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I wish her more


For centuries, tennis has captivated the imagination of the
youth, the elderly, and human begins in general. Tennis
requires practice, hand eye coordination, teamwork at
times, determination, and the will to try to win a match by
any means necessary. Today, more than ever, a diversity of
human beings not only love the game of tennis, but they
excel at it too. Tennis is a sport that has excellence written
all over it. Legends abound in the sport from the four
corners of the Earth. We are reminded heavily that tennis is
not only a great expression of athleticism. It has been at the
forefront of establishing positive social change and
enriching human collaboration to make the Earth better in
its composition. That is why tennis is here to stay

These women are Chandra Rubin, Martina Navratilova and Lori

The Prologue
For a long time, tennis has inspired crowds and
helped untold human beings the world over. It Culturally, tennis has expanded and has been
is a sport that can be played among 2 people, 4 embraced by people of every color, creed,
people, or more. It is a sport that focuses on nationality, and background. For long decades,
accuracy, strength, grace, speed, and there have always been black men and black
determination. Legendary athletes who women who have excelled in the sport of tennis
participated in tennis are household names. We in unparalleled ways. We honor their
know them as Pete Sampras, Andy Roddick, contributions completely. The Sister Althea
Steffi Graf, Venus Williams, and of course the Gibson won many awards and expressed great
majestic Serena Williams resiliency. Brother Arthur
(who is the greatest woman Ashe wrote about the
tennis player of all time. I historical experience of black
will document tons of athletes and won
evidence proving this later in tournaments too. Sisters
this information). It or Venus and Serena Williams
tennis can be played indoors have inspired tons of black
or outdoors. Excitement, people and young people in
changing scores, and upsets general to pursue tennis.
encompass the atmosphere of Therefore, tennis is a
tennis regularly. It has been Venus and Serena Williams universal game whose impact
celebrate their gold medals during
part of the Olympics, and strength is unyielding.
the 2008 Summer Olympics at
worldwide championships, Beijing, China.
and other capacities locally We are inspired humbly by
as well. tennis players and we still believe in the Dream.
The Dream relates to the goal of making justice
The Australian Open, the French Open, succinctly a reality for the human race and
Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open make up the making sure that human beings have the
four Grand Slam tournaments. Since the 19th opportunity to reach their highest potential
century, modern tennis has evolved greatly. possible. The Dream is about seeing the
Computerized technology can easily check if a impossible being made possible for us and our
person scored a point or not. That is why we posterity. In that sense, we fulfill the essence of
have the electronic review technology with a the Golden Rule and the glorious, awe-inspiring
point challenge system. This allows any player proclamations of heroes before us.
to contest the line call of a point. This system is
called Hawk Eye. The origins of tennis go back
centuries before the 19th century too.
Tennis has much accessible equipment. The 2 main types of equipment in tennis are rackets and tennis
balls. A tennis racket has a handle and a grip connected to a neck. All of these things are held up with a
matrix of tightly pulled strings. Modern rackets have existed for over 100 years. Some are made up of
wood. Laminated wood construction has given more strength to rackets. Other rackets are made up of
metal and carbon graphite, ceramics, other light metals like titanium. These materials give rackets more
power. The frame of them can be about 29 inches. Rackets are constructed by companies like Wilson,
Head, and Babolat. Tennis balls are made up of originally of cloth strips stitched together with thread and
stuffed with feathers. Some were white. Today, most are yellow by the latter part of the 20th century to
the present. It was used for increased visibility.

The International Tennis Federation or the ITF does make tennis balls to confirm to specific criteria for size,
weight, deformation and bounce. The ITF defines the official diameter of tennis balls in the following terms:
the official diameter as 65.41–68.58 mm (2.575–2.700 inches). Balls must weigh between 56.0 and 59.4 g
(1.98 and 2.10 oz.). Tennis balls are traditionally manufactured in America and Europe. More manufacturing
takes place in Asia. There are materials in the region that people desire to make tennis balls. Advanced
players use other accouterments to improve their performance. One is about vibration dampeners may be
interlaced in the proximal part of the string array for improved feel. Racket handles may be customized
with absorbent or rubber-like materials to improve the players' grip. Players often use sweat bands on their
wrists to keep their hands dry and head bands or bandannas to keep the sweat out of their eyes as well.
Finally, although the game can be played in a variety of shoes, specialized tennis shoes have wide, flat soles
for stability and a built-up front structure to avoid excess wear.
Players and Officials (including Rules and Points)
Tennis is played on a rectangular court by either 2 players or four players (called doubles). Players stand on
the opposite sides of a net and use a stringed racket to hit a ball back and forth to each other. Each player
has a maximum of one bounce after it has been hit by their opponent to return the ball over the net and
within the boundaries of the court. Once a player fails to do any of these actions, his or her opponent wins
a point. The aim in any tennis game is to win enough points to win a game and enough games to win a set
and enough sets to win a match. The first person to win six games wins a set. Matches are usually the best
of three or the best of five sets. Sometimes, a coin toss determines which player serves first. If the ball hits
the net and falls within the service court, this is called a “net serve”, the server will be entitled to re-serve
the ball into the service court. For example, if a “net serve” is made on the server’s first serve, the server
will be entitled to re-serve his first serve. There are no limits to the number of “net serves” a player can

