| By Steven Kaplan

If you love tennis, I mean really love tennis, then a trip to the All England Lawn and Tennis Center to see The Championships should be at the top of your Bucket List.

Wimbledon is the greatest tournament in the world. As you walk the grounds, the traditions of the sport are clearly and gracefully displayed. It is the tournament that represents the best ambiance of any major. It is fan-friendly, buzzing with excitement, yet full of civility. The food is expensive and fairly bad, except for the strawberries with cream of course, but it does really matter because the tennis is at the center of this tournament experience. Remarkably, the grounds are seamlessly infused with cutting-edge technology that are a powerful reminder that that tradition and progress are not mutually exclusive of one another.

The courts have changed over the years, as the climate of London has become warmer and drier. It is said that the courts play more like clay now with consistent and high bounces. I got to play on the practice courts a few years ago while coaching a player and it was memorable and fun. Some of the greatest matches in the history of the sport have been played at Wimbledon, and after visiting, it is easy to understand why.

Wimbledon is inspiring.

Steven Kaplan

Steve Kaplan is the owner and managing director of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as director emeritus of Lacoste Academy for New York City Parks Foundation, and executive director and founder of Serve &Return Inc. Steve has coached more than 1,100 nationally- ranked junior players, 16 New York State high school champions, two NCAA Division 1 Singles Champions, and numerous highly-ranked touring professionals. Many of the students Steve has closely mentored have gone to achieve great success as prominent members of the New York financial community, and in other prestigious professions. In 2017, Steve was awarded the Hy Zausner Lifetime Achievement Award by the USTA. He may be reached by e-mail at StevenJKaplan@aol.com.