In the midsummer of Beijing, at 3 pm, in the high temperature of more than 35 degrees Celsius, there are still teenagers practicing on the blue tennis court of the National Tennis Center.

Ms. Yao, who played tennis for 5 years with her 10-year-old daughter regardless of weather, really wanted to enjoy the coolness of the air-conditioned room for a while, but watching her daughter sweating like rain on the court under the sun, Ms. Yao silently stood by the sidelines. .

She knows that no difficulty can stop her daughter's love for tennis, and all she can do is to give her the greatest support.

  From a small movement to a real fire

  At 5 o'clock in the afternoon, with the arrival of school time, the National Tennis Center is also lively, and there are children receiving tennis training on almost every tennis court.

Cai Yu, a coach who has been engaged in tennis training for more than ten years, has personally experienced the process of tennis from a niche sport to a popular sport in China.

The venue under your feet, the National Tennis Center, has witnessed the beginning of the popularity of tennis in China.

  In the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Chinese player Li Na won the fourth place in the women's singles tennis at the National Tennis Center, which is the best result achieved by Chinese tennis in the Beijing Olympic Games.

From the women's doubles gold medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics to Li Na's fourth place in the women's singles, Chinese tennis has made a first impression in the minds of the majority of Chinese people by relying on the excellent results of the Olympic Games.

At that time, Cai Yu, who was studying tennis, had just graduated from university and came to work in Beijing. What she saw at the time was that tennis was still a niche sport, but its social influence had begun to expand.

  Cai Yu recalled that at that time, adult training was mainly conducted on tennis courts in Beijing, because there were very few children learning to play tennis.

In the first 5 years after Cai Yu came to Beijing, he mainly did adult tennis training.

  The popularity of China's tennis training market started in 2014, after Li Na won her second Grand Slam title.

Cai Yu believes that from the 2008 Beijing Olympics to Li Na's first Grand Slam victory in 2011, tennis has begun to receive more and more attention in China, but the point of quantitative change to qualitative change occurred in Li Na's second Grand Slam. win the championship.

Li Na's second championship has completely "detonated" tennis in China.

There are also tennis coaches who expressed similar views. Star athletes play a huge role in the promotion of a sport. For Chinese tennis, Li Na's star effect is very significant.

In 2014, Li Na won the Grand Slam women's singles championship for the second time, proving that it is no accident that the Chinese can win the Grand Slam championship, which greatly enhanced the Chinese people's enthusiasm for tennis.

In 2014, 36-year-old Li Na announced her retirement shortly after winning her second Grand Slam title, but the prelude to China's tennis boom has just begun.

  Cai Yu said that since 2014, Chinese tennis has continued to become popular, especially marked by the popularity of youth training, more and more children have picked up tennis rackets.

The tennis training market has also rapidly shifted from adult training to youth training.

  Cai Yu's intuitive feeling is that more and more children are learning to play tennis; coaches and venues are obviously not enough; tennis competitions for teenagers are becoming more and more popular. Happening.

  Like many parents, Ms. Yao initially only hoped that her children could improve their physique, improve their overall quality and learn an international sports skill through playing tennis, but did not think too much about how far their children's tennis journey would go.

In the process of learning tennis, children become more and more interested, and show certain abilities and cultivate future, and the family's support will become more and more strong.

In the end, tennis has become one of the few options that has been retained among the various hobbies that children have been exposed to widely.

  Although Ms. Yao's daughter has reached the top three national level in the same age group, and the family has given unconditional support to her daughter in tennis, Ms. Yao still does not dare to think about what her daughter will achieve in tennis in the future.

  The training of a new generation of players starts from the family

  After Li Na retired, the performance of Chinese players in international tennis competitions declined, and it was not until the past two years that the situation changed.

With the emergence of a group of young players, especially since the beginning of this year, 19-year-old Zheng Qinwen has made good records in the French Open and Wimbledon, and the prospect of the birth of the "next Li Na" in Chinese tennis is getting brighter.

At the same time, in the context of the continuous heating up of domestic youth tennis training, a group of excellent tennis seedlings have gradually emerged.

  At the recently held 2022 China Tennis Tour CTA1000 Changsha Station, 14-year-old "Xiaohua" Zhang Ruien participated in the professional event for the first time.

Zhang Ruien is a rising star in the domestic tennis world. At the age of 14, she is 1.78 meters tall. At the Changsha Open a month ago, she won the women's singles and women's doubles championships.

At a young age, she has boldly shouted out her dream of "wanting to be Li Na".

Zhang Ruien’s tennis journey is very similar to the growth model of most foreign professional tennis players. He was born in a sports-loving family and was exposed to tennis at an early age. He began to carry out more professional and systematic training in his childhood. Growing in the game system...

  It is not difficult to find that the new generation of Chinese tennis stars who have grown up has begun to receive tennis enlightenment early and has an international tennis vision. This is similar to the previous generation of Chinese tennis players represented by Li Na and Zheng Jie. Basically, they passively entered tennis. The paths are markedly different.

