Tennis History

Events in Sport

Events 1 - 100 of 150

  • 1659-09-30 Peter Stuyvesant of New Netherlands forbids tennis playing during religious services (1st mention of tennis in US)
  • 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)

Sport awardDavis Cup

1957-12-06 Gardnar Mulloy becomes oldest American to win a Davis Cup tennis match at age 44 years, 14 days; teams with Vic Seixas to give US a match-clinching, 3-0 lead over the Philippines in the Inter Zone 1st round in Adelaide, Australia

Tennis Player Vic Seixas
Tennis Player
Vic Seixas

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1970-12-15 Stan Smith and Rod Laver finish with 4-1 records atop inaugural season ending ATP Masters Grand Prix tennis standings in Tokyo, Japan; Smith wins event after beating Laver 4–6, 6–3, 6–4 in the rounds

Tennis Player Rod Laver
Tennis Player
Rod Laver

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Tennis Legend Chris Evert
Tennis Legend
Chris Evert
  • 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
  • 1973-12-01 Davis Cup Tennis, Cleveland, Ohio: Rod Laver and John Newcombe beat American pair Stan Smith and Erik van Dillen 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 to give Australia an unassailable 3-0 lead, (ends 5-0); 23rd Cup title for Australia
  • 1973-12-02 Davis Cup Tennis, Cleveland: After clinching a famous victory the previous day, Australians Rod Laver and John Newcombe finish a 5-0 rout of the US with wins over Stan Smith and Tom Gorman

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1973-12-10 First time since 1885, tennis has 2 top male players - Americans Stan Smith and Jimmy Connors

Tennis Legend Jimmy Connors
Tennis Legend
Jimmy Connors
  • 1974-12-01 South Africa is awarded the Davis Cup tennis title after India refuses to travel to South Africa for the final in protest of the South African government's apartheid policies

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1974-12-15 Guillermo Vilas of Argentina beats defending champion lie Năstase 7–6, 6–2, 3–6, 3–6, 6–4 to win his first and only season-ending ATP Masters Grand Prix tennis final in Melbourne, Australia

Tennis Player and Four-Time Major Champion Guillermo Vilas
Tennis Player and Four-Time Major Champion
Guillermo Vilas
  • 1975-04-05 American tennis #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
  • 1976-12-12 Spaniard Manuel Orantes beats Wojtek Fibak of Poland 5–7, 6–2, 0–6, 7–6, 6–1 to win his first and only season-ending ATP Masters Grand Prix tennis title in Houston, Texas
  • 1977-12-04 Davis Cup Tennis, Sydney: John Alexander beats Adriano Panatta of Italy 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 8-6, 11-9 in a 3 hour, 54 minute classic to give Australia a 3-1 victory
  • 1978-01-08 American Jimmy Connors beats Björn Borg of Sweden 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 to win his first and only season-ending ATP Masters Grand Prix tennis title at Madison Square Garden, NYC
  • 1978-08-29 USTA National Tennis Center opens in Flushing NY

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1979-01-14 John McEnroe wins his first of 3 season-ending ATP Masters Grand Prix tennis titles 6–7, 6–3, 7–5 against fellow American Arthur Ashe at Madison Square Garden, NYC

Tennis Player John McEnroe
Tennis Player
John McEnroe
Tennis Player Arthur Ashe
Tennis Player
Arthur Ashe
  • 1979-08-30 Kathy Horvath (14y5d) is youngest to play in US Tennis Open, she loses
  • 1979-08-30 In a wild encounter at the US Open, John McEnroe beats Ilie Năstase 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2; Năstase is defaulted by the umpire then reinstated

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1980-01-12 Björn Borg of Sweden wins his first of 2 season-ending ATP Masters Grand Prix tennis titles outclassing American Vitas Gerulaitis 6–2, 6–2 at Madison Square Garden, NYC

