Tennis: The World’s Most Underrated Sport

Countless times throughout my life, I have heard people say, “Pfft, you play tennis? That’s so easy!” or “Tennis isn’t even a sport!”

In our modern American society, tennis players are often referred to as sissies, and tennis is known as a girls’ sport in general. Many Americans idolize the 300 pound, muscular, professional football players, or the 6’9” basketball players, but no one ever acknowledges tennis players and the game of tennis. People tend to believe that tennis is nothing more than tapping a ball back and forth over a net until one person misses.


However, having played tennis throughout my entire childhood, I have learned that tennis is one of the most demanding sports in the world, both physically and mentally. Sure, tennis does not involve physical contact like football or hockey, but this does not mean that it does not require any physical strength. After all, tennis players are constantly moving side-to-side, back-and-forth, retrieving shots that can exceed one hundred miles per hour. Not only are they retrieving these shots, but they are exerting all of their energy into each and every shot in order to return the tennis ball with as much power and finesse as possible. Also, between each point, tennis players only receive about twenty seconds of rest, whereas in Baseball and Football (America’s pastimes), athletes have several minutes of rest after just a few seconds of physical activity. Still, these games do not last nearly as long as most tennis matches. Professional tennis matches last anywhere between two and five hours, with the longest match in history lasting over eleven hours!

During these long, physically exhausting matches, players have no escape other than to quit or to lose. Unlike in most team sports, tennis players do not have the ability to hide behind more talented teammates, or to be replaced by a substitute if they are having an off-day. Once they enter a match, there is no outside help whatsoever. Players are forced think, strategize, and perform entirely on their own. This requires tennis players to have significant mental toughness, constantly remaining confident, focused, and relaxed.

Overall, the game of tennis requires nearly every attribute an athlete could desire. A skilled tennis player must have power, endurance, agility, speed, and mental strength. In my opinion, this clearly qualifies tennis as a sport, and a quite difficult sport as well.

5 thoughts on “Tennis: The World’s Most Underrated Sport

  1. My brother plays tennis, and I have tried the sport multiple times. Being a baseball player all my life, I never really had to be the most conditioned athlete. I believe that is why I almost passed out when I played a legitimate tennis match against him.
    I do find the first part of your blog really interesting when you mention that people look at tennis players as “sissies.” Anybody who has ever played tennis would tell you instantly that this is insane because of the extreme amount of hard work that the sport requires. However, I agree that this is the public perception, which leads to the question of why people think this way. I think that our current society values the athlete who is aggressive and physically intimidating, such as a football player, because people like violence. Therefore, any athlete who does not fit this traditional view is not considered a “true” athlete, which is the case with tennis players. You mentioned this idea, but would you agree with my elaboration?
    In addition, I think you should include studies regarding the physical shape that professional tennis players are in compared to other professional athletes. This would provide some more concrete evidence to support the fact that tennis players are true athletes.

  2. I am a tennis player and agree tennis is a great sport! It is a sport that is a perfect combination of skill, athleticism, fitness, and mental toughness. I believe that part of the reason why tennis is underrated in America is because in order to fully appreciate the sport of tennis you have to play it, and many people in the U.S. do not.

  3. I think tennis is definitely underrated in the United State, but then again, so are many other sports (soccer, track & field, etc.). I think that’s because it’s not exactly a “spectator’s sport” in our eyes. Especially given the American sensibility towards the sport it’s odd to think that, internationally, tennis players are some of the highest paid athletes.

  4. During high school, I had many friends who played tennis and I was always amazed by the amount of finesse it took to be able to rally the ball back and forth over the net. A great post and I’ll be reading your posts in the future!

  5. Tennis is cool. I have never been an overly active person (throughout high school I did marching band and fencing) but tennis always looked like it was a ton of fun.

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