March 5 - World Tennis Day

Posted on March 5, 2018

(First Monday of March)

"One Day. One World. One Sport."

That's what the World Tennis Day Twitter feed says. And that seems a little bit weird to me in the week following the Winter Olympics, because we all know and love many more than one sport!

However, I guess it's not too much to ask us to focus on tennis one day a year!

Actually, tennis is one of my favorite sports because:

1) It has more action, and is faster paced, than some sports (golf and baseball are a bit slow, in my opinion).

2) Despite all that action, tennis isn't as fundamentally violent as some sports (boxing and football are kind of a problem that way, methinks), and it isn't even as rough-and-tumble as hockey and basketball. That means that average folks and older people can enjoy playing the sport.

3) It's possible to play with just two people. I mean, full on PLAY. Some team sports are just practice or "catch" when there's just two people. Only needing one other person to really, truly play makes tennis easier to do one's whole life than something like, say, water polo or soccer.

4) It's not always easy to find nice courts with nets that are in good condition - so tennis isn't completely free and 100% accessible like hiking or running - but tennis courts are fairly cheap to install and maintain and are thus common in high schools and some community centers. That makes tennis less expensive and more accessible than, say, diving or downhill skiing, speed skating or hang gliding.

5) It's one of the few sports that by its very structure allows men and women to play together. 

Pros Martina Hingis and Leander Paes

So, to sum up, tennis is played at all levels of society and by all ages! In addition to being a popular sport for non-pros, it's also a popular spectator sport and - since 1988 - is a medal sport in the Olympics.

Tennis started in the 1800s, in England. Modern tennis evolved from lawn tennis, and there have been only a few changes in rules from the 1890s. 

Hard - Clay - Grass
Professional tennis players generally play on all surfaces: hard courts, clay courts, and grass courts. It's fun for recreational players to try different surfaces, too - but most folks have access to only one sort of surface in their normal routine.

American Serena Williams has
been an amazing tennis pro
for years!
Top professional tennis players rake in millions of dollars in prize money. But the pay gap between men and women tennis players is pretty large, and the pay gap between the top 5 players and all the rest of the pros is huge. Plus, the prizes won at tournaments are much chancier than the millions given as salaries to football, basketball, and baseball players. And pro tennis players have to pay their own expenses, including flights, equipment, lodging...

More $$ endorsement than
any athlete on the planet!
However, the very-very-very top players make SO much. Roger Federer has made $108 million in prize money in his 20-year career (he's 38 years old). But his earnings in endorsements, appearances, and exhibitions and so forth are way, way more than his earnings in prize money. He gets about $60 million PER YEAR for endorsements. That's the most of any athlete - any sport - on the planet!

Fun Facts About Names Day

(Monday of the first full week of March)

Saint Piran's Day in Cornwall

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