| By Steven Kaplan

Title IX of The Education Amendments of 1972 is celebrating its 40 anniversary. If you are a girl playing tennis, then you should be celebrating too because this legislation is having a profound and positive impact on your life.

One study estimates that Title IX has increased female sports participation in high school and college by a factor of nine. Even 15 years ago, each USTA girl's division had just 100 or so nationally-ranked players. This number has increased to more than 500 great female players in most age groups.

Before Title IX, Billie Jean King needed 30 WTA tournament victories to become the first woman to win $100,000 in prize money. In 2011, a round of 16 appearance in the U.S. Open women's draw was worth $110,000.

Ms. King , the driving force behind Title IX, was interviewed by MSNBC's Andrea Michell a few days ago ...

"People always say it's about the money," King said. "It's not the money. It's about the message. That's what Title IX is about."

I think one of these messages is that, because of Title IX, there are tremendous opportunities abound for girls in junior tennis.

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.