Tennis News: Zendaya is the new John McEnroe and Feliciano Lopez's poor excuse

  • Zendaya is causing a John McEnroe-like change
  • Lopez rebuts seeming facts
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In the 1970s, tennis had reached peak popularity. Local courts were full of people trying out the same sport that they watched players such as John McEnroe, Chris Evert, and Bjorn Borg play. McEnroe's volcanic personality and Evert's class helped grow the sport. After tennis brought in the Code of Conduct for players, though, tennis' popularity seemed to wane because we did not see the players' personalities as much.

Sure, tennis has been highly entertaining for tennis fans over the last 20 years. Never has the sport had a group such as Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic all at their peak, fighting for titles over many years. But greatness does not mean that lots of new fans are watching tennis. They should, of course.

As it turns out, however, Zendaya might be helping lead the growth of tennis with her new film, Challengers. According to a website called Venture Starters, since Zendaya's film premiered on April 16, adult tennis lessons have grown three times the average. This is partly because the film is doing surprisingly well for a tennis-related movie. Will Smith's King Richard, a film about the Williams sisters, was critically hailed but not overly successful commercially.

Zendaya mirrors John McEnroe and Feliciano Lopez disputes Ons Jabeur

In the 1970s, tennis exploded in popularity with the help of John McEnroe. In the 2020s, tennis fans might have Zendaya to thank for a boon in popularity. The next time you go to your local courts and they are not filled with pickleballers but instead a few people playing tennis, you might want to give a quiet thanks to Zendaya.

Someone who isn't getting a lot of thanks currently is former ATP player and current Madrid Masters director Feliciano Lopez. Lopez took some heat last year because he did not allow time for the final four women's doubles players to make a post-match speech. According to tennis pro Ellen Perez, Lopez also does not allow women's doubles players to practice on-site between 9 am and 5 pm local time.

Current WTA No. 9 Ons Jabeur recently argued in a post-match press conference in Madrid that she feels the tournament doesn't respect women as much as it should. Lopez seemed to take issue with this and responded to Jabeur's comments in a recent interview with Sky Sports. The issue was that some of his words seemed dismissive of Jabeur's complaints and appeared to ring false.

Lopez said, "I think we did a few things last year that shouldn't have happened, but we learned from our mistakes...I understand the frustration on certain things because there is a lot that can happen with transportation and practice sessions, but we try to be equal and fair all the time. I think we have to move on and try to be fair to everyone. Last year, I have to accept that the issue with the doubles, we apologized. And we moved on, and everyone's happy."

Is everyone happy? It certainly does not appear so, based on what Jabeur had to say.

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