I play tennis. Where are you from?

2 Jul

Map showing the Member states of the United NationsThis map does not represent the view of its members or the UN concerning the legal status of any country,[2] nor does it accurately reflect which areas' governments have UN representation.

Tennis: no longer the domain of the USA, Australia and a handful of others, but something more akin to the United Nations.

Take a look at any event week in week out on either the WTA or ATP tennis tours, scan the draw of an ITF Futures or women’s tour event. This week, while the biggest tournament in the world, Wimbledon, is in full swing there are also tour events from Austria to Thailand. In fact 21 nations are hosting tournaments this week alone. The Davis Cup, which started in 1900 as something of a social challenge between the Americans and the Brits, now has 130 nations competing every year. It is the largest annual international sporting event. Tennis is THE global game.

It’s not just the events themselves that are spread across the globe, nor the competitors, but MOST importantly the spread of talent. Look at the line up at Wimbledon for the women’s 1/4 final to help confirm the point. Sabine Lisicki from Germany takes on Kaia Kanepi of Estonia. China’s Li Na faces Agnieszka Radwanska from Poland. American Sloane Stephens will battle France’s Marion Bartoli and Czech Republic lefty Petra Kvitova plays Belgium’s Kristen Flipkens. Eight players from eight countries.

If you still need convincing back it up to the 4th round – Monica Puig (Puerto Rico), Laura Robson (Great Britain), Tsvetana Pironkova (Bulgaria), Carla Suarez Navarro (Spain) and Roberta Vinci (Italy) all give credence to the internationalisation of tennis. Even if you take into account a couple of upset defeats – and plug those players back into the mix, it only serves to reinforce the view. Maria Sharapova (Russia) and Victoria Azarenka from Belarus, as well as seeded players from Serbia, Austria, Australia, Denmark, Switzerland, Slovakia and Romania. Phew. If this is the game you want to play, get yourself a 64 page passport. Tennis – truly international.


*PS The PRO tips a Czech Republic versus Poland final with Petra Kvitova to take the title.

4 Responses to “I play tennis. Where are you from?”

  1. sallyparrott July 2, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    So tennis truly is the Global Sport in a Global world. Can’t think of any other that has such an international spread of participant in comps all year round….

    • tennistipsfromapro July 3, 2013 at 7:15 am #

      Some may debate the merit of soccer (football)? but certainly as far as individual sports and both genders – the men’s and women’s tour are vibrant, successful and truly global. cheers

  2. Wendy Baker July 3, 2013 at 6:19 am #

    Really interesting article….thankyou

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