The year 2020 presented many unforeseen challenges which also trickled into the sports world. Through it all, tennis not only survived the world's darkest hour on the tours, the sport also grew on the recreational level—and the trend isn't showing signs of slowing down.
Tennis was one of the few sports people could play while practicing social distance and because of that, people who never saw themselves on a tennis court held a racquet for the first time. In the Southern California area this growth is clear as day. It's steadily switching from an intimidating and elitist game to the one that's open to all walks of life.
From The Courts' "Low Desert Open" to Racquet Club LA's "Sunday Service," the sport is becoming more diverse, accessible and most importantly welcoming to players of all levels. Claudia Michelle Gaviria, founder of TENEZ, is a part of the expanding evolution of free-spirited tennis players that one usually finds underneath the lights of a free park court.
Gaviria began TenezOfficial two years ago amidst the pandemic as a fun Instagram page, collecting graphics, photos and miscellaneous tennis things. As time went by she realized something was missing from the sport she loved dearly, and that was an accepting environment where everyone is welcome to play. A space where no privilege, status, or skill level mattered. Not only did she bring this concept to life, but its become one of the biggest recreational tennis events in the Los Angeles area.