In dealing with points, when no points are scored, it is called Love. 1 point scored is 15 points. 2 points
scored is 30 points, 3 points scored is 40 points, and 4 points earned is set point (or set over). A tennis
player must win at least a two point lead to win a game. If the score is tied at 40 to 40 (what is called as a
“Deuce”), a player must earn two consecutive points (an “Advantage” point and “Point”) to win the game. If
the player who has an “Advantage” point loses the next point, the score will be “Deuce” once again. Tennis
is played on a rectangular, flat surface. The court is 78 feet (23.77 m) long, and 27 feet (8.2 m) wide for
singles matches and 36 ft. (11 m) wide for doubles matches. One set is a sequence of games played with
service alternating between games. A break point occurs if the receiver, not the server, has a chance to win
the game with the next point.
The History of Tennis
The history of tennis has a long story. Tennis has evolved from real tennis or royal tennis. Royal tennis
continues to be played today in a completely different style of rules as compared to modern day tennis. The
Middle Ages mentioned tennis too. There is the Second Shepherds’ Play from ca. 1500. It is literature about
shepherds giving three gifts, including a tennis ball, to the newborn Christ. From the literature of “The
Turke and Gowin” from ca. 1500, it shows a story of Sir Gawain, or the knight of King Arthur’s round table,
playing tennis against a group of 17 giants. Real tennis came about during the Middle Ages. It evolved from
an earlier ball game played around the 12th century in France. Back in France, that game involved hitting a
ball with a bare hand and later with a globe. During the 16th century, the glove had become a racquet. The
game moved into an enclosed playing area. Rules became stabilized. Royalty played real tennis throughout
Europe. It reached its peak in the 16th century. King James I of Scotland was killed involving a unique
situation. In 1437 at the Blackfriars, Perth, something happened. The drain outlet was blocked to prevent
the loss of tennis balls. King James I wanted to escape assassins. James was later trapped and killed. Real
tennis has been played by and was supported by Francis I of France (1515-1547). He built courts and
promoted play among courtiers and commoners. Henry II was his successor. Henry II was another great
player and continued the royal French tradition. An Italian priest wrote a 1555 book about tennis called,
Trattao del Giuocco della Palla. His name was Antonio Sciano da Salothe. Two French kings died from
tennis related situations. Their names are Louis X of a severe chill after playing and Charles VIII after hitting
his head during a game. King Charles IX granted a constitution to the Corporation of Tennis Professionals by
1571. It formed a first pro tennis tour. There were 3 professional levels called apprentice, associate, and
master. Forbet was a professional who wrote and published the first codification of the rules in 1599.
Royal tennis has been written about by William Shakespeare too. He wrote about “tennis balles" in his work
called Henry V from 1599. There were other authors who wrote about tennis too. Royal tennis thrived
among 17th century nobility in France, Spain, Italy, and in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Yet, English
Purtianism rejected it. Back then, Puritans were very strict religiously. By the Age of Napoleon, the royal
families of Europe were besieged with war and conflict. So, real tennis was totally abandoned for the most
part. Real tennis had a minor role in the history of the French Revolution via the Tennis Court Oath. This
pledge was signed by French deputies on a real tennis court. This was influential in starting the French
Revolution. In England, by the 18th and early 19th centuries, real tennis declined. Three other racquet
sports were developed like racquets, squash racquets, and lawn tennis (which evolved into the modern
game of tennis). Modern tennis was tied to 2 separate inventions. From 1859 and 1865, Major Harry Gem
(from Birmingham, England), who was a solicitor and friend of Augurio Perera (a Spanish merchant) did
something. Gem merged the elements of the game of rackets and the Spanish ball game pelota and played
it on a croquet lawn in Edgbaston. By 1872, both men moved into Leamington Sap and in 1874, with 2
doctors from Warneford Hospital, founded the world’s first tennis club. It was called the Leamington Tennis
Club. The game of Spharistike was created by Major Wingerfield in the UK.

