Is Tennis A Sport of Privilege and Status?

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Znak

Professional
Nadal is a poor family?
or perhaps Federer comes from a poor family?

even Djokovic family wasn't that poor. Of course all in relative terms.
To begin with, they had a business.
To continue with, if rumours about Srdjan borrowing money from mafia are true, he needed something as collateral. I hope you don't believe that Serbian mafia sponsored Novak cause they believed in his talent.

Tsitsipas.
Stefanos father left his work some 10-12 years ago, isn't it? to be able to train his kid.
By the way, Stefanos isn't the only kid, they are 2 or 3 brothers. At least 2 of them play tennis.
Can you tell me how to finance my family for 10 years, without work, spending all my time on training my kids to play tennis?
I believe Tsitsipas went through Mouratotoglou Tennis Academy Champseed Foundation — so I think all his costs were covered. But adding to that point to be a successful tennis player in some capacity you'll need funding whether that's from your family or outside support. You can only hustle yourself so far. That's the privilege. Being a rec player sure that's a different lens.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
You don't see kids in the slums playing golf. They will play soccer and basketball. might even see some baseball and football or rugby amongst the unwashed.
To me that is the crux of what should be discussed, or at least the context. The proper question would be, why are football, soccer, basketball, and baseball played and not golf or tennis?

Understandably, golf has a huge associate operational cost because of land and up-keep, and there is a limit to how many participants can go through a course in a day. Even a public course has those costs and limits - albiet public courses are NOT green and the sand is like dirt traps.

Tennis isn't inherently more expensive than the popular sports in terms of equipment and facility costs, and in a given day can include quite a few participants, but certainly not as many as they can put into team sports. So the investment for making sports accessible to the masses is in those popular sports.

And why are they the popular sports? Because they are accessible and every kid either wants to be a sports athlete, or has parents who want them to be a sports athlete, and they are always going to exploit whatever resources are made available to them. The cycle is, people see others like them in sports that are popular, so they seek out opportunities to participate. Cities see there is a high demand by folks for those sports and build facilities and support trying to make them as available as possible.

At the highest level, while you may see kids that started in the humblest beginnings, somewhere along the line to get to where they are they had a lot of money and time put into them. For the popular sports, the cost is indirect through those city program, high school program, or college program that has shizzzz loads of money backing it. For tennis, that does not exist so players and families have to pony up themselves, so usually only those that can afford it continue in it. That isn't some inherent privilege that limits access BECUASE tennis is expensive. It is the cost is directly bared by participants instead of offset somewhere else.
 

Znak

Professional
To me that is the crux of what should be discussed, or at least the context. The proper question would be, why are football, soccer, basketball, and baseball played and not golf or tennis?

Understandably, golf has a huge associate operational cost because of land and up-keep, and there is a limit to how many participants can go through a course in a day. Even a public course has those costs and limits - albiet public courses are NOT green and the sand is like dirt traps.

Tennis isn't inherently more expensive than the popular sports in terms of equipment and facility costs, and in a given day can include quite a few participants, but certainly not as many as they can put into team sports. So the investment for making sports accessible to the masses is in those popular sports.

And why are they the popular sports? Because they are accessible and every kid either wants to be a sports athlete, or has parents who want them to be a sports athlete, and they are always going to exploit whatever resources are made available to them. The cycle is, people see others like them in sports that are popular, so they seek out opportunities to participate. Cities see there is a high demand by folks for those sports and build facilities and support trying to make them as available as possible.

At the highest level, while you may see kids that started in the humblest beginnings, somewhere along the line to get to where they are they had a lot of money and time put into them. For the popular sports, the cost is indirect through those city program, high school program, or college program that has shizzzz loads of money backing it. For tennis, that does not exist so players and families have to pony up themselves, so usually only those that can afford it continue in it. That isn't some inherent privilege that limits access BECUASE tennis is expensive. It is the cost is directly bared by participants instead of offset somewhere else.
I agree with the correlation between accessibility and popularity — I mentioned earlier my city only has 52 public tennis courts and 237 baseball diamonds. One is going to win over the other, and me living closer to a court is a privilege over someone that has to drive 15 minutes to get to one.

