Tennis becomes more accessible on South Side

Tennis becomes more accessible on South Side
Tennis becomes more accessible on South Side

Tennis becomes more accessible on South Side

Back in 1974, tennis was all the rage and there were about 34 million people playing the game. Today that number is 18 million and of that number…the Tennis Industry Association estimates that just three and a half million are black or Hispanic. THE most famous tennis player right now — maybe the most famous athlete — is Serena Williams. But there aren’t very many African Americans behind her on the pro circuit. The sport is still closed off to large chunks of minorities: traveling teams are expensive and there’s a lack of access to courts. Sure, there are multiple tennis facilities in the north suburbs, but only a couple on Chicago’s South Side. Journalist Ben Austen has been following the efforts of a group of tennis enthusiasts in Chicago’s Hyde Park and Bronzeville as they try to make tennis the sport of choices for young African Americans. It’s the latest the latest cover story for New York Times magazine. (Flickr/Dave Lowensohn)