On December 1873, Major Walter Clopton Wingfield created and patented an hourglass-shaped tennis
court in order to obtain a patent on his court. The court was a rectangular court, already in use in other
versions of outdoor tennis. Also, lawn tennis was unpatentable by him. A temporary patent on his
hourglass-shaped court was granted to him in February of 1874, which he never renewed when it expired
in 1877. It is commonly believed, mistakenly, that Wingfield obtained a patent on the game he devised to
be played on that type of court, but in fact Wingfield never applied for nor received a patent on his game,
although he did obtain a copyright — but not a patent — on his rules for playing it. There was a running
series of articles and letters in the British sporting magazine called The Field. A meeting at London’s
Marylebone Cricket Club existed. Afterwards, the official rules of lawn tennis were created by the Club in
1875. The rules were different than what Wingfield dreamed of.
This picture shows the 1877 Wimbledon Championship.

The rules from the Marylebone Cricket Club added deuce, Advantage, and two chances per serve. Wingfield
claimed that he had invented his version of the game for the amusement of his guests at a weekend garden
party on his estate of Nantclwyd, in Llanelidan, Wales in 1874, but research has demonstrated that even his
game was not likely played during that country weekend in Wales. He had likely based his game on both
the evolving sport of outdoor tennis and on real tennis. Much of modern tennis terminology also derives
from this period, as Wingfield and others borrowed both the name and much of the French vocabulary of
real tennis and applied them to their variations of real tennis. Wingfield patented his hourglass court. In his
version, the game was played on an hourglass shaped court and the net was higher (4 feet 8 inches) than it
is in the official lawn tennis. The service had to be made from a diamond-shaped box in the middle of one
side of the court only, and the service had to bounce beyond the service line instead of in front of it. He
adopted the rackets-based system of scoring where games consisted of 15 points (called 'aces'). None of
these quirks survived the Marylebone Cricket Club's 1875 Rules of Lawn Tennis that have been official, with
periodic slight modifications, ever since then.

Those rules were adopted by the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club for the first Lawn Tennis
Championship, at Wimbledon in 1877 (the men who devised those rules were members of both clubs).
Wingfield does deserve great credit for popularizing the game of lawn tennis, as he marketed, in one boxed
set, all the equipment needed to play his or other versions of it. That equipment had been available
previously only at several different outlets. This caused convenience. Versions of the game spread in
Britain. By 1875, lawn tennis supplanted croquet and badminton as the most popular outdoor games for
both men and women. Mary Ewing Outerbridge played lawn tennis in Bermuda at Clermont. It was a house
with a large lawn in Paget parish. Many histories claim that Mary introduced tennis to the United States in
1874. Many said that she set the first tennis court in America on the grounds of the Staten Island Cricket
and Baseball Club. This is near where the Staten Island Ferry Terminal is today. The club was founded on or
about March 22, 1872. She is also mistakenly said to have played the first tennis game in the US against her
sister Laura in Staten Island, New York, on an hourglass-shaped court. However, all this would have been
impossible, as the tennis equipment she is said to have brought back from Bermuda was not available in
Bermuda until 1875. Also, her next trip to Bermuda, when it was available there, was in 1877. In fact, lawn
tennis was first introduced in the United States on a grass court on Col. William Appleton's Estate in
Nahant, Massachusetts by Dr. James Dwight ("the Father of American Lawn Tennis"), Henry Slocum,
Richard Dudley Sears and Sears' half-brother Fred Sears in 1874. In 1881, the United States National Lawn
Tennis Association (USNLTA) was founded and the first U.S. Championships were played (though only for
American citizens until 1885).

By the late 19th century and early 20th century, we saw the pre-open era of
tennis. The four majors or the Grand Slam tournaments existed. They are the
four biggest competitions in the tennis world today. They are Wimbledon, the
U.S. Open, the French Open, and the Australian Open. They have been heavily
popular since the mid 1920’s. A Grand slam win refers to a tennis player winning
all four of these tournaments in the same year. Wimbledon was created in 1877
by the All England Club. It raised money. The first Championships were done by
22 men. The winner received the Silver Gilt Cup. Women had their own
championship called the Ladies Singles and then the Gentlemen’s Doubles
Championships were formed in 1884. Wimbledon championships are open to
women for the first time by 1884. The Ladies and Mixed Doubles came about in
1913. Tennis was played in America by 1874. It spread into New York and Boston. Andy Murray in this
The U.S. Open was first held in Newport, Rhode Island on 1881. The U.S. National picture is hitting a
Women’s Singles Championships were held in 1887 in Philadelphia. It became two-handed back
part of the major Tennis tournaments by 1924 by the ILTF during 1924. hand.
Wimbledon was televised by 1937 which was the first tennis tournament to have
done so. The French Open existed by 1891 as the Championat de France International de Tennis. This
tournament was not recognized as a Major or Grand Slam tournament until it was opened to all
nationalities in 1925. Tennis was always popular in France. The modern Olympics included tennis for the
first time in 1896. The Australian Open was first played in 1905. It gained more popularity by the 1980’s. Its
tournament has been held in Melbourne Park since 1988. There is the Davis Cup too. The International
Lawn Tennis Federation was created in 1913 at a Paris conference.

