National Tennis Pro Day, observed on February 17, is a day for honoring professional tennis players who coach and guide recreational players. On this day, avid recreational tennis players pay their respects to professionals for coaching and sharing their experiences with them. It is a day for tennis mentees to appreciate and celebrate their mentors. Coaches are of equal significance in the lives of both recreational and professional players. Even the ‘Big Three’ of tennis, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic, openly credit a large part of their success to their coaches.
History of National Tennis Pro Day
National Tennis Pro Day was created by Maria Oddy in 2020 but was first celebrated in 2021. It is an unofficial holiday that is meant to show appreciation toward tennis pros around the world for their relentless efforts and patience when coaching recreational tennis players. The day is an occasion for expressing gratitude toward tennis pros who have enabled recreational players to improve their game.
The sport of tennis originally began in 12th century France, where it involved hitting a ball with bare hands and was called the ‘Game of the Palm.’ King Louis X of France was an avid player of the game. By the 16th century, the game was moved from playing in an open space to an enclosed area with standardized rules; racket use was adopted. Francis I of France built courts to promote real tennis and encourage commoners and courtiers to play the game. Although tennis began to be played in most parts of Europe around the 13th century, it particularly became widespread in the 16th century. From 1413 to 1422, royal interests in tennis began in England with King Henry V. Between 1509 and 1547, Henry VIII, as a young monarch, made a big impact by playing tennis with gusto on a court he built in 1530.
In 1437, tennis indirectly led to the death of King James I of Scotland at the Blackfriars, Perth, when the drain outlet which was supposed to be his escape route from assassins had been blocked to prevent tennis balls from getting lost. “Trattato del Giuoco della Palla” — the first known tennis book — was written by Antonio Scaino da Salothe, an Italian priest, in 1555.
National Tennis Pro Day timeline
In France, Tennis is played with bare hands.
King James I of Scotland gets trapped and killed in a tennis court he could not escape from.
Antonio Scaino da Salothe publishes the first book on tennis titled “Trattato del Giuoco della Palla.”
Mary Ewing Outerbridge sets up a tennis court after being inspired by watching British soldiers playing the game in Bermuda
Charles C. Pyle establishes the first professional tennis tour with a group of American and French tennis pros.
National Tennis Pro Day FAQs
Is tennis a difficult sport?
Tennis is considered one of the most difficult sports to learn due to the need for flexibility, strength, agility, speed, and good hand-eye coordination.
How do you become a pro tennis player?
To become a professional tennis player, one needs to relentlessly practice, learn more about the game, and get points by winning matches in tournaments.
Who is the number one player in tennis now?
Novak Djokovic is currently considered the number one player in tennis.
National Tennis Pro Day Activities
Set up a match
Call on friends and interested individuals to join in a tennis game at your location. To make it fun, you could even plan a small prize for the winner and a party for everyone afterward.
Talk about tennis pros
Discuss the achievements and contributions of tennis pros with loved ones. These tennis pros could include both internationally famous players as well as your local ‘stars.’
You could give a nice thank-you card and/or gift to your tennis coach. Do let them know how happy you are to be guided by them.
5 Facts About Tennis That May Interest You
White balls before yellow
Tennis balls were initially white but later changed to yellow to enhance spectators' visibility.
Racket and racquet are different
The two terms mean the same thing; however, the former is mostly used for tennis, while the latter is used for squash.
Old but not out of use
The Royal Tennis Court — the world's oldest, is still in use today.
Average distance covered
Players run back and forth for approximately three miles on the tennis court.
Shortest Grand Slam final
Steffi Graf beat her opponent in just 34 minutes at the 1988 French Open final to retain her title.
Why We Love National Tennis Pro Day
It encourages fitness
This day recognizes tennis as a good form of exercise that keeps the mind and body fit and supple. We love this!
It shows appreciation
National Tennis Pro Day makes tennis pros feel appreciated. This pushes them to put in more time and effort in mentoring recreational players.
It increases awareness of tennis pros
The day offers people the chance to know about the achievements and contributions of famous tennis pros. Do some research on this day to see what you can uncover!
National Tennis Pro Day dates