The game of tennis is one of the oldest games still being played today. Although its beginnings were not as glamorous as it is today (it was first played by monks using bare hands), it was still a popular sport. So popular, in fact, that even kings were common features on the court. Louis X of France was the first royal to build indoor tennis courts – sparking race among all Royals to build their own tennis courts, and of course, trying to outdo each other.
Today, tennis is not just a game. It is a major international sport that drives a multi-billion dollar industry. An industry that has set a precedent in the way women’s tennis is at par with men’s tennis—when it comes to paychecks at least.
Tennis Elbow – The Scourge of the Tennis Court
The game may look like child’s play when you are a spectator, but professional tennis is no child’s play. It is a very demanding game physically and mentally, and as such, it requires a very strict training regimen. For example, most professional players like women’s tennis superstar, Serena Williams, follows a very strict diet and workout routine to keep her body in shape, develop power (for her blazing fast serves and hard returns), and for speed.
It is because of this need for speed and power that the sport comes with some risks of injury, both on the field and in training. One of the most common tennis injuries is tennis elbow. Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis as it is called medically, is a painful condition that occurs when you overload the tendons in your elbow. This usually happens because of repetitive motions of the wrist and arm. The pain is not only local to your elbow, it can also spread into your forearm and wrist.
The technological advancements in the design of racquets have also exacerbated the scourge of tennis elbow. New racquets are made of lighter stronger material than the traditional wood ones. This has turned the racquet sport into a game of power, leading the players to overuse their muscles, since they have to accelerate their arms more in order to hit the ball harder. The lighter racquets also afford players the ability to hit angled shorts, which place greater strain on the striker (as they have to twist their arms in unusual ways), and on the receiver as these shorts are quite hard to return due to spin.
In 2017, notable players like Andy Murray, Novak Djokvic, and Kei Nishikori had to miss the US open due to injuries incurred through the overuse of their bodies, making tennis and sports news world over.
Tennis – Sport, Billion Dollar Industry, or Both
When sports like tennis start making headlines regularly, attracting multitudes, and gaining such popularity that the Queen of England can grace a game with her presence, it’s a sure sign that that sport is a serious money spinner. That is not a bad thing, it is a very good thing as it means employment is created and families are sustained. Very few sports have the economic impact that this racquet game has. For example, the 2017 US Open generated $291 million in revenue and provided $40 Million in compensation for jobs created by the US Open. That is amazing considering the US Open is a 2 week-long event. In America alone, tennis is a $5.94 Billion industry, and if you combine the global economic impact that the racket sport has, you’ll realize it really is a sport to love.
The History Makers of Modern Day Tennis
As with every sport, there are legends who help shape the face of the discipline. For tennis, there have been so many greats it is impossible to name all of them in one post, but the 2 most notable players of our time, male and female, are:
- Roger Federer. Roger Federer is the one player that both pundits and experts agree is the greatest tennis player of all time. He holds onto a world record of 18 Grand Slam titles and once held onto the World No. 1 spot for a record-breaking 237 consecutive weeks.
- Serena Williams. Serena Williams is undoubtedly the greatest female tennis player of all times, having dominated the game for most of her career through her powerful playing style. Among her accolades are 23 grand slam titles and over $84 Million in prize money alone – that means excluding the endorsements. She embodies tennis, sports, and news as she is usually the center of attraction wherever she goes.
A World without Tennis – Unimaginable
Today, imagining a world without this sport is next to impossible. The sport and business of tennis have made such a big mark on world history that the void it would leave would be unbearable. It’s a good thing that world is just a figment of imagination and not reality.