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As US Open nears, tennis enjoys broader popularity than ever

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Video and pictures of 18th-century tennis players show people who appear to be of similar race and class.

But a sport once known to mostly the wealthy demographic has become more of an every-man’s game.

“I love Venus, I just love to watch her,” one U.S. Open fan said.

It was a common reply while PIX11 walked around the U.S. Open grounds in Flushing, Queens today.

Venus and Serena Williams, the household names that helped change the game of tennis as we once knew it.

Since the year 2000, consumer reports show tennis has increased by 11%, which is one of the biggest changes among traditions sports. One of the reasons for that is USTA’s efforts to start promoting the game to the general public.

One longtime tennis fan who is working at the U.S. Open for the next two weeks says it’s about time tennis came down from its lofty perch.

Rodney Scott, a long time fan, said,”Watching my people, African Americans or any other nationality that isn’t classified as the majority, is to see something spectacular.”

And diversity in tennis continues to increase. The USTA estimates that minorities now represent 33% of all new players.

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