If you are feeling inspired by the events in SW19, why not take action? Tennis is genuinely a game for everyone, whatever your age or fitness level.
Tennis is a cheap and fun sport, and can be played year round. Most people live within easy reach of a club or a public court. The rules are simple but the game has endless permutations. The game can be adapted as short tennis for youngsters and is also playable by wheelchair users.
Even better, tennis also has many health benefits.
The kind of tennis that we are seeing at Wimbledon may make you think that it is a game for a super athlete. This may be true at the top level, but tennis is really a very accessible game for all. The game is stop-start by its very nature, and you can shorten the match to suit your fitness level.
The Australians (big tennis fans) have calculated that an hour of singles tennis burns between 400 and 600 calories. This is because the game works the whole body. The legs are used for running and jumping, while the upper body provides the effort to hit the ball. (Don’t worry, you won’t end up with asymmetrical arms!)
All you need to play tennis is an opponent of the same standard. You can agree adaptations such as underarm serves, shortened courts or shorter matches. You can take a break at any point – there’s no umpire calling ‘time’ on your local courts. And you can play as much or as little as you like, because it is a safe non-contact sport.
The rules of tennis are simple to understand but provide great scope for tactics. The game is also not over until the very last point is won, which is what makes it so exciting to watch as well as cheering to play.
The UK has hundreds of tennis clubs, and every single one will welcome new members. The game is a great way to meet new friends, and to socialise both on and off the court.
Go on, put on the trainers and get to your nearest sports centre. It’s not ‘anyone for tennis?’ but ‘tennis for everyone!’
I make space for a game or two a week every week as we have a family membership to our local courts, like Craig says though it does get expensive - it'd be nice if the local parks or leisure centres had free options.
You would have to be very fit to do Wimbledon in all this heat. Tennis is like interval training with sudden bursts of energy and believe me it's hard enough to do without the heat.
Tennis is cheap if you have a free tennis court near you. All we have is a posh, chargeable court near the beach which we don';t use! Yes sports centres are much better value.