Tennis: a snob sport for the upper class?

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by Someone Else, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. iradical18

    iradical18 Professional

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    One of the sound posts in this thread. Depending on where you play the reputation still carries weight, as a brown guy with tattoos there are some places I've played where I've definitely felt out of place. To answer the OP's question though, tennis began as a royal sport and it was common for wealthy estates to be built with lawn tennis courts.
     
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  2. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    ^^ the suggestion that "50 years ago there were very few public courts in the USA" is absurd. I started playing as a small kid 50 years ago and courts at high schools, middle schools and public parks were not only abundant but easier to access than years later because the tennis boom of the 70s had not yet begun. What WAS available to the affluent though was quality instruction, which could not yet be found easily in public settings.
     
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  3. ramos77

    ramos77 Semi-Pro

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    I find tennis is full of introverts and really really weird/stange people...

    Is it just me?
     
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  4. iradical18

    iradical18 Professional

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    Hmm, I'm not too sure actually. I think the majority of folks I've met over my years playing have been rather normal but there has been a character or two in there.
     
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  5. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    I agree. Of course I grew up in SoCal, where every high and elementary school had courts as did plenty of parks. In fact as a kid I didn't know of any private clubs (I am sure now, looking back, that they existed, and even if they did, they were absolutely not required to play the game).

    The basketball analogy is inaccurate in the sense that anyone with a hoop, a driveway to a garage and a ball can play BBall for a few bucks, but then again a Target racquet and a can of balls is not expensive either, if you have access to courts, which in the US 35 years ago was pretty easy.
     
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  6. Amelie Mauresmo

    Amelie Mauresmo Banned

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    I think tennis in North America still has the stigma of being a rich white country club sport but in other parts of the world it is seen as a way to gain more opportunity in life. So many Eastern European players play tennis as a way out to have a good life make good money.
     
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  7. Amelie Mauresmo

    Amelie Mauresmo Banned

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    You never heard of google? Geesh, Wimbledon and the US Open were very elitist and extremely racist in the 1950s everyone knows that.

    Also remember, there was the whole segregation and social apartheid in the USA during the 1950s so Althea Gibson's incredible rise to become a tennis champion is even more extraordinary.

    Althea Gibson wasn't allowed to play the US OPEN until 1950 and only after her fellow American a white tennis player Alice Marble wrote a letter criticizing the USTA for their racism. Marble said Althea should be allowed to play and she did due to Marble's letter. Gibson won the US OPEN twice.

    As for Wimbledon, it wasn't until the mid 1950s until Gibson was allowed to even play Wimbledon because of the color barrier. Gibson won Wimbledon twice in 1957 and 1958.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
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  8. acura9927

    acura9927 Semi-Pro

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    Not expensive, try getting into sportbikes, the latest sportbikes 600cc and above. Call and try to get bike insurance, you will be in for sticker shock.
     
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  9. pushing_wins

    pushing_wins Hall of Fame

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    not at the sub 4.0 level

    but, for sure, at the 4.5+ levels

    musicians practice on different pieces of music. for tennis, a cross court forehand is a cc fh.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
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  10. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    The upper class can sometimes be giving to the great unwashed beneath. Dwight Davis came from a priveleged background, started the competition that became the Davis Cup while he was at Harvard, then returned to his native St. Louis where, as Parks Commissioner, he created the first municipal tennis courts in America. Maybe it was that competitive spirit that took him to greater heights, including serving as Secretary of War (War Dept. subsequently became Defense Dept.) in Washington some years later.
     
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  11. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    The upper classes have long since done with caring about the great unwashed except to beat them with a long stick, feed them corn syrup and pay them next to nothing.
     
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  12. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    ^^ As ever, a nuanced perspective.
     
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  13. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    I think this is really about as good as you can get to the marrow of the truth in just one sentence.
     
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  14. TERRASTAR18

    TERRASTAR18 Hall of Fame

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    there was plenty of prejudice in england and europe and there still is today.
     
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  15. stapletonj

    stapletonj Semi-Pro

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    My first sentence was perhaps misleading.
    I was referring to the more overt racial bias/fear/hatred, such as "whites only" bathrooms, drinking fountains, lunch counters, etc.
     
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  16. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    In the south side of Chicago, as a white man I once had racial epithets shouted at me by a couple of young black men and they also threw the rocks of railroad ballast at me.

    This was a surprise to me, since I was merely walking down the street, minding my own business and heading to a used bookstore.
     
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  17. blitzmage_89

    blitzmage_89 Rookie

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    Tennis has an elitist image because so much land space is needed for just two players and there's no body contact. Golf and Polo likewise have this image. People tend to correlate the lack of body contact with rich people.
     
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  18. hawk eye

    hawk eye Hall of Fame

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    Almost choking on my caviar while reading this thread.. it's a disgrace! Tennis is no elitist sport whatsoever, old chaps.
     
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  19. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    ^^ odd comment about polo! The sport has one of the highest rates of serious injury of any sport you might play (British Medical Journal, about 15 years ago).
     
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