What do you mean exactly by this, these are contradictory points as I understand it:
For tennis, that does not exist so players and families have to pony up themselves, so usually only those that can afford it continue in it. That isn't some inherent privilege that limits access BECUASE tennis is expensive.
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
I think most people who get really good get good regardless of training.
I also snowboard, beyond basic lessons the pros get good by doing it lots and being talented, not by some coach breaking down the minutiae of technique.
Tennis is a technical game and you will not find any pros who didn’t have a hell of a lot of coaching very early in their life
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
So it isn't a belief that tennis is privledged, which was the questions, but just that America and first world countries are privileged.
By any standard tennis is a privileged sport because of the barriers to entry. Individual sports are very expensive on a per capita basis compared to team sports - which tend to be simpler and require less specialised equipment, coaching and playing areas.

The fact that you live in a privileged part of the world where people and governments choose to spend huge amounts of money on team sports does not make tennis less privileged. You can spend a fortune on soccer if you want to but slum kids in Rio can get by with a bundle of rags in the street.

Your argument basically boils down to ‘tennis isn’t privileged, it’s just less accessible to poor people’ which is just beautifully lacking in self-awareness
 
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GuyClinch

Legend
Wealthy people have advantages with regards to learning tennis. Its not privilege though - since its not EXCLUSIVELY for the wealthy. Again that is what privilege is supposed to mean..

Several very talented players have gotten scholarships to tennis high schools and such. So again its not privilege its just an advantage. Don't think that wealthy kids can't get individual coaching in basketball, football or baseball - because they sure can.. And this training can help..

Sport is the one last meritocracies we have left - only the talented get a shot. Is music privileged just because some kids get private lessons before going to Julliard? If someone lacks means when growing up - but they are exceptional at tennis - no one can stop them from dominating. Just like no one could stop Tiger Woods..
 

Slowtwitcher

Hall of Fame
Imagine you are a child interested in playing tennis. Imagine your parents are struggling to make ends meet

Want to learn how to play? There’s the self taught route, but clearly the majority of promising players take lessons from a young age. Coaching rates when I was a kid ranged from 60-80 for an hour, but I knew someone who charged upwards of 200 for the hour.

Now you don’t need private lessons every day, but I knew some young kids/teenagers who would get lessons 3-4 times per week. And the rest of the days are filled by playing in clinics, which also cost money, or by playing with friends (free). Still, the cost adds up

You want to play in tournaments? Guess what? They cost money. Want to play in higher level tournaments? Guess what? You have to travel, which costs money

Want to play year round? Have to pay for court time in the winter.

Racquets and balls are “cheap?” In the long run, I guess that’s the case. But strings are not. A talented kid playing 4-5x a week will probably break them on a weekly basis, if not more frequently. The stringers around here charge around 30 dollars for a strong job depending on the string choice

Shoes wear out and need to be replaced. Very expensive

Tennis is absolutely easier to get ahead in if you come from a wealthy background. It is absolutely a sport of privilege. Of course, there are exceptions, and there is a tennis center in the city (I presume the same model exists elsewhere) which subsidizes rates and offers cheap programs for inner city children. But how can you legitimately think the sport is equally accessible to anyone regardless of their SES? Serious inquiry

Our man Yossarian ended this thread... why are y'all still posting???
 

yossarian

Semi-Pro
If someone lacks means when growing up - but they are exceptional at tennis - no one can stop them from dominating. Just like no one could stop Tiger Woods..
Oh no, I’m exceptional at tennis but I can’t afford to play in tournaments. I also can’t afford strings. I guess I’ll just pull myself up by my bootstraps and find a way to dominate anyway
 

Slowtwitcher

Hall of Fame
Oh no, I’m exceptional at tennis but I can’t afford to play in tournaments. I also can’t afford strings. I guess I’ll just pull myself up by my bootstraps and find a way to dominate anyway

Stopped believing in Santa Claus but still believes you can do anything you set your mind to.
 
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