Camden, New Jersey
Garen M. / Foter / CC BY-NC

In Louisville, Colo., just outside of Boulder, plans are in place to build a new tennis club with 25 courts – 14 of which will be indoor courts.

In Columbus, Neb. they just celebrated the construction of six new courts at Pawnee Park.

I love reading these types of stories, as they tend to negate the regret I feel when I drive by tennis courts in my area that are neglected and in disrepair. Those weed-covered courts are a reminder that tennis was once a more popular sport to play recreationally in the U.S. That many cities are no longer able to find funding for tennis courts – even as more and more skate parks are built. That the “Golden Era” of tennis might truly be behind us for good.

Then again, maybe not.

Though American players aren’t lighting up the Grand Slams like they did in the past, perhaps we’re all getting just a little more used to this age where the world seems a little smaller and some non-American players are providing just as much enjoyment to watch as only Americans used to be able to.

I’m hearing more talk recently that we’re in a new golden era of tennis, with Federer, Nadal and Djokovic all vying for greatest of all time. I hope it’s true. Not just for what it might mean for tennis popularity in the U.S. and throughout the world, but because if we can begin to unshackle ourselves from the chains of nationalism a bit – even if only to appreciate and cheer for non-American tennis stars – sport will once again accomplish what global leaders often cannot.

What about your town? Are more courts being built? Are the older ones being maintained, or are they being left to the forces of nature?

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