Tennis- Number 12
Tennis is a sport that can be played by anyone. It has the reputation of being a sport for the wealthy, played at expensive country clubs. And while tennis is a popular sport among the well off, in actuality, all which is required to play is a racquet and some tennis ball, which can be purchased rather inexpensively at any Wal-Mart in the country.
Tennis courts exist at any city owned park or high school in the country. Tennis can be played with two or four players. It is a game that requires quickness, endurance, power and speed. It is also a game of strategy where each shot is intended to put the opponent in a defensive position.
Tennis is played in nearly every country on earth. Unlike other sports, men and women compete at the same venues in the same tournaments. In mixed doubles, they even play together. The “Grand Slam” of tennis consists of Wimbledon, the French Open, the Australian Open and the U. S. Open. Theses tournaments are considered “majors” and are of more importance than the others. Players who have won them all have won the “Grand Slam” of tennis. Some of these include:
Rod Laver, who won all four in the same year on two occasions, Don Budge, who won all four in the same year once, Roger Federer, who has a record 17 major singles titles, and Rafael Nadal who won three of the four in 2010.
On the women’s side, Maureen Connolly, Margaret Court and Steffi Graf have won all four in the same year. Court leads with 24 singles titles, Graf had 22. Serena Williams is the active leader with 16.
Tennis is growing among young kids. It is estimated that 9.5 million American children are playing tennis, up from 6.8 million in 2003. Tennis did a smart thing. They took a cue from baseball and designed a one quarter sized court to start young kids off with. Little League is not played on a regulation sized field, so why should young kids learning tennis pay on an adult sized court? This could really grow the popularity for generations to come.