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)
  • 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 Helen Wills in Tennis at Cannes France
  • 1928-07-12 1st televised tennis match
  • 1932-09-10 US Men's National Tennis Championship, Forest Hills: American Ellsworth Vines successfully defends his title; beats Frenchman Henri Cochet 6–4, 6–4, 6–4

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
  • 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 Björn Borg in US Open Tennis 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

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

Tennis Player Steffi Graf
Tennis Player
Steffi Graf
  • 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 Federation Cup Tennis Final: Steffi Graf & Claudia Kohde-Kilsch beat Chris Evert & Pam Shriver in the doubles as Germany beats US 2-1 in Vancouver, Canada

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

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

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
  • 1995-11-26 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
  • 1997-10-05 35th Tennis Fed Cup: France beats Netherlands in Den Bosch Neth (4-1)
  • 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

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Tennis Player Serena Williams
Tennis Player
Serena Williams
Tennis Player Maria Sharapova
Tennis Player
Maria Sharapova

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
  • 2017-09-09 US Open Women's Tennis: In the first all-American final since 2002 unseeded Sloane Stephens defeats Madison Keys 6-3, 6-0
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2018-08-19 Novak Đoković beats Roger Federer 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the Cincinnati Masters to become the first player to win all 9 Masters 1,000 tennis tournaments since the series started in 1990

Tennis Champion Novak Đoković
Tennis Champion
Novak Đoković
Tennis Champion Roger Federer
Tennis Champion
Roger Federer

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
  • 1943-04-08 Richard Sears, American tennis player (US Nat C'ship 1881-87), 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
  • 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