It is now the International Tennis Federation since 1977. Professional tours existed by the early 20th
century. There was the Wembley Championship held in Wembley Arena in England. It was played from
1934 to 1990. During the 1920’s, Suzanne Lenglen was one of the greatest tennis players of her generation.
She was from France. On 1933, Bunny Austin wore modern day tennis fashion. On January 1, 1950, Jack
Cramer created by the modern Pro Tour. It was popular to the public and amateur players. Maureen
Connolly was the first woman to win all 4 Grand Slam tournaments in a single year by January 1, 1953.

During the 1950’s, more African Americans like Althea Gibson was involved in breaking down the color
barrier in tennis. She was the first black women to win Wimbledon. In 1956, she became the first black
human being to win a Grand Slam title (the French Open). The following year she won both Wimbledon and
the U.S. Nationals (precursor of the U.S. Open), then won both again in 1958, and was voted Female
Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press in both years. In all, she won 11 Grand Slam tournaments,
including six doubles titles, and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the
International Women's Sports Hall of Fame. "She is one of the greatest players who ever lived," said
Robert Ryland, a tennis contemporary and former coach of Venus and Serena Williams.

The Open Era lasted from 1968 to the present. This was when Grand Slam tournaments allowed
professional players to compete with amateurs. Before 1968, only amateurs were allowed to compete in
Grand Slam tournaments and other events organized by the ILTF (including the Davis Cup). There were
power struggles between the ILTF plus the commercial promoters. This led to the boycotts of Grand Slam
events. The first open era event was the 1968 British Hard Court Championships. It was held in April at The
West Hants Club in Bournemouth, England. The first open Grand Slam tournament was the 1968 French
Open in May. Both tournaments were won by Ken Rosewall. The open era allowed all tennis players to have
the opportunity to make a living by playing tennis. By 1968, many professionals became independent. They
include Lew Hoad, Mal Anderson, Luis Ayala, and Owen Davidson. Most of the best players were under
contract. George McCall operated the National Tennis League or the NTL. He managed Rod Laver, Ken
Emerson, Andres Gimeno, Pancho Gonzales, Fred Stolle, and Roy Emerson. Dave Dixon (later succeeded by
Lamar Hunt) ran the World Championship Tennis (WCT) and managed eight people. Their names are John
Newcombe, Tony Roche, Nikola Pilić, Roger Taylor, Pierre Barthès, Earl "Butch" Buchholz, Cliff Drysdale and
Dennis Ralston.

In 1968, the original eight WCT players were not allowed to participate in the French Open. In 1970, NTL
players did not play the Australian Open because their organization did not receive a guarantee. In 1970,
neither WCT nor NTL players played in the French Open. The game was heavily influenced by the NTL and
the WCT. Jack Kramer wanted to outmaneuver them. He made the Grand Prix tennis circuit in late 1969. He
was the best male tennis player of the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. He defined his system as the following:
“…a series of tournaments with a money bonus pool that would be split up on the basis of a cumulative
point system. This would encourage the best players to compete regularly in the series, so that they could
share in the bonus at the end and qualify for a special championship tournament that would climax the
year…” In 1970, none of the contract players participated in the French Open. The International Lawn
Tennis Federation, alarmed by the control of the promoters, approved Kramer's Grand Prix. Twenty seven
tournaments including the three Grand Slams, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open were played that
year, with Stockholm tournament ending on November 1, 1970. The independent professional players
along with a few contract players entered the Grand Prix circuit.
Contract players could play Grand Prix events provided their contracts allowed it, and that they had
adequate time apart from their own circuit. The first WCT tournaments existed in February of 1968 and the
first NTL tournaments were held in March 1969. There was conflict between the WCT and the ILTF. The ILTF
Grand Prix and WCT circuits merged in 1978. During this time, global professional athletes increased their
profiles, both men and women. By the 1970’s in America, tennis courts were common features of public
recreational locations. On August 23, 1973, tennis used a computer ranking system, so players can gain
rightful entries into tournaments.

Billie Jean King’s match hosts a record of 30,000 spectators back in 1973. She proved that women have
every right to play tennis and she exposed the evil of sexism in society in general. Wimbledon Lawn Tennis
Museum is the largest tennis museum in the world and it is very first tennis museum which was created on
April 14, 1977.

