Tennis History

Events in Sport

Events 1 - 100 of 103

  • 1659-09-30 Peter Stuyvesant of New Netherlands forbids tennis playing during religious services (1st mention of tennis in US)
  • 1789-06-20 Tennis Court Oath (for a new constitution) in France made at Versailles
  • 1793-09-29 Tennis is 1st mentioned in an English sporting magazine
  • 1874-02-23 Major Walter Clopton Winfield patents a game called "sphairistike" (lawn tennis)
  • 1874-06-22 Game of lawn tennis introduced
  • 1874-07-29 Major Walter Copton Wingfield patents a portable tennis court
  • 1876-02-03 Albert Spalding with $800 starts sporting goods co, manufacturing 1st official baseball, tennis ball, basketball, golf ball, & football
  • 1881-05-21 US Nation Lawn Tennis Association forms
  • 1881-08-03 US National Lawn Tennis Association removes "National" from its name
  • 1886-08-18 Carr Baker Neel & Samuel Neel win US Lawn Tennis Association doubles
  • 1887-10-05 1st US National Championship Women's Tennis, Philadelphia Cricket Club: Ellen Hansell beats Laura Knight 6-1, 6-0
  • 1888-08-20 Longest US men's single tennis tournament match Palmer Presbrey defeats T S Tailer, 19-21, 8-6, 6-1, 6-4, an 80 game 1st-round contest
  • 1889-08-29 1st American International professional lawn tennis contest (Newport, Rhode Island)
  • 1905-11-21 1st game ever played in the Australian Tennis Open
  • 1911-03-20 National Squash Tennis Association forms (NYC)
  • 1912-02-09 US Tennis Association amends rule taking bye away from defending champion

  • 1921-09-03 International Lawn Tennis Challenge, New York: Watson Washburn and William Norris win their doubles rubber to clinch US win over Japan; Americans go on to win 5-0
  • 1923-09-03 International Lawn Tennis Challenge, New York: Bill Tilden & Bill Johnston win their final singles matches to give US 4-1 win over Australia; 4th straight Challenge victory
  • 1926-02-16 Suzanne Lenglen defeats US champion Helen Wills in influential tennis match in Cannes, France
  • 1928-07-12 1st televised tennis match

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1938-09-24 Alice Marble wins her 2nd singles US tennis title

Tennis Champion Alice Marble
Tennis Champion
Alice Marble
  • 1950-04-26 U of Miami ends William & Mary straight tennis match victories at 82
  • 1950-08-22 Althea Gibson becomes 1st black competitor in a US national tennis competition
  • 1955-04-02 Pancho Gonzales retains tennis title by winning a tournament playing under table tennis rules
  • 1957-07-21 1st black to win a major US tennis tournament (Althea Gibson)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1968-12-12 Arthur Ashe becomes 1st black to be ranked #1 in tennis

Tennis Player Arthur Ashe
Tennis Player
Arthur Ashe
  • 1969-09-08 US amateur Men's Tennis: Stan Smith beats Bob Lutz (97 63 61)
  • 1969-09-09 Smallest US Tennis Open single session-131 (men's doubles final only)
  • 1970-07-24 International Law Tennis Association institutes 9 point tie break rule
  • 1972-10-15 17 year old American tennis prodigy Chris Evert wins inaugural WTA Tour Championship at Boca Raton, Florida; beats Australian Kerry Melville Reid 7-5, 6-4; Evert not eligible for prize money
  • 1973-04-30 Women's tennis groups end disputes over sanctioning tournaments

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1973-09-20 Billie Jean King beats Bobby Riggs in battle-of-sexes tennis match

Tennis Legend Billie Jean King
Tennis Legend
Billie Jean King
Tennis Player and Three-Time Major Champion Bobby Riggs
Tennis Player and Three-Time Major Champion
Bobby Riggs

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1973-12-10 1st time since 1885, tennis has 2 top males (Stan Smith & Jimmy Connors)

Tennis Legend Jimmy Connors
Tennis Legend
Jimmy Connors
  • 1975-04-05 American tennis No. 1 Chris Evert wins her 3rd WTA Tour Championship at the Los Angeles Sports Arena; beats Martina Navratilova 6-4, 6-2
  • 1975-05-26 Tennis game in Surrey championships lasts 31 minutes
  • 1975-08-27 1st night match at US Tennis Open (Parun defeats Smith)
  • 1976-08-27 Transsexual Renee Richards barred from competing in US Tennis Open
  • 1978-08-29 USTA National Tennis Center opens in Flushing NY
  • 1979-08-30 Kathy Horvath (14y5d) is youngest to play in US Tennis Open, she loses

