Instant Match with Tennis
I just remember loving tennis from the very beginning.
This Pride Month we are celebrating with the entire LGBTQ+ community in the Mid-Atlantic and beyond. We salute those whose talents and commitment help grow tennis at every level while making our sport a better and more inclusive environment.
One such player who continues to shine on and off the court is Dave Eldracher from Capital Tennis Association (CTA) in Washington, D.C. If you’ve ever competed in a CTA Tournament or attended a social event, you’ve seen Dave.
Dave has been a member of the Capital Tennis Association, an LGBTQ+ tennis organization in the Washington D.C. area with more than 300 members, for the past 4 years. “Sometimes I feel like I eat, sleep, and breathe tennis! Between how often I play and the amazing friendships I’ve made through tennis, it has become an integral part of my life,” he said.
Dave picked up his first tennis racquet at age 5, and since then he has been committed to the sport. “My parents signed me up for tennis lessons at the courts located a few blocks away from our home, and I just remember loving it from the very beginning,” he said.
Today, you can find Dave on any local tennis court in Washington D.C. when he is not working full time in finance at Johns Hopkins Medicine. In between playing 3 to 4 times a week, he is a member of tennis organizations across the Section and Nationally.
“I play in the Capital Tennis Association (CTA) most often and have been doing so for 4 years now and I love it. Also, I recently completed playing in a USTA summer league as well; it was my first time doing USTA in about 25 years so it felt good to come back! I also play in GLTA (Gay & Lesbian Tennis Association) which is worldwide and is great because you get to travel to different cities and play tournaments and meet a lot of new and great people,” said Dave.
Pride Month is about celebrating the freedom to be yourself and reach your full potential. The LGBTQ+ community around the world comes together to honor love, individuality, and representation. “I believe sports leagues around the world are doing a great job to showcase their diversity and inclusion, but there is more that can be done to see the representation of the LGBTQ+ community grow,” said Dave.
“It is important to celebrate Pride Month in the tennis community because it is a welcome sport for all.”
Plus, the friendships made through tennis are everlasting. Being able to be a part of a sport and organization that prides itself in inclusivity and openness to all keeps players coming back for more. CTA prides itself on being a happy place for everyone, it is a place where everyone from the LGBTQ+ community can come together to play the sport they love and have FUN!
Tennis is not a traditional team sport, and whether you win or lose you always have a good time. Not to mention, tennis is a great sport to keep you fit and healthy. You work out your full body while playing tennis, it is a great form of cardio and works out your mental fitness. The benefits are endless when you step onto the tennis court. The lifetime benefits, excitement, and competition are what drew Dave to tennis.
“I’d love to see more active professional athletes feel comfortable enough to come out of the closet and be themselves,” Dave said. “Those are the types of things that are needed for young [athletes] growing up to realize they can be themselves, too.”
USTA Mid-Atlantic creates community through tennis, and we believe tennis is for everyone. We are excited to partner with organizations like CTA to spotlight amazing players, like Dave Eldracher, that help grow the tennis community on and off the court.
For those in the LGBTQ+ community looking to get into tennis and make lifelong friendships, Dave’s advice to you is, “Check out your local area to see if there are any LGBTQ+ leagues! If there are not, there should be other leagues as well that’ll be just as fun.”
“Tennis is a great sport that allows you to have a great time, meet new people, and get some good exercise in as well!”