The United States Tennis Association governs the U.S. Open. By 1990, the Association of Tennis
Professionals, led by Hamilton Jordan, replaced the MTC as the governing body of men’s professional
tennis. There is the ATP Tour too. On 1986, the Championships adopted yellow tennis balls for the first
time. This was done partly to make the speeding balls more visible for television cameras. In the year of
2000, the Grand Slam tournaments and the Masters Series tournaments became mandatory professional
events if a player's ranking qualifies them for the tournament. Players were automatically entered and
Masters and Slam events became the baseline for player rankings with up to an additional 5 tournaments
also counted (18 in all plus the ATP Finals if they qualify). Before 2000, players' best of 14 tournaments
were counted towards the ATP Point Rankings. On September 2, 2002, Venus and Serena Williams become
the first sisters in tennis history to be ranked #1 and #2 in the WTA world rankings list. Venus and Serena
Williams would be great tennis players and Serena Williams would be the greatest woman tennis player in

More Great Tennis Players

John McEnroe Novak Djokovic Pete Sampras Steffi Graf Chris Evert Sloane Stephens

The picture on the left shows lawn tennis in the United

States from 1887.
By 2004, Roger Federer becomes the first man in tennis history since Mats Wilander in 1988 to win three of
the four grand slam events in a calendar year. He also captured ATP-best 11 titles in as many finals,
including the end-of-season Masters Cup. He also set an Open Era record by winning 13 consecutive finals
(dating back to 2003). Roger Federer would go on to become one of the greatest tennis players in history.
In 2009, the Masters events were renamed the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 with the Monte-Carlo
Masters becoming a non-mandatory event, meaning a player could use his or her results from a lower-level
tournament in place of it. International Series Gold became the ATP World Tour 500 and the remaining
events became the ATP World Tour 250. America’s Serena Williams, Olympic women’s singles champion in
London in 2012, have made great accomplishments in the Olympics. With her sister Venus, Serena Williams
has accumulated a total of four Olympic gold medals, while her older sister has gone one better by taking
the silver medal in the mixed doubles in Rio in 2016, making her the tennis player with the most Olympic
medals: five. Today, tennis is an international sport with massive popularity and great influence worldwide.
Women's Tennis
Women in tennis have existed for over 100 years. Professional women’s tennis existed from 1926. This was
when the world number one woman player Suzanne Lenglen accepted $50,000 for a series of matches
against the three time U.S. Champion Mary K. Browne. The series ended in 1927. The women didn’t
compete as professionals again until 1941. This was when Alice Marble headlined a tour against Mary
Hardwick. World War II hindered most professional competitions and many players were involved in
entertaining the troops in sports exhibitions. In 1947, women professionals were again in action with a
short lived series of exhibition matches between Pauline Betz and Sarah Palfrey Cooke, both U.S. National
Champions. In 1950 and 1951, Bobby Riggs signed Betz and Gussie Moran to play a pro tour with Jack
Kramer and Pancho Segura. Betz dominated Moran in the match. Althea Gibson turned professional by
1958 and joined with Karol Fageros as the opening act for the Harlem Globetrotters for one season. There
was no long term women’s professional tennis until 1967 when promoter George McCall signed Billie Jean
King, Ann Jones, Francoise Durr, and Rosie Casals (to join his tour of eight for two years). The professional
women then played as independents as the open era began.
These pictures show Billie Jean King (on the left) and Chanda Rubin (on the
In 1970, the promoter for the Pacific Southwest Championships in Los Angeles, who is Jack Kramer, offered
the women only $7,500 in prize money versus the men's total of $50,000. When Kramer refused to match
the men's prize money, King and Casals urged the other women to boycott. Gladys Heldman, American
publisher of World Tennis magazine, responded with a separate women's tour under the sponsorship of
Virginia Slims cigarettes. In 1971 and 1972, the WT Women’s Pro Tour offered nearly ten times the prize
money of other pro women’s tennis events. The USLTA initially would not sanction the tour. Yet, the two
groups determined to give Virginia Slims the individual events and the USLTA the tour, thus resolving the
conflict. In 1973, the U.S. Open made history by offering equal prize money to men and women. Billie Jean
King was the most visible advocate for the women’s cause. She earned over $100,000 in 1971 and 1972.
During the Battle of the Sexes exhibition match against the vocally sexist Bobby Riggs in September of 1973,
King brought even more media attention to tennis and to women professionals in all walks of life by beating
Riggs. The Women’s Tennis Association was created in 1973. It is the principal organizing body of women’s
professional tennis. It organized the worldwide, professional WTA Tour.