Sport awardTennis Open

1979-08-30 Wildest US Tennis Open match, McEnroe defeats Ilie Năstase 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Năstase was defaulted by the umpire then reinstated

Tennis Champion Ilie Năstase
Tennis Champion
Ilie Năstase
  • 1980-04-16 Arthur Ashe retires from professional tennis

  • 1981-03-28 Martina Navratilova beats 16 year old American tennis prodigy Andrea Jaeger 6-3, 7-6 in the final of the WTA Tour Championships at Madison Square Garden, NYC
  • 1982-07-25 20th Tennis Fed Cup: USA beats Germany in Santa Clara USA (3-0)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1982-10-24 Steffi Graf plays her 1st pro tennis match

Tennis Player Steffi Graf
Tennis Player
Steffi Graf
  • 1982-11-28 Germany's Sylvia Hanika stages remarkable comeback to upset tennis icon Martina Navratilova 1–6, 6–3, 6–4 and win her only WTA Tour Championship in NYC
  • 1983-03-20 In a clash of tennis legends, Martina Navratilova outclasses Chris Evert Lloyd 6-2, 6-0 to win her first of 5 straight WTA Tour Championships at Madison Square Garden, NYC
  • 1983-07-24 21st Tennis Fed Cup: Czech beats Germany in Zurich Switzerland (2-1)
  • 1984-03-04 Tennis legend Martina Navratilova retains her WTA Tour Championship in NYC; beats Chris Evert 6–3, 7–5, 6–1 for her 5th overall Championship title
  • 1984-05-27 Manuela Manleeva wins 3 singles tennis matches in one day
  • 1984-07-22 22nd Tennis Fed Cup: Czech beats Australia in Sao Paulo Brazil (2-1)
  • 1985-01-13 23rd Tennis Fed Cup: Czech beats USA in Nagoya Japan (2-1)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1985-01-14 Martina Navratilova is 3rd to win 100 tennis tournaments (Connors & Evert)

Tennis Player Martina Navratilova
Tennis Player
Martina Navratilova
  • 1985-03-21 Arthur Ashe is nominated for the Internatinal Tennis Hall of Fame
  • 1985-03-24 Third straight WTA Tour Championship for tennis legend Martina Navratilova; beats Helena Suková 6–3, 7–5, 6–4 at Madison Square Garden, NYC
  • 1985-08-27 Mary Joe Fernandez, 14 years 8 days old is youngest to win a US Tennis Open match (beats Sara Gomer in 1st round)
  • 1986-03-23 First of 2 WTA Tour Championships of the year; change of tennis schedule; Martina Navratilova wins 4th straight and 7th overall title 6–2, 6–0, 3–6, 6–1 against Hana Mandlíková in NYC
  • 1986-07-27 24th Tennis Fed Cup: USA beats Czechoslovakia in Prague Czech (3-0)
  • 1986-11-23 Second WTA Tour Championship of the year; change of tennis schedule; Martina Navratilova wins 5th straight and 8th overall title with 7–6, 6–3, 6–2 win over Steffi Graf in NYC

Sport awardTennis Open

1987-09-01 15 year old American tennis player Michael Chang becomes youngest man to win a match at the US Open when he beats Australian Paul McNamee in 4 sets in the opening round

Tennis Player and French Open Champion Michael Chang
Tennis Player and French Open Champion
Michael Chang

Sport awardTennis Open

1987-09-05 John McEnroe is fined $17,500 for tirades at US Tennis Open

Tennis Player John McEnroe
Tennis Player
John McEnroe
  • 1987-09-09 Largest US Tennis Open single night session (total) 21,016
  • 1987-10-31 A pair in Coventry, England, ties world record for longest singles tennis match at 80 hrs 21 minutes
  • 1988-10-01 Steffi Graf beats Gabriela Sabatini 6-3, 6-3 to win the women's singles tennis gold medal at the Seoul Olympics; clinches first and only Golden Slam in history (Grand Slam & Olympics)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1989-02-07 Tennis superstar Björn Borg apparently attempts suicide in Milan

Tennis Player Björn Borg
Tennis Player
Björn Borg
  • 1989-10-09 27th Tennis Fed Cup: USA beats Spain in Tokyo Japan (3-0)
  • 1989-11-19 German tennis No. 1 Steffi Graf regains the WTA Tour Championship in NYC; beats Martina Navratilova 6–4, 7–5, 2–6, 6–2
  • 1990-07-29 28th Tennis Fed Cup: USA beats USSR in Atlanta Georgia (2-1)
  • 1991-07-28 29th Tennis Fed Cup: Spain beats USA in Nottingham England (2-1)
  • 1991-10-02 Steffi Graf beats Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria 6-2, 6-2 in the Volkswagen Cup in Leipzig to become the youngest woman to win 500 professional tennis matches
  • 1991-11-10 Martina Navratilova ties Chris Evert with 157 pro tennis tournament wins

