Originally Posted by ga tennis
Basketball has choice of the best athletes. Tennis in America rich kids average at best athletes.
Tennis isn't a rich person's sport. Jimmy Connors wasn't rich, Pancho Gonzales wasn't rich. I don't think Brad Baughman is rich (at least people seem to be concerned he couldn't pay for DB's college). It is a cult sport. Everyone plays basketball, everyone plays football. All it takes to get good at tennis is a racket, a ball, and a wall (or a shopping cart in Richard Williams' case). After that, some people to hit with at the local public courts.
However, you have to be part of the cult. Almost always, it comes from the family. You need some good initial instruction - that usually means family members who are good at tennis (Connors was taught by his tennis pro mom and grandmother). You need support from the family to keep playing tennis when the other kids are out doing other things. You need someone to hit with - often parents or siblings. You also need the driving desire to be great at tennis - part of which is inculcated by your surroundings. Also, it can be diminished by peer pressure where tennis isn't considered a "cool" sport.
When you get to the highest levels of juniors, some money is needed, but it isn't at that point that the best drop out.
Yes, the cult began in country clubs, and so most of the members come from wealthier backgrounds, but money isn't the big issue. It is a difficult sport to learn and success in it isn't reinforced highly in our society.
Face it, we are all just cult members.