In 1977, shaggily coifed stars like Björn Borg, John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors were attracting a new generation to pick up racquets and hit tennis courts across the country.
But here in Johnson County, it was still pretty hard to find tennis gear.
“[My son] Matt was a child and played tennis, and I couldn’t find tennis clothes for him,” remembers Jane Rodney.
So Rodney and her brother John Tidrick, who had just graduated from the University of Colorado and was looking to run a small business, got to talking.
“Tennis was booming. It was huge,” Rodney said. “We thought, what if we opened a tennis shop?”
Thus was born The Tennis Set. And this week, the family is celebrating 40 years in business.
The shop operated at 95th Street and Nall before eventually moving to its current location at RanchMart five years ago. Today, it offers racquets and racquet service as well as a full array of tennis apparel, shoes, accessories and bags.
Jane and Tidrick handed the business over to Matt Rodney five years ago, but they’re both still involved, coming in several times a month to help out.
“It is so fun to have people come in who were kids when we opened and say, ‘Mrs. Rodney, do you remember me?’” Jane said. “They’re bringing in their own kids now.”
The Tennis Set is holding a 40th anniversary celebration starting Saturday that will run through April 29. As part of the celebration, they’re offering discounts on all apparel, and holding daily drawings for shoes, racquets, bags and clothes.