Tennis History

Events in Sport

  • 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
  • 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)
  • 1901-12-14 1st table tennis tournament is held (London Royal Aquarium)
  • 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
  • 1923-09-15 Bill Tilden wins US Lawn Tennis Open
  • 1926-02-16 Suzanne Lenglen defeats Helen Wills in Tennis at Cannes France
  • 1927-09-16 Rene Lacoste beats Bill Tilden for US Lawn Tennis Association title
  • 1928-07-12 1st televised tennis match
  • 1932-09-03 Ellsworth Vines beats Henri Cochet for US Tennis title

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
  • 1944-09-03 Frank Parker beats Bill Talbert for US Tennis title
  • 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
  • 1951-03-08 Intl Table Tennis Federation bans Egypt (for refusing to play Israel)
  • 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)
  • 1960-05-01 Pancho Gonzalez retires from tennis

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
  • 1971-04-10 US table tennis team arrives in People's Republic of China
  • 1971-11-10 US table tennis team arrived in China
  • 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
  • 1975-05-13 Hail stones as large as tennis balls hit Wernerville, Tennessee
  • 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

Sport awardTennis Open

1979-09-05 Roscoe Tanner fires 11 aces, breaks the net with his bullet serve & upsets top-seeded Bjorn Borg in US Tennis Open quarterfinals

Tennis Player and Australian Open Roscoe Tanner
Tennis Player and Australian Open
Roscoe Tanner
Tennis Player Björn Borg
Tennis Player
Björn Borg

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1982-09-24 Tennis great Bjorn Borg retires at 26

Tennis Player Björn Borg
Tennis Player
Björn Borg

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Tennis Player Steffi Graf
Tennis Player
Steffi Graf
  • 1983-01-23 Bjorn Borg announces his retirement from tennis

  • 1983-07-24 21st Tennis Fed Cup: Czech beats Germany in Zurich Switzerland (2-1)
  • 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
  • 1985-08-27 Mary Joe Fernandez, 14 years & 8 days old is youngest to win a US Tennis Open match (beats Sara Gomer in 1st round)
  • 1986-07-27 24th Tennis Fed Cup: USA beats Czechoslovakia in Prague Czech (3-0)
  • 1987-08-02 25th Tennis Fed Cup: Germany beats USA in Vancouver Canada (2-1)

Sport awardTennis Open

1987-09-01 15 yr old Michael Chang is youngest man to win US Tennis Open match

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
  • 1989-02-07 Tennis superstar Bjorn Borg apparently attempts suicide in Milan
  • 1989-10-09 27th Tennis Fed Cup: USA beats Spain in Tokyo Japan (3-0)
  • 1990-07-29 28th Tennis Fed Cup: USA beats USSR in Atlanta Georgia (2-1)
  • 1991-02-12 North & South Korea form a joint team for table tennis competition
  • 1991-07-28 29th Tennis Fed Cup: Spain beats USA in Nottingham England (2-1)
  • 1991-10-02 Steffi Graf becomes 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 Intl 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 Ivanisevic & Daniel Nestor play longest tie-break in US Tennis
  • 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 Naratilova in her return to tennis
  • 1995-11-26 33rd Tennis Fed Cup: Spain beats USA in Valencia Spain (3-2)
  • 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
  • 1997-10-05 35th Tennis Fed Cup: France beats Netherlands in Den Bosch Neth (4-1)
  • 2017-04-22 Ilie Năstase thrown off tennis court for insulting British female players during Fed Cup play-off against Romania in Constanta
  • 2017-09-10 137th Women's U.S. Tennis Open: Sloane Stephens defeats Madison Keys (6-3 6-0), only the 2nd unseeded winner

Birthdays in Sport

  • 1880-03-01 Julian Myrick, promoter of junior tennis
  • 1897-05-07 Kitty McKane, England, tennis (Olympic gold/2 silver/2 bronze-1920, 24)
  • 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 James Van Alen, created Simplified Scoring System for tennis
  • 1903-03-20 Vincent Richards, hall of fame tennis pro (elected 1961)
  • 1918-09-04 William Talbert, tennis doubles champ (US 1942, 45, 46, 48)
  • 1921-10-12 Jaroslav Drobný, Czech ice hockey player (Olympic gold 1948) and tennis player (Wimbledon title 1954), born in Prague, Czech Republic (d. 2001)
  • 1923-07-31 Jimmy Evert, American tennis coach and father of Chris Evert, born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2015)
  • 1926-09-11 Alfred Slote, author (Love & Tennis, Omega Station)
  • 1931-07-31 Nick Bollettieri, American tennis coach, born in Pelham, New York
  • 1934-09-17 Maureen "Little Mo" Connolly, Ca, tennis, 1st woman grand slam (1953)
  • 1939-05-09 Ion Ţiriac, Romanian tennis manager

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1942-07-16 Margaret Smith Court, Australian tennis star (1970 Grand Slam, 24 Grand Slam wins), born in Albury, New South Wales, Australia

Tennis Legend Margaret Smith Court
Tennis Legend
Margaret Smith Court
  • 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

  • 1943-04-08 Richard Sears, 1st to win US amateur national tennis match, dies at 81
  • 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
  • 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
  • 2015-08-21 Jimmy Evert, American tennis coach and father of Chris Evert, dies at 91