Dallas has a somewhat misplaced reputation for providing three main-course activities for its 1.2 million proud residents: shopping, eating and drinking. For those who enjoy partaking in all three at the same time, there are plenty of places to do so now, as just about every soulless commercial development stringently adheres to the mixed-use trend. For those looking for a more varied, active and healthy lifestyle, both physically and mentally, the Break the Love app has recently opened to Dallas residents, and it may be a godsend for the city’s active tennis community.
Break the Love is a meet-up app that helps people interested in tennis, pickleball and meeting new friends easily find one another. Three years since its creation, the company has expanded to the Dallas market. The app was founded and designed by CEO and developer Trisha Goyal. Besides her passion for playing tennis, Goyal cites the social aspects of the game as an early inspiration for creating the app.
“I grew up playing tennis and started at age 10. As a first-generation American, I assimilated to Western culture through the sport. Later, when I studied abroad, I played tennis as a way to meet new people in whatever country I was in,” Goyal says.
A finance and management graduate of NYU, Goyal enjoyed playing club tennis all though college. After graduating in 2015 she relocated to Connecticut to work for ESPN on a special project developing the sports media company’s app and international website. It was during her time with ESPN that Goyal got the idea for the project.
“I wanted to get back to playing tennis when I worked at ESPN, and you either joined a country club or found someone to play with, which was hard. There wasn’t really anything in between that for millennials to access tennis, because the community was all offline. I simply wanted to create something online so people could meet up and play together,” Goyal says.
Goyal was also inspired by the difficulty she and others she knew experienced maintaining a healthy life balance through exercise while working rigorous hours.
“As a working professional, it’s hard to find the time to work out. Many of us give up because of the inconvenience of it. Also, fitness trends are changing as people are craving that in-person interaction with one another again,” Goyal says.
Launched in the tristate area surrounding New York City in 2019, Break the Love organically grew from a mere 20 or 30 members to more than 100,000 users in two years. As word of the app spread, analytics revealed that 15% of the Break the Love website
’s traffic came from Dallas. When it was time for Goyal to expand west, the decision to open the app to the Dallas market was an easy one for the seasoned app developer.
“Dallas, Texas, has always been a big market for tennis, and it’s growing. We had a lot of people emailing us on the website, wanting us to be in Dallas. Our goal is to be everywhere in Dallas and Fort Worth by February of 2023,” Goyal says.
The program also made a point of being inclusive of all genders and providing opportunities for playing singles, doubles and mixed doubles at all skill levels. People who sign up for the app are also offered lessons at a discount, which are subsidized by the company’s many sponsors. Break the Love has managed to garner a significant amount of media attention and major sponsorships, including sports equipment giant Wilson and even the Women’s Tennis Association.
“The president of WTA and I met last year at the U.S. Open, and she loved the idea and loved that Break the Love was female-founded in sports. When she said that the finals were to be held in Fort Worth, I knew we wanted to be part of what was happening there”, Goyal says.
With a new year approaching, one may be looking for new friends, a new doubles partner or a reason to get out of the house and get some exercise. For those who played tennis in college but can’t afford the outrageous Dallas country club memberships and have a distaste for blue blazers with gold buttons, Goyal’s offering could be the perfect solution. The idea is to make playing tennis accessible, affordable and easy for people, whatever their skill level or reasons for enjoying the game.
“We are catering to the person who’s really busy, who wants to book it online, show up, and have a great experience,” Goyal says.