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Virginia Tennis Board


Joined: 8/13/98 Posts: 3787
Likes: 1718

Thanks so much for the thoughtful response

I learned to play tennis at 17, hitting old balls I scarfed from around tennis courts that people hadn't bothered to retrieve against a brick wall. The grass in front of the wall was sloped and it wasn't smooth, so the ball bounced crazily, and my racket was something a relative had discarded because it was cracked, but I loved it like no other sport. By the time I was 18, I won some local tournaments. There weren't any good players there, of course, but there were players who had been playing on real courts since they were young.

So I really, really get it about money, the best training, and the best training early. I could never have aspired to any really good tournaments.

I eventually bought a better racket with money I made delivering groceries after school, and it was only then that I found out about stringing and restringing, which just added more cost. I almost didn't get to play the finals of one of my tournaments because I didn't have tennis whites. I couldn't remotely afford them. But I loved it, and the idea of hitting balls in the hot sun all day long would have given me great joy.

So, I have to wonder, based on no data at all, if there aren't a substantial number of potentially great tennis players out there who might love the game as I did, but who need opportunities they can't afford. IF that's the case, then the issue is identification and money. And I would bet there are people who would give substantial money to US tennis player development.

The US is, of course, huge. Golf is even more expensive than tennis, I would think, and the US does well in golf. We have top horseback riders and consistently win sailing races. Those sports are hideously expensive. I would hope there are enough athletes in the US that, if identified and supported, could put us back near the top of the tennis world, again. But perhaps not.

I got to shake hands with Borg, once, and it's still a highlight for me.

Thanks for the perspective. Much appreciated, as I haven't followed this at all.

(In response to this post by 1969hoo)

Posted: 10/11/2017 at 6:27PM


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