From individuals to organizations, weekend warriors to professional players, minute observations to big-picture ideas, tennis has been top of mind across the board over the past two years.

“I feel like this is the tennis boom part two,” says Trey Waltke, general manager of the Malibu Racquet Club in southern California. “Everyone is talking tennis. Everyone is playing. People are rediscovering how great tennis is.”

Tennis shouldn’t rest on its laurels; the first boom didn’t last forever. But this is as good of an opportunity to reflect on what the sport has gotten right, during a time when so much has gone wrong.

Over the next few weeks, we'll do just that, with a series of stories—30-Love—that highlights 30 things worth celebrating about the New American Tennis Boom. Look for past articles on the left side of each page.—Ed McGrogan


WATCH: Federer incensed by time violation against Cilic in Paris


The gradual relaxing of pandemic-induced protocols toward the end of the 2021 season sparked the return of many hallmarks of tournament life, from autographs to selfies to in-person interviews.

But there’s one professional tennis visual that may never be seen again: ball kids handling players’ sweaty towels. A small but vocal group of fans and journalists had long advocated for a more sanitary way to manage player perspiration, but it took a pandemic to make it happen.

Most of the athletes have adjusted to retrieving their own towel from a color-coded bucket at the backcourt. Others, like Nick Kyrgios, have called the new system “incredibly stupid.” Even Roger Federer took some time to adjust, incurring a rare time violation this year at Roland Garros.

Overall, the change appears to be positive. Kids are spared a potentially gross experience, and players can’t call for the towel out of habit alone. Plus, fans at home have been gifted with an interesting new camera angle: the towel-box cam.