From 1984–98, the finals matches of the championship event were best-of-five, uniquely among women's
tournaments. In 1999, the finals reverted to best-of-three. The WTA Tour Championships are generally
considered to be the women's fifth most prestigious event (after the four Slam tournaments.) Sponsors
have included Virginia Slims (1971–78), Avon (1979–82), Virginia Slims again (1983–94), J.P. Morgan Chase
(1996–2000), Sanex (2001) Home Depot (2002), and Sony Ericsson (2006). During that time, women tennis
has expanded worldwide. Legends have grown like Dorothea Lambert, Maria Bueno, Chris Evert, Margaret
Court, Martina Navratilova, Stefi Graf, Venus Williams, Doris Hart, Billie Jean King, and of course Serena
Williams. Stefi Graf and Martina Navratilova played greatly in their own rights. There is no question that
Stefi Graf and Martina Navratilova are the greatest women tennis players of the 20th century. Their skills,
their awards, and their power are undeniable.
We know who the greatest women tennis player of all time is though. It’s not a debate anymore. On any
neutral floor, no woman in history can defeat her in a tennis match. She revolutionized the game in the
21st century especially. She gave women, especially black women, even more opportunities to play in
tennis. She inspires the black community in general. The greatest tennis woman player in history is of
course Sister Serena Williams. There are tons of reasons why Serena Williams is the greatest of all time. She
was ranked No. 1 from the Women’s Tennis Association in singles and on eight separate occasions between
2002 and 2017. She was ranked No. 1 for 186 consecutive weeks. She has won 23 Glam Slam singles titles
making the records for the most Grand Slam wins by a tennis player in the Open Era. She is the only tennis
player in history (man or woman) to have won singles titles at least six times in three of the four Grand
Slam tournaments, and the only player ever to have won two Grand Slams seven times each (7 Wimbledon
titles and 7 Australian Open titles). She is also the only tennis player to have won 10 Grand Slam singles
titles in two separate decades. She has won an all-time record of 13 Grand Slam singles titles on hard court.
Williams holds the Open Era record for most titles won at the Australian Open (7) and shares the Open Era
record for most titles won at the US Open with Chris Evert (6). She also holds the all-time record for the
most women's singles matches won at the Grand Slams with 316 matches. I can go on. Williams has won 14
Grand Slam doubles titles, all with her sister Venus, and the pair is unbeaten in Grand Slam doubles finals.
She has won the Laureus Sportswoman of the Year award four times (2003, 2010, 2016, 2018), and in
December 2015, she was named Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated magazine. She has 4 gold
medals in the Olympics in 2000 (in Sydney), 2008 (in Beijing), and 2012 (in London). Serena Williams
supports Black Lives Matters and has promoted great fashion. Serena Williams is the Greatest of All Time.
An Overview of the Grand Slam Tournament

The Australian Open The French Open

Date: January 15-28, 2018 Date: Late May-early June 2018
Location: Melbourne, Australia Location: Paris, France
“There's a lot of electricity about our young players coming up...
Madison Keyes is emerging, Sloane Stephens seems to be back on
track, and there's also Taylor Townsend and Christina McHale,
obviously at the top you've got Serena and Venus (Williams), so
that shows that the diversity in the sport is really high here in
America with these kids emerging and having a great stride. I
think the sport is growing.” – Katrina Adams