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1991-11-24 Monica Seles, sets female tennis record winning $2,457,758 in a year

Tennis Player and Nine-Time Major Champion Monica Seles
Tennis Player and Nine-Time Major Champion
Monica Seles
  • 1992-06-11 Tracy Austin, 29, is youngest inductee of International Tennis Hall of Fame
  • 1992-07-19 30th Tennis Fed Cup: Germany beats Spain in Frankfurt Germany (2-1)
  • 1993-07-25 31st Tennis Fed Cup: Spain beats Australia in Frankfurt Germany (3-0)
  • 1993-09-01 Goran Ivanišević and Daniel Nestor play a 20–18 tiebreaker in their US Open first round match, eventually won by Ivanišević 6–4, 7–6, 7–6(20–18); longest tiebreak in US Open history
  • 1993-09-05 Largest US Tennis Open 2 sessions (total) daily gate (43,502)
  • 1994-07-24 32nd Tennis Fed Cup: Spain beats USA in Frankfurt Germany (3-0)
  • 1994-08-30 Largest US Tennis Open single session (total) 23,618
  • 1995-07-29 Monica Seles beats Martina Navratilova in her return to tennis
  • 1995-11-19 German tennis No. 1 Steffi Graf outlasts No. 2 Anke Huber 6–1, 2–6, 6–1, 4–6, 6–3 to win the WTA Tour Championship at Madison Square Garden, NYC
  • 1995-11-26 33rd Tennis Fed Cup: Spain beats USA in Valencia Spain (3-2)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1996-08-03 American Andre Agassi wins the men's singles Tennis gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics beating Spaniard Sergi Bruguera 6-2, 6-3, 6-1

Tennis Legend Andre Agassi
Tennis Legend
Andre Agassi
  • 1996-09-29 34th Tennis Fed Cup: USA beats Spain in Atlantic City USA (5-0)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1997-01-11 Martina Hingis beats Jennifer Capriati at Sydney Tennis Intl

Tennis Player Martina Hingis
Tennis Player
Martina Hingis
  • 1997-11-23 Czech tennis No. 1 Jana Novotná wins WTA Tour Championship at Madison Square Garden, NYC; beats Mary Pierce of France 7–6, 6–2, 6–3
  • 2004-08-21 Nicolás Massú & Fernando González win the men's doubles tennis at the Athens Olympics beating German pair Nicolas Kiefer & Rainer Schüttler in 5 sets; it's Chile's first Olympic gold medal
  • 2004-08-22 After winning the doubles tennis gold medal at the Athens Olympics, Chile's Nicolás Massú wins the men's singles gold 6–3, 3–6, 2–6, 6–3, 6–4 over American Mardy Fish
  • 2004-08-22 Justine Henin of Belgium wins the women's singles tennis gold medal at the Athens Olympics 6-3, 6-3 over Amélie Mauresmo of France

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2004-11-15 Maria Sharapova becomes the first Russian to win the tennis season-ending WTA Tour Championship; beats American Serena Williams 4–6, 6–2, 6–4 at the Staples Center, Los Angeles

Tennis Player Serena Williams
Tennis Player
Serena Williams

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2008-08-17 Rafael Nadal of Spain beats Chile's Fernando González 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 to win the men's tennis singles at the Beijing Olympics; Spain's first ever Olympic gold medal in tennis

Tennis Champion Rafael Nadal
Tennis Champion
Rafael Nadal
  • 2009-11-01 Tennis sisters Serena and Venus Williams clash in the season-ending WTA Championship decider at Doha, Qatar; Serena wins 6-2, 7-6
  • 2012-08-04 Golden double for US at London Olympic tennis as Serena Williams destroys Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-1 in women's singles; Bob & Mike Bryan win men’s doubles beating French pair Michael Llodra & Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4 7-6
  • 2012-10-28 American Serena Williams wins her 3rd season ending tennis title; beats Maria Sharapova of Russia 6–4, 6–3 in the WTA Championship decider in Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2013-10-27 American Serena Williams wins her 4th season ending tennis title; beats Li Na of China 2–6, 6–3, 6–0 in the WTA Championship final in Istanbul, Turkey