  However, as more and more Chinese families choose tennis for their children, parents should also understand in advance that it is extremely difficult for families to cultivate a tennis player who develops professionally and professionally.

  Cai Yu said, first of all, the family must have strong economic strength.

Because tennis is a high-end sport, all over the world.

A tennis parent in Beijing told a reporter from China Youth Daily and China Youth Daily that the annual cost of training their children to play tennis is about 300,000 yuan.

In Cai Yu's view, such an expense is not an exaggeration for a young player who wants to take the professional tennis path.

  Second, families have to put a lot of energy into their children's tennis.

Ms. Yao said that after her daughter began to receive more professional tennis training, she gave up her job and became a full-time mother.

Because as children spend more and more time playing tennis, parents need more and more time to accompany and assist their children.

It will be difficult for dual-earner families to balance their children's daily study and life with tennis training and competition.

Behind a young tennis player, there is often a parent who gave up his career for his child's tennis career.

  A number of reforms to improve the domestic tennis development environment

  When tennis has become the choice of more and more Chinese families, how to better cultivate Chinese tennis talents in the new environment is also in front of the Chinese Tennis Association.

Huang Wei, vice chairman of the Chinese Tennis Association and deputy director of the National Tennis Sports Management Center, recently revealed in an interview with a reporter from China Youth Daily and China Youth Daily that the China Tennis Association will increase its boosting efforts on the basis of the corresponding measures already launched.

  First, continue to insist on running the China Tennis Tour, which has been held for three years.

This competition allows players with a minimum age of 14 to participate, which greatly increases the opportunities for domestic tennis players to compete and to communicate and learn with domestic players.

Huang Wei introduced that under the previous competition system, young players in the U14 and U16 age groups participated in domestic competitions according to their age groups. It is difficult for outstanding young players in these age groups to compete with professional players of relatively high domestic level. , but the China Tennis Tour has given all domestic tennis players a platform to compete on the same field.

From the perspective of the past two years, due to the impact of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, it has become more difficult for some outstanding domestic young players to participate in international events, but the China Tennis Tour has given them an important opportunity to exercise.

It can be said that the Chinese Tennis Association used the Chinese tennis tour to make up for a shortcoming in the domestic tennis competition system.

  Second, the Chinese Tennis Association is about to launch a "stubble suppression plan".

In August this year, the selection of the first phase of the "Stubble Stubble Plan" will be held at the China Tennis Academy in Nanjing.

The "stubble suppression plan", as can be seen from the name, is mainly for cultivating newcomers.

According to Huang Wei, all tennis teenagers who meet the requirements in China can participate in the selection of the "Stubble Stubble Program".

According to the two age groups of U14 and U16, the Chinese Tennis Association plans to select a total of 20 children, male and female, and send them to professional tennis schools in the United States and Europe for training. The Chinese Tennis Association and local sports departments will bear 75% of the children's training funds. , the family only needs to pay another 25%.

This will greatly reduce the financial burden of families raising their children to pursue a career in tennis.

Huang Wei said that the launch of the "stubble suppression plan" is also to build a new national system, so that the country, provinces, cities, society, individuals and families can work together to promote the training of tennis talents, fully reflecting the advantages of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics.

  The third is to carry out the reform of tennis items in the National Games, including the gold medal recognition, performance calculation and item setting of the tennis items of the National Games, mainly to encourage professional players to go to the international professional arena to improve their level and win glory for the country.

In addition, the National Games Tennis Youth Group was established to encourage more provinces and cities to independently cultivate high-level tennis reserve talents, so as to solve the problem of insufficient and unbalanced development of tennis.

  Huang Wei believes that tennis is a sports event with huge influence in the world, and it is an inevitable requirement to build a strong sports country to improve the level of tennis. Contribution to construction.

The above measures and reforms will have a far-reaching impact on the development of Chinese tennis, especially in the cultivation of young tennis talents in China.

  On July 3, Chinese player Zheng Qinwen stopped in the top 32 in this year's Wimbledon competition.

This result is not outstanding for Chinese tennis, but for 19-year-old Zheng Qinwen, reaching the third round at Wimbledon for the first time is already a huge success.

Since the beginning of this year, Zheng Qinwen has shined in the Grand Slam tournaments, which shows the hope of Chinese players to win the singles championship in the tennis Grand Slam tournaments again.

And the greater hope of Chinese tennis comes from behind Zheng Qinwen, the domestic youth tennis population is growing exponentially.

The rapidly expanding talent pool and the ever-improving level of domestic tennis development determine that it is only a matter of time before the next Li Na is born in Chinese tennis.

  This newspaper, Beijing, July 5th

  China Youth Daily, China Youth Daily reporter Ci Xin Source: China Youth Daily

  July 06, 2022 Version 08