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Statistics

Q. At a planning meeting for a sports complex in our community one person tried to say the interest in Tennis was declining. Could you tell me where I could find statistics to prove this person wrong?

A. They ARE absolutely wrong. Last year, in the United States, there was a growth of over one million more tennis players (to 24.7 million). In 2005, “frequent players” were up 10% versus 2004, and the growth was 14% over two years. The number of “total play occasions” in our country has increased an impressive 23% over the past two years. Tennis is healthy and getting stronger and stronger. In fact, Tennis is one of the very few “traditional” sports that is experiencing growth.

I would urge you to the visit the Tennis Industry Association (TIA) website to review the research that was conducted. The TIA hired an independent firm to conduct this research, so it is NOT a case of blind allegiance. In fact, the TIA certainly has published numbers in the past that were discouraging. So… dig in and battle for more courts and more tennis programs in your community!

Q. I am a high school tennis coach and there is a player on my team that played a golden match last April in a high school dual match. Are there any statistics on this?

A. First of all, for clarification, a “golden” set is when one player wins every point in a set, so I presume that you are claiming that your player won all forty-eight points in both sets. If this is accurate, then I am duly impressed.

To my knowledge, there has been only one “golden” set recorded on the professional tours. In 1983, Texan Bill Scanlon beat Brazilian Marcos Hocevar 6-2, 6-0 in the first round at a tour stop in Delray Beach, FL. Astonishingly, Scanlon did not lose a point in the second set. This feat was documented in the recently released book written by Scanlon titled "Bad News For McEnroe". By the way, this book is an entertaining read for all tennis fans from the “glory years” of the 1980’s.

Congratulate your player, although he might need to find better competition to really test himself.

Q. What are the numbers that players use to describe themselves I’ve seen some say there a 3.0 or 4.0 and so on I don’t understand this please explain.

A. The National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP) is used to rate players in America on a scale of 1.0 (an absolute beginner) to 7.0 (a top-ranking professional player). The ratings move in 0.5 increments, thus a player might be “a 3.5.”

Over the past few years, players have been asked to rate themselves and this system has evolved into a “dynamic” rating program for USTA League Tennis. All results are recorded and entered into a database, after the initial self-rating, and players are moved (either up or down a level) depending on their match results.

Q. I would like to know, step by step, where I get ranked for competition and where to start; futures, challengers. My goal is to play against the “big boys.” I have gone over this site a few times but I am a little lost, will you walk me through it. I appreciate any information and experience that you have.

A. I get lots of questions similar to this one. Here is a link to the section of the USTA.com web site that describes the process of trying to play men’s tennis full time as a professional player. http://www.usta.com/protennis/fullstory.sps?iNewsid=25062&itype=921&icategoryid=200

This link explains the process for women. http://www.usta.com/news/fullstory.sps?iNewsid=15022

Good luck as you begin “the climb.”

Q. Could you tell me how many men have won all four grand slam tournaments and who they are? How about the women? Thanks for your help.

A. Five men in our sport’s history have captured all four “majors” (US, French and Australian Opens/Championships, and Wimbledon) during their careers. They are Fred Perry of England, Roy Emerson and Rod Laver of Australia, and Americans Donald Budge and Andre Agassi. Only Budge (1938) and Laver (who, astonishingly, pulled off the feat twice, in 1962 and 1969) accomplished the “Grand Slam”- winning all four majors in a calendar year.

Three women have pulled off the Grand Slam: Maureen Conolly (1953), Margaret Smith Court (1970) and Steffi Graf (who also won an Olympic Gold Medal during her “Golden Slam” year of 1988). The other women who won all four majors during their respective careers are Doris Hart, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, and Serena Williams.

This feat, by the way, will NOT get easier any time soon!

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