome picture about the competitive fight for ranking points.