Tennis Player Björn Borg
Tennis Player
Björn Borg

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Tennis Player Martina Navratilova
Tennis Player
Martina Navratilova
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Tennis Player Sylvia Hanika
Tennis Player
Sylvia Hanika
Tennis Player Martina Navratilova
Tennis Player
Martina Navratilova

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1983-01-23 Ivan Lendl scores a 6–4, 6-4, 6–2 win over American John McEnroe to claim back-to-back ATP Masters Grand Prix tennis titles at Madison Square Garden, NYC

Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion Ivan Lendl
Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion
Ivan Lendl
Tennis Player John McEnroe
Tennis Player
John McEnroe
  • 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)
  • 1984-01-15 John McEnroe reverses previous year's result with a 6–3, 6–4, 6–4 win over Ivan Lendl to claim his second season-ending ATP Masters Grand Prix tennis title at Madison Square Garden, NYC
  • 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)
  • 1985-01-13 John McEnroe repeats previous year's result with a 7–5, 6–0, 6–4 win over Ivan Lendl to claim back-to-back season-ending ATP Masters Grand Prix tennis titles at Madison Square Garden, NYC
  • 1985-01-14 Martina Navratilova is 3rd to win 100 tennis tournaments (Connors & Evert)
  • 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
  • 1986-12-10 Ivan Lendl repeats previous year's result with a 6–4, 6–4, 6–4 win over Boris Becker to claim back-to-back season-ending ATP Masters Grand Prix tennis titles at Madison Square Garden, 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
  • 1987-09-05 John McEnroe is fined $17,500 for tirades at US Tennis Open
  • 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
  • 1987-12-04 Defending champion Ivan Lendl of Czechoslovakia wins 3rd straight season-ending ATP Masters Grand Prix tennis title by defeating Mats Wilander of Sweden 6–2, 6–2, 6–3 in the final at Madison Square Garden, NYC
  • 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

1988-12-05 Boris Becker beats defending champion Ivan Lendl 5–7, 7–6, 3–6, 6–2, 7–6 in a classic final to win his first of 3 ATP Masters Grand Prix tennis titles at Madison Square Garden, NYC

Tennis Legend Boris Becker
Tennis Legend
Boris Becker
Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion Ivan Lendl
Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion
Ivan Lendl
  • 1989-02-07 Tennis superstar Björn Borg apparently attempts suicide in Milan
  • 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
  • 1989-12-03 Stefan Edberg of Sweden claims his first and only ATP Masters Grand Prix tennis title with a 4–6, 7–6, 6–3, 6–1 win over defending champion Boris Becker at Madison Square Garden, NYC
  • 1990-07-29 28th Tennis Fed Cup: USA beats USSR in Atlanta Georgia (2-1)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1990-11-18 Andre Agassi claims his first and only season-ending ATP Tour World Championship tennis title with a 5–7, 7–6, 7–5, 6–2 win over defending champion Stefan Edberg in Frankfurt, Germany

Tennis Legend Andre Agassi
Tennis Legend
Andre Agassi

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1991-11-17 In an all-American final Pete Sampras wins his first of 5 ATP Tour World Championship tennis titles with a 3–6, 7–6, 6–3, 6–4 victory over Jim Courier in Frankfurt, Germany

Tennis Player Pete Sampras
Tennis Player
Pete Sampras

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1991-11-24 Monica Seles, sets female tennis record winning prize money of $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)
  • 1992-11-20 Home crowd favourite Boris Becker claims his 2nd ATP Tour World Championship tennis title beating American Jim Courier 6–4, 6–3, 7–5 in the final in Frankfurt, Germany
  • 1992-12-06 Davis Cup Tennis, Ft. Worth, Texas: Jim Courier defeats Jakob Hlasek of Switzerland 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to give the US a 3-1 victory
  • 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

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 (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, American tennis player (3-time Grand Slam winner), born in NYC, 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 (father of Chris Evert), dies at 91