Wimbledon The United States Open

Date: July 2018 Date: Late August-early
Location: London, England September 2018
Location: New York City, New
The Modern Age
The modern age of tennis is dominated by international organizations, technology, Internet, and other
funding by various entities. Video games readily show tennis as well. There are games like Mario Tennis, the
TopSpin series, Wii Sports, and Grand Slam Tennis. Tournaments are readily organized by sex like there are
men’s singles, women’s singles, and doubles. They can be divided by age groups and there are senior
players too. Those with disabilities are in tennis with tournaments for those in wheelchair tennis and deaf
tennis. That is why it is always important to defend disability rights. The four Grand Slam tournaments are
found in the Australian Open (January-February), the French Open (May-June), Wimbledon (June-July), and
the U.S. Open (August-September). They are the most famous events involving professional tennis. Roger
Federer and Rafael Nadal are great tennis players. Serena Williams, Venus Williams, and other women
tennis players have increased the popularity of tennis globally. Many tennis stars are millionaires, but many
women have economic inequality. The Venus sisters have rightfully talked about these issues and publicly
promote pay equality involving any tennis player regardless of sex. Many players travel the world to play in
many tournaments and they get to witness the diverse cultures of the world. One very important message
about this age is that regardless of what year that we live in, the game of tennis should always motivate
excellence, great character, and happiness in the lives of humanity.
Tons of people in the world love the great sport of tennis. It incorporates skill, teamwork at many junctures,
perseverance, and a sense of athletic excellence. Adults and the youth have inspired the world with their
tennis accomplishments, their philanthropic work, and their other contributions outside of the court too.
Rackets, umpires, and legendary players outline a large part of the atmosphere. Fans go into stadiums in
the thousands to witness the fast play, the close games, and the victors achieving monumental accolades.
Tennis-like games have existed or centuries and modern day tennis has existed since the nineteenth
century. France, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America had a large role in the fundamental
development of the sport of tennis. When you see the longevity, the greatness, and the skill of Serena
Williams, you witness the greatness of tennis. When you see Roger Federer’s determination, you also
witness how tennis a transcendent sport. For a long time, more human beings are honoring the
contributions of tennis players of black African descent. Althea Gibson’s historic wins in Wimbledon and the
U.S. Open galvanized the growth of tennis in enumerable ways. Arthur Ashe advanced black excellence
along with the iconic sisters of Venus Williams & Serena Williams. In our generation, more black tennis
players are making their own marks in history. Black people and people of color in general have every right
to perform tennis via a magnificent fashion (just like anyone else regardless of background). We are always
inspired and motivated to fight for our dreams. Consequently, we adhere to the principle of social justice.
After all of these years, we still believe in the Dream. During the future, tennis will continue to invoke
wonder, excitement, and the constant truism of human greatness being achieved via resolve prodigiously.
Appendix A: The Tribute to African Americans in Tennis
For over 100 years, African Americans have participated heavily in tennis. To understand the rich cultural
significance of black people involved in tennis, it is important to look at history from a chronological
standpoint. Rev. W. W. Walker created the first interstate tournament for black people in 1898. The
Philadelphia event was won by Thomas Jefferson of Lincoln University. Rev. W. W. Walker won the 1899
tournament by defeating Henry Freeman of Washington, D.C. In the year of 1900, Rev. W. W. Walker beat
Howard University’s Charles Cook. The first faculty tennis club at Tuskegee Institute was created by Booker
T. Washington’s son, E. Davidson and C. G. Kelly in 1909. Mrs. Maude Lawrence, Madelyn Baptist McCall,
Ruth Shockey, and Mrs. C.O. “Mother” Seames created the Chicago Prairie Tennis Club in 1912. There were
women playing at the New York State Negro Tennis Championships too. This took place at the
Cosmopolitan Tennis Club in Harlem. The Harlem’s Colonial Tennis Club or the Cosmopolitan Club in Harlem
was founded in 1915. There were plans for a national tennis organization for African Americans by
members of the Association Tennis Club in Washington, D.C. and the Monumental Tennis Club of Baltimore
back in 1916. The American Tennis Association or the ATA was created on Thanksgiving Day in D.C. It was
located in the YMCA and H. Stanton McCard was elected as the organization’s first leader. The Los Angeles
Western Federation of Tennis Clubs was founded in the same year of 1916. In 1917, Lucy Diggs Slowe won
the ATA women’s singles tournament. She became the first African American woman national champion in
any sport. In that same year, the New York Tennis Association was founded. The first private ground for a
black tennis club in America was built by “Mother” Mary Ann Seams and her husband. They purchased
property on the South Side of Chicago to build the four tennis courts in 1920.

Ora Mae Washington was a legendary player who lived from 1898 to 1971. She was been called the “Queen
of Tennis.” She was born Caroline, County, Virginia and was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She
excelled greatly in both tennis and basketball. She played basketball first in 1930 with the Germantown
Hornets where her 22-1 record earned her the national female title. The Hornets were originally sponsored
by a local YMCA, but they separated from the YMCA and became a fully professional team. The following
year, Washington led the Hornets to thirty-three consecutive victories. Their opponents included African
American women's team, white women's team and occasionally, African American men's teams. In one
game against the male Quicksteppers in January 1932, they stayed close and then on a last second basket
by Evelyn Mann, the Hornets emerged victorious. Later, playing with the Philadelphia Tribune from 1932–
1942, she was the team's center, leading scorer, and coach. Washington played for the Tribunes in a three-
game event against Bennett College in 1934. The Tribunes won all three games, the second of which was
described by the Chicago Defender as "the greatest exhibition ever staged in North Carolina." The "Tribune
Girls" won 11 straight Women’s Colored Basketball World’s Championships. Washington was said to be the
best black player in the world during that time. Before Althea Gibson, there was Ora Washington.

Ora won ATA National Singles Titles in 1929 and in 1939. She also was an ATA National Doubles Champion
for 12 consecutive years. She was so good that Helen Willis Moody refused to play her for fear that she
might lose to a black woman. She was inducted into the Temple University Hall of Fame by the mid 1980’s
and into the Woman’s Basketball Hall of Fame by 2009.

