Is tennis a rich person sport?

Is Tennis a Rich Person Sport?

Tennis is a sport played by millions of people around the world and is one of the most popular racquet sports. It is often seen as a sport for the wealthy and the privileged, but is this assumption correct? This article will explore the topic of whether tennis is truly a sport for the rich or if it is accessible to all.

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The History of Tennis

Tennis has a long and fascinating history. It is believed to have originated in 12th century France, where it was known as jeu de paume (game of the palm). The game then spread to England and was renamed ‘lawn tennis’ in the late 19th century. Tennis soon became popular amongst the upper classes in both countries and remains a popular sport amongst the wealthy today.

Cost of Playing Tennis

One of the main reasons why tennis is often associated with the wealthy is because of the cost of playing the sport. Tennis courts are often located in exclusive clubs that have expensive membership fees. In addition, tennis equipment such as racquets, balls and clothing can be costly.

However, it is possible to play tennis without breaking the bank. There are public tennis courts available in many cities and towns, and many clubs offer discounted or free memberships to students and low-income families. Tennis equipment can be purchased second-hand or rented from clubs or sports stores.

Tennis Tournaments

The other aspect of tennis that is associated with wealth is the professional tournaments. These tournaments often attract the biggest names in tennis and the prize money is often very large. However, it is important to remember that these tournaments are open to anyone and often have qualifying rounds for amateur players.

Tennis and Social Status

Tennis has acquired an association with social status and privilege over the years. This can be seen in the fact that many of the top professional players come from upper-class backgrounds, and that tennis clubs are often exclusive and expensive. This can make it difficult for those from a lower socio-economic background to access the sport.

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The Benefits of Playing Tennis

Despite its associations with wealth, tennis can be a great sport for anyone to get involved in. It is a great way to stay fit and active, and can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. It is also a great way to socialise and make new friends.

Tennis in Popular Culture

Tennis has been depicted in popular culture for many years. It is often portrayed as a sport enjoyed by the wealthy, with films such as ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’ and ‘Wimbledon’ portraying privileged characters playing the sport. However, there are also many films that focus on the struggles of amateur players, such as ‘Wimbledon’ and ‘Break Point’.

Accessibility of Tennis

There is no denying that tennis is more accessible to those with more money than those on a lower income. However, it is important to remember that there are ways for people of all backgrounds to get involved in the sport. Public courts, free memberships and second-hand equipment can all help to make tennis more accessible.


In conclusion, tennis is not just a sport for the wealthy and privileged. While it is true that the cost of playing tennis can be prohibitive for some, there are ways for all to access the sport. Tennis is a great way to stay fit and socialise, and can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities.

Takeaway Points

  • Tennis has a long history, originating in 12th century France.
  • The cost of playing tennis can be prohibitive for some, but there are ways to make it more accessible.
  • Tennis has become associated with social status and privilege.
  • Tennis can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities.
  • Popular culture often portrays tennis as a sport for the wealthy.
  • Tennis is not just for the wealthy and privileged.