Opinion: Tennis should be more respected


Staff photo

Senior Ben Kloppman volleys with his opponent during a match last season.

Catherine Coppersmith, Staff Writer

Tennis is a sport like any other yet some people call it easy and lame. This shouldn’t be happening.

Head football coach Ross Bandiera is one of the school’s tennis coaches and believes tennis is a sport that needs just as much skill as any other. “[Players need] really good agility, really good hand eye coordination, stamina, and you have to have skill and experience with playing tennis,” he said.

Junior Nick Tatko, a football, baseball and basketball player, feels that people diminish how difficult the sport of tennis truly is. “Many people think that it is easy to play but you need to train hard to do well in it,” Tatko said. “So I think people undermine how hard it actually is.”

While tennis is a sport like the others in the school, it isn’t based on teamwork as much as other sports. Bandiera said, “Tennis is more of an individual sport you have to work on it by yourself or with a tennis pro so a lot of the kids who are pretty serious about it do play tennis all year round but not with the team.”

Yukun Wang, a junior who has been on the varsity team since he was a freshman, believes that tennis requires intense stamina not only physically but mentally as well. Wang said, “You always have to be thinking, it’s like mental chess. There is a constant mental aspect of the game that’s really important.”

Because of the mental and individual component, Penn State’s Egor Ivanov thinks tennis players need to be prepared at all times. He wrote, “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.”

Hannah Kassaie, a varsity player on the girl’s tennis team who has gone to states, feels that tennis is not only a physical sport but also a mental sport. Kassaie said, “You’re on your own. It’s pretty mental, a lot of it is your mental strength rather than just physical. It can really depend on how good you are under pressure.”

Like any other sport, there are individuals who are extremely skilled at tennis. Bandiera said, “I think people think that it’s an easy sport but it’s a very difficult sport like if you play [against] someone who is really good at tennis you’re going to get your butt whipped.”

Philippe Dehaes is the coach of Daria Kasatkina, a world renowned tennis player. Dehaes feels that tennis is a mind game and told The New York Times, “Tennis is a game of chess, of tactics. You have to vary zones and trajectories and find the answer suited to what your opponent is doing.”

Kassaie believes that in order to have a true grasp at the sport of tennis there are many aspects that an individual needs to master. Kassaie said, “You need a lot of experience because a lot of it you learn as you play more and more and being able to have more experience with the sport allows you to be a better player.”

The boys tennis season begins on March 31 with a match at Highland Heights Community Park.