By 1921, Dwight Davis or the donor of the Davis Cup was the umpire at the ATA
national semifinals. In that same year, the first black owned and operated
country club existed in America. It was founded by the Progressive Realty
Group. These were a group of African American businessmen. They purchased
and opened the Shady Rest Golf and Tennis Club at Scotch Plains, New Jersey.
The Springfield, Massachusetts Tennis Club and the New Jersey Tennis
Association was formed in 1922. By 1925, the New England Tennis Association
and St. Louis Tennis Association were formed. Reginald Weir and Gerald
Norman Jr. were denied entry into the U.S. Law Tennis Association (USLTA)
Junior Indoor Championship because of their race, even after paying the entry
free. The NAACP supported them in 1929 which resulted in a formal grievance
Here is a young Sister after Norman’s father filed a complaint. The University of Illinois tennis player
Diane Morrison- Douglas Turner is the runner up in the Big Ten championships in 1929 too. In
Shropshire. Today, she is 1930, the Colored Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) and the Southern
an anesthesiologist in Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA) received the Williams Trophy after it
Philadelphia. She was was donated by members of the Grand Central Station staff. Jimmie McDaniels
born in August 11, 1958 played in the New York State Negro Tennis Championships in 1940. By 1941, on
and this is here in the anniversary of the ATA’s Silver Jubilee, USLTA president Holcombe Ward
Nigeria back in 1978 extended his warmest regards to the organization without allowing a single
playing tennis. person of color to participate in his league. In the letter, he stated, “I extend
most cordial greetings and sincere wishes for the success of the American
Tennis Association in its further development, work and efforts to maintain the high standards of the game
of tennis wherever played.”

Jimmie McDaniel was a great tennis player. He played an exhibition match against Don Budge, who as
ranked number one in the world in 1940 (at the Cosmopolitan Tennis Club in Harlem, NYC). Jimmie won the
ATA National Men’s Singles title in 1939, 1940, 1941 and 1946. He won the ATA National Men’s Doubles
title in 1939 and 1941 with his college teammate Dr. Richard Cohen. He won the ATA National Men’s
Doubles title in 1946 with James Stocks. He won the ATA National Men’s Doubles title in 1952 with Earthna

In 1950, Althea Gibson became the first African American to participate in the U.S. Nationals. In the first
round, she defeated Barbara Knapp, but would then fall to Louise Brough in the second round, 1-6, 6-3, 7-9.
Before a thunderstorm descended on the court, Gibson was actually beating Brough. When the players
came back the next day, Gibson lost three straight games and the match. Victor Miller and Roosevelt
Megginson were the first African Americans to play in the USLTA Interscholastic Championships. Lorraine
Williams won the USLTA National Girls’ 15 Singles to become the first African American to win a USLTA
national championship in 1953. By 1956, Althea Gibson won the French Championship women’s singles
tournament. She was the first African American to win a Grand Slam title. She left the French Championship
with the women’s doubles title. Gibson’s victories and success continued into the women’s doubles final at
Wimbledon too. She left London victorious too.

Katrina Adams (who is found on the far right) is a retired, famous tennis player.
She was from Chicago. She is current President and CEO of the United States
Tennis Association, Chairperson of the US Open and Chairperson of the Fed

In 1957, Althea Gibson was the first black woman to win a major U.S. tennis championship. She defeated
Darlene Hard in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3, to capture the U.S. Clay Court singles title in River Forest, Illinois. The
match was only about 47 minutes. Later on in that year, Gibson won the U.S. National Championships (now
known as the U.S. Open) becoming the first African American to do so. Gibson was also the first African
American to play in the Australian Open championship. She lost to Shirley Fry in straight sets. This was the
only Grand Slam championship she would not win in singles. However, Gibson would win the Australian
Open women’s doubles championship in 1957. Gibson lost the U.S. National Championships women’s
doubles championship. That was the only doubles Grand Slam title she didn’t win. She won the mixed
doubles championship. For her wins in the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. National Championships,
Althea Gibson was named the Associated Press Woman Athlete of the Year. In 1958, Althea Gibson
repeated as both U.S. National and Wimbledon champion. For a third consecutive year, Gibson won the
women’s doubles title match at Wimbledon. She repeated as the AP Woman Athlete of the Year. It was
during this year that she also announced her retirement from amateur tennis. Later, Sister Althea Gibson
would play the sport of golf.

By 1959, Bob Ryland broke the color barrier for black men as participating in Jack Marsh’s World Pro
Championship in Cleveland. He was the first African American man tennis professional. Arthur Ashe Jr. won
the National Indoor Junior Tennis Championship in 1960. Next year in 1961, he repeated as the National
Indoor Junior Tennis champion and he also won the USTA Interscholastic Singles Championship. Arthur
Ashe was the first African American in the Davis Cup by 1963. He won the U.S. Hard Court Championships.
Lenward Simpson was the youngest male to play at the U.S. Nationals at Forest Hills, New York at 15 years
old. Arthur Ashe comes into UCLA by 1