10 reasons to take up tennis

Tennis is, and always has been, a sport of gentlemen

Fred Perry at Wimbledon in 1931

One of the great tragedies of working life is that year on year, it becomes much more difficult to maintain hobbies, let alone learn new skills. But tennis, a sport that has always been linked to elegance, should be firmly at the top of your list. Here’s why:

Fitness

Having the intention to work on your fitness is all very well, but when faced with soulless early morning gym sessions, or the choice between post-work drinks or squats and bench presses, the enthusiasm is difficult to maintain. Getting fit in a way that you can actually enjoy sounds far more appealing. Tennis can not only burn over 400 calories an hour, but develops bone strength, stamina and flexibility. Scheduling to play with friends means that it’s also far more difficult to talk yourself out of today’s exercise plans.

It’s social

Tennis is a sport that attracts a wide range of people, but in a sport that is revolves around interaction between players one thing everyone tends to have in common is being a largely sociable group. Whether it be playing doubles with someone or simply post-game socialising, tennis is an underrated way of enhancing your social sphere and can forging some useful connections.

It’s attractive

10 reasons to take up tennis
Roger Federer at Wimbledon 2015

We all know that women tend to find sportsmen more attractive, and it goes without saying that in this respect not all sports are on an equal par. Tennis is, and always has been, a sport of gentlemen, and is a display of skill and elegance on court as well as physicality. Moreover, it is one of the most enjoyable spectator sports there is, and therefore a far more inviting prospect for one’s other half to attend and admire.

It’s sophisticated

Unlike many others, tennis doesn’t hit the headlines for foul language, it doesn’t involve throwing others (or being thrown) into the mud, and there is relatively little rolling on the floor clutching a limb. One can play a match, civilly shake hands and exit the court; dignity intact and sportsmanship standards satisfied.

Know what you’re talking about at Wimbledon

A key fixture in the British summer calendar, Wimbledon is a highlight for experts and the more casual spectator alike; we all understand the aim of the game. But a more intricate knowledge of the game, founded on experience, is something that will not only impress companions but add to the whole experience.

It's stylish

10 reasons to take up tennis
René Lacoste

Tennis is a sport not only synonymous with elegance of movement, but of apparel as well. Past legends such as René Lacoste and Fred Perry were not only style icons, but went on to create clothing brands to share that style with the world. For any well-dressed gentleman, the choice is clear.

Develop your mental skills

Those who are good at tennis tend to be good at real life. Well, perhaps that’s putting it a bit strongly. But what is true is that it improves strategic thinking skills, as well as nurturing your ability to assess opponents and adapt and react to their actions and pay close attention to detail. It’s hardly surprising that many people have said that the mental benefits of tennis help them towards success in their careers.

There’s no age limit

Why pick up a sport which you know, realistically, your mind and body will be considerably less inclined towards in twenty, ten, or even five years’ time? Learning tennis is a life investment, and something that you can continue to enjoy and improve in years after the ex-rugby or football player has resigned themselves to shouting from the side lines.

It helps you deal with highs and lows

10 reasons to take up tennis
Andy Murray winning Wimbledon

As good as you might have become, or at least believe you are, it is inevitable that you will be beaten. Coping when it doesn’t go your way is an underrated skill, and one that’s highlighted in a sport where you face your opponent completely on your own. The capacity to analyse your performance and do your utmost to come back stronger and better the next time is not only an admirable quality, but a practical one when it comes to dealing with mistakes and disappointments in day-to-day life.

It’s fun

Whether you choose to take it to a competitive level or not, this is the real reason most of us choose to pick up a racket.

Further Reading