Tennis is not the first sport that comes to mind when you think of socialism and sport, but between the wars there were masses of workers’ tennis clubs, set up in opposition to what was seen as a middle-class sport, with an annual competition sponsored by the TUC. These faded, postwar, but other issues arose within the sport, often to do with gender, sexuality and race. There were campaigns for equality in prize money and tennis players from Arthur Ashe onward literally changed the face of the game. In recent times many prominent women tennis players were out lesbians at a time it was difficult to be out, particularly in sport.
David Berry is a writer and a journalist, and has played tennis since the age of eleven
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