Tennis Transactions

Dedicated player starts affordable business to make tennis more accessible

Priya Kukreja, Staff Writer

From pricey racquets to expensive lessons, tennis has gained a reputation as an exclusive sport. Without access to the right connections, it’s often difficult to actively get involved in the sport.

However, senior Raymond Thai set out to make tennis a more accessible and unrestricted activity. Thai partnered with MN alumni David Liu and created a business to provide affordable lessons for young players and open up opportunities to get involved in the tennis community.

“We started teaching together last summer under the business name ‘Liu Thai Tennis.’ It’s a way for us to show kids what they need to be doing and help them find success in tennis,” Thai said.
Although Thai and Liu have been teaching private lessons for a few years, they’ve recently expanded the scope of their company through professional means by creating an online website accompanied with a logo and contact cards.

“Our website has made it a lot easier to market and recommend the business, so it’s helped us grow. Parents can send links or share business cards which makes us look more professional and keeps things organized,” Liu said.

The aspect that differentiates Liu Thai Tennis from other tennis clubs is its flexible prices and communal involvement with players. Aside from lessons, services from the business highlight the availability of tournament advice, coaching recommendations, and training techniques.

“Being able to see kids improve and enjoy tennis is more than rewarding. Having parents text me about how much their kid liked a tournament I referred them to, or seeing kids improve their records definitely makes me feel like I’m doing something right,” Thai said.

The benefits of teaching extend beyond the realm of the students. Thai’s active instruction for tennis has resulted in conceptual benefits and evident improvement in his abilities as well.

“Explaining the game gave me a different perspective and deeper understanding of tennis that helped me improve as a player. Now I have to question why every stroke is hit the way it is so that I can explain it in a comprehensible manner,” Thai said.

With the creation of Liu Thai Tennis, the business has struck a healthy balance between advancing the community and engaging in practices that are mutually beneficial. Although most businesses focus on generating a profit, Thai hopes to continue the work he’s doing with his students.

“David and I have both been deeply influenced by the tennis community, but we know it can be exclusive or tough to get into if you don’t know what you’re doing. We’re just glad that we can provide a way for young players to get involved,” Thai said.