Tennis History

Events in Sport

Events 1 - 100 of 201

  • 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

1971-10-03 American tennis star Billie Jean King becomes first female athlete to win $100,000 in prize money in a single year; wins the $4,000 Virginia Slams Tournament in Phoenix, Arizona

Tennis Legend Billie Jean King
Tennis Legend
Billie Jean King

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1971-12-12 Romanian tennis star Ilie Năstase finishes ATP Masters Grand Prix with a perfect 6-0 record to win the rich season ending event at the Coubertin Stadium, Paris

Tennis Champion Ilie Năstase
Tennis Champion
Ilie Năstase

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
  • 1972-12-02 Romanian tennis star Ilie Năstase successfully defends his ATP Masters Grand Prix title with a 6–3, 6–2, 3–6, 2–6, 6–3 win over American Stan Smith in Barcelona, Spain
  • 1973-03-31 American tennis star Billie Jean King ends Australian Margaret Court's 57-match winning streak 6-7, 7-6, 6-3 in semi finals of the WTA event in Indianapolis, IN
  • 1973-04-30 Women's tennis groups end disputes over sanctioning tournaments
  • 1973-09-20 Billie Jean King beats Bobby Riggs in battle-of-sexes tennis match
  • 1973-10-23 19 year old American tennis star Chris Evert retains her WTA Tour Championship at Boca Raton, Florida; beats Nancy Richey Gunter 6-3, 6-3 in the final
  • 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
  • 1973-12-08 Romanian tennis star Ilie Năstase wins his 3rd consecutive season-ending ATP Masters Grand Prix title with a 6–3, 7–5, 4–6, 6–3 win over Dutchman Tom Okker in Boston, Massachusetts

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
  • 1974-10-19 Australian tennis star Evonne Goolagong wins her first WTA Tour Championship; beats Chris Evert 6-3, 6-4 in the final at the Los Angeles Sports Arena
  • 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)
  • 1975-12-07 Romanian tennis star Ilie Năstase wins his 4th season-ending ATP Masters Grand Prix title with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 rout of Björn Borg of Sweden in Stockholm
  • 1976-04-17 Australian tennis star Evonne Goolagong Cawley wins her second WTA Tour Championship at the Los Angeles Sports Arena; beats Chris Evert 6–3, 5–7, 6–3
  • 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
  • 1977-03-27 American tennis star Chris Evert wins her 4th and final WTA Tour Championship 2–6, 6–1, 6–1 against England's Sue Barker at Madison Square Garden, NYC
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1978-04-02 Czech tennis star Martina Navratilova wins her first WTA Tour Championship; beats Evonne Goolagong Cawley of Australia 7-6, 6-4 at Oakland Coliseum Arena

Tennis Player Martina Navratilova
Tennis Player
Martina Navratilova
  • 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
  • 1979-03-25 Czech tennis star Martina Navratilova retains her WTA Tour Championship with a 6–3, 3–6, 6–2 win over American teenager Tracey Austin in NYC
  • 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
  • 1980-03-23 18 year old American tennis star Tracey Austin wins her only WTA Tour Championship; upsets Martina Navratilova in the final 6–2, 2–6, 6–2 in NYC
  • 1980-04-16 Arthur Ashe retires from professional tennis
  • 1981-01-18 Swedish tennis star Björn Borg claims his second straight ATP Masters Grand Prix title with a 6–4, 6–2, 6–2 win over Ivan Lendl at Madison Square Garden, NYC
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1982-01-17 Czech tennis star Ivan Lendl scores a 6–7, 2–6, 7–6, 6–2, 6–4 win over American Vitas Gerulaitis to claim his first of 5 ATP Masters Grand Prix titles at Madison Square Garden, NYC

Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion Ivan Lendl
Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion
Ivan Lendl
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1984-01-15 Martina Navratilova’s 54-match winning streak ends when beaten by Hana Mandlíková 7-6, 3-6, 6-4 in the final of the Virginia Slims of California tennis event in Oakland; after loss Navratilova wins next 74 matches for new record

