Why is Tennis on the Decline?
Tennis is the sport that got a boom in the ’70s and into the beginning of the ’80s. After that, tennis has observed a slow and gradual decline. The decline happened not only in the U.S. but all around the world. Talking of U.S., they faced a sudden lack of top quality players, and at the same time, players from the rest of the world took over and became the top quality players winning many of the titles. This is the primary reason that leads to the decline of tennis in the U.S.
The Boom of tennis in the ’70s
The world saw a boom in tennis in the 70’s it made its way up to the point where tennis was started to be considered a class rather than just a sport. The players of the tennis were widely recognized, and the sport itself had a significant name and type. The game gained popularity all around the world due to many reasons. Some of them can recognize as
The Open Era: In 1968 “Open Era” begun. Before that professional player was not permitted to compete in the major tournaments such as Grand Slam tournaments and Davis Cup play, the Open Era gave a chance to big names of tennis to come forward for a game and taking the world of tennis to new heights. For every sport to grow, it is necessary that competition conducted which features the best players of that particular sport from all around the world. A game between the best to bring forward the best from the bests is what grows any sport. Such a thing happened when the Open Era took place.
Broadcasting: A sport to gain popularity also needs to be broadcasted. It engages a large number of people and hence spreading the know-how of that particular sport. Broadcasting is a way of mass communication. Once you aired an individual game, people of all ages can be expected to get exposed to it and gain the knowledge of it. Only then you will see the youngsters opting for tennis at high school. In 1968 the US Open was broadcasted on television for the first time which was soon followed by the first Wimbledon broadcast in 1689. It is a significant reason the tennis gained popularity.
The decline of tennis:
After 1989 the decline in the popularity of tennis is observed due to many causes. Let’s go through some of them to have a clear idea of what caused the fall.
- Native faces:
It is a fact that a country of the state remains interested in sports till they see the people from their country or state winning the titles and achieving goals. As you stop seeing your native faces in an individual game, that’s when you start losing interest and hence stop watching and following it. It is one of the primary reasons which caused the decline of tennis in the U.S. The world soon found the Big Five in tennis who cornered the U.S players quite efficiently. The five most popular players being
- Some choices:
The world now offers many opportunities for sports and people readily move their interests from one to another. The growing world of sports now has multiple options. It is much more difficult to retain your popularity when you have so many more competitors. Moreover, that’s precisely what happens, people soon find one thing annoying, and they will move on to the next one as they have countless other options and numerous other choices.
- Impact of globalization:
As the globalization begun, it took the monopoly of tennis from some countries and then the people from all around the world started to jump in. The newcomers were so good at the sport that they kicked out your former stars from the game making their name the one you would remember forever.
- Lack of Professionalism:
To keep yourself in the game, you need to strive for more at all times. If you get satisfied with your position and you think that you will stay here forever then I must say you are incredibly mistaken. Striving to get better and better is the kind of professionalism one needs to stay into the game and stay in a position to compete with the new faces. Else the same will happen that happened with the U.S. tennis players. They soon got replaced by the European faces which kept leading the world of tennis since then.
- One dimensional Player:
One other set back the U.S. tennis players had was that they were one dimensional as they were only capable of performing in a certain kind of field. America has a whole, green clay courts and hence the players are not exposed to red clay court at all in most of the cases. It made them play in a certain kind of field, and when they step into professionalism, they have to start learning again to keep up with the advancements.
Faith in the upcoming generation:
Besides all the setbacks the U.S. faced, they are more hopeful and have faith in their youth that they would come forward and bring the dignity of tennis back and will make it a class and caliber that it used to be once.