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2016-08-14 Great Britain's Andy Murray wins the men's tennis singles gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics 7–5, 4–6, 6–2, 7–5 over Juan Martín del Potro of Argentina

Tennis Champion Andy Murray
Tennis Champion
Andy Murray
  • 2017-04-22 Ilie Năstase thrown off tennis court for insulting British female players during Fed Cup play-off against Romania in Constanta

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2017-09-24 Roger Federer is unbeaten as Team Europe dominates Team World 15-9 in the inaugural Laver Cup Tennis event in Prague, Czech Republic

Tennis Champion Roger Federer
Tennis Champion
Roger Federer
  • 2018-04-22 Monte Carlo Tennis Masters: Rafael Nadal beats Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-2 to extend his Open-era record for most wins at the same event (11)
  • 2018-04-29 Spanish tennis great Rafael Nadal equals his Open-era record for most wins at the same event (11 Monte Carlo) with his 11th Barcelona ATP title
  • 2018-08-16 International Tennis Federation votes to change format of the Davis Cup to a big prize money, season-ending, 18-team tournament at a neutral site; 24 team qualifying tournament to start in February 2019

Birthdays in Sport

  • 1852-02-16 Mary Ewing Outerbridge, American citizen credited with importing tennis to the US from Bermuda (1874), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1886)
  • 1880-03-01 Julian Myrick, promoter of junior tennis
  • 1898-02-27 Allison Danzig, sports writer (Tennis Pictorial History)
  • 1901-08-03 John Stennis, American politician, Mississippi Senator, born in Kemper County, Mississippi (d. 1995)
  • 1902-09-19 Jimmy [James Henry] Van Alen, American tennis official who created Simplified Scoring System for tennis, born in Newport, Rhode Island (d. 1991)
  • 1903-03-20 Vincent Richards, hall of fame tennis pro (elected 1961)
  • 1918-09-04 William Talbert, American tennis doubles champ (US 1942, 45, 46, 48), born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 1999)
  • 1923-07-31 Jimmy Evert, American tennis coach and father of Chris Evert, born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2015)
  • 1926-09-11 Alfred Slote, American children's books author (Love & Tennis, Omega Station), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1931-07-31 Nick Bollettieri, American tennis coach, born in Pelham, New York
  • 1939-05-09 Ion Ţiriac, Romanian tennis manager
  • 1944-02-12 Charles Pasarell, tennis pro
  • 1960-02-27 Andres Gomez, Ecuador, tennis pro (Madrid Grand Prix-1990)
  • 1964-01-20 Roger Smith, Freeport Bahamas, tennis doubles player
  • 1966-04-15 Andrei Olhovskiy, tennis pro, born in Moscow, Russia
  • 1970-03-15 Diego Nargiso, tennis pro, born in Naples, Italy
  • 1970-09-29 Nicolas Pereira, Salto Uruguay, tennis pro
  • 1974-06-07 Mahesh Bhupathi, India, tennis pro
  • 1975-03-18 Claude N'Goran, Adzope Ivory Coast, tennis pro
  • 1976-03-29 Jennifer Capriati, tennis pro (Olympic gold 1992), born in Long Island, New York
  • 1977-10-01 Alejandro Hernandez, Tijuana Mexico, tennis pro
  • 1981-06-02 Nikolay Davydenko, Russian professional tennis pl

Weddings in Sport

  • 2005-12-03 NBC correspondent Hoda Kotb (41) weds New Orleans tennis coach Burzis Kanga in the Dominican Republic

Deaths in Sport

  • 1886-05-03 Mary Ewing Outerbridge, American citizen credited with importing tennis to the US from Bermuda (1874), dies of illness at 34
  • 1984-02-03 Anne Townsend, lacrosse/tennis/field hockey star, dies
  • 1987-03-23 Dean Paul Martin, musician/tennis pro, killed in plane crash at 29
  • 1991-01-20 Bill Riordon, US tennis promotor (Jimmy Connors), dies
  • 1991-07-03 Jimmy [James Henry] Van Alen, American tennis official who created Simplified Scoring System for tennis, dies at 88
  • 1992-12-10 Dan Maskell, English tennis commentator (b. 1908)
  • 1995-04-23 John Stennis, (Sen-D-MS), dies at 93
  • 1995-07-04 Richard "Pancho" Gonzalez, tennis great, dies of stomach cancer at 67
  • 1995-11-23 Frank Hammond, tennis umpire, dies of ALS at 66
  • 1999-02-28 William Talbert, American tennis doubles champ (US 1942, 45, 46, 48), dies at 80
  • 2015-08-21 Jimmy Evert, American tennis coach and father of Chris Evert, dies at 91