Tennis Player and Four-Time Major Champion Hana Mandlikova
Tennis Player and Four-Time Major Champion
Hana Mandlikova
Tennis Player Martina Navratilova
Tennis Player
Martina Navratilova
  • 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)
  • 1986-01-21 Czech tennis star Ivan Lendl defeats Boris Becker of Germany 6-2, 7-6, 6-3 to claim the season-ending ATP Masters Grand Prix title for a third time at Madison Square Garden, NYC
  • 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)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1986-11-02 German tennis star Boris Becker wins his third tournament in 3 weeks in different continents; beats Sergio Casal of Spain 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 in the final of the Paris Open after victories in Japan and Australia

Tennis Legend Boris Becker
Tennis Legend
Boris Becker
  • 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 awardUS Men's Tennis 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
  • 1987-11-23 German tennis star Steffi Graf claims her first WTA Tour Championship with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-0, 6-4 win over Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina at Madison Square Garden, NYC
  • 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 The inaugural Olympic table tennis program concludes in Seoul with China and South Korea each winning 2 titles
  • 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)
  • 1988-11-20 Argentine tennis star Gabriela Sabatini beats Pam Shriver 7–5, 6–2, 6–2 to win her first WTA Tour Championship at Madison Square Garden, NYC
  • 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

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
  • 1881-07-26 James Cecil Parke, Irish tennis, rugby player (Australasian C'ship 1912, Ireland rugby 20 caps), born in Clones, Ireland (d. 1946)
  • 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, Ecuadorian tennis player (Madrid Grand Prix-1990), born in Guayaquil, Ecuador
  • 1964-01-20 Roger Smith, Bahamas tennis doubles player, born in Freeport, Bahamas
  • 1966-04-15 Andrei Olhovskiy, Russian tennis player, 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


LoveWedding of Interest

1965-09-17 Tennis star Billie Jean King (21) weds attorney Larry King (20) in Long Beach, California

Tennis Legend Billie Jean King
Tennis Legend
Billie Jean King

LoveWedding of Interest

1986-08-01 Tennis ace John McEnroe marries actress Tatum O'Neal

Tennis Player John McEnroe
Tennis Player
John McEnroe
  • 1988-08-30 Tennis star Chris Everett weds skier Andy Mills

LoveWedding of Interest

1989-09-04 Tennis star Björn Borg (33) weds rock singer Loredana Berte (39) in a civil wedding

Tennis Player Björn Borg
Tennis Player
Björn Borg

LoveWedding of Interest

1989-09-23 Tennis Ace Zina Garrison (25) weds businessman Willard Jackson (25) at the Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston

Tennis Player Zina Garrison
Tennis Player
Zina Garrison
  • 1992-04-18 Tennis ace Stefan Edberg marries Annette Olsen in Sweden

LoveWedding of Interest

1993-12-17 Tennis star Boris Becker (26) weds designer Barbara Feltus (27)

Tennis Legend Boris Becker
Tennis Legend
Boris Becker

LoveWedding of Interest

1995-02-11 Tennis star Yannick Noah (34) weds Victoria's Secret model Heather Stewart-Whyte (25) in France

Tennis Player and French Open Champion Yannick Noah
Tennis Player and French Open Champion
Yannick Noah

LoveWedding of Interest

2000-09-30 Tennis star player Pete Sampras (29) weds actress and former Miss Teen USA Bridgette Wilson (27) in Los Angeles, California

Tennis Player Pete Sampras
Tennis Player
Pete Sampras
  • 2005-07-21 Tennis star player Lleyton Hewitt (24) weds "Home and Away" TV actress Bec Cartwright (22) at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia
  • 2005-12-03 NBC correspondent Hoda Kotb (41) weds New Orleans tennis coach Burzis Kanga in the Dominican Republic

LoveWedding of Interest

2008-06-28 Golfing legend Greg Norman (53) weds former tennis star Chris Evert (53) in Paradise Island, Bahamas

Golfer Greg Norman
Golfer
Greg Norman
Tennis Legend Chris Evert
Tennis Legend
Chris Evert
  • 2009-06-12 Tennis ace Boris Becker (41) weds model Sharlely Kerssenberg in St Moritz, Switzerland
  • 2011-02-16 Indian tennis ace Mahesh Bhupati (36) weds Bollywood actress and former Miss Universe (2000) Lara Dutta (32) at Bandra, Mumbai

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
  • 1946-02-27 James Cecil Parke, Irish tennis, rugby player (Australasian C'ship 1912, Ireland rugby 20 caps), dies at 64
  • 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