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Hot Sport: Making A Racket

Everything old is new again as tennis's fresh young faces deliver a whole new generation of fans.

Call it the Tiger Woods phenomenon: Young talent is doing for the tennis industry what Tiger did for golf. Venus and Serena Williams, Anna Kournikova, Martina Hingis and others are making it cool to swing again. "The Williams sisters are just sparkling. They're good personalities and good players," says Mike May of the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA). They're good for tennis-related businesses as well. Sales of tennis products have been increasing since 1997, with 2000 expected to bring an increase of 3 to 4 percent over 1999 figures.

But May says it's not only the amazing talent that's driving the trend. The Tennis Industry Association has also mounted a campaign to grow interest in tennis at all levels. Attention, tennis-related businesses: Get ready to serve.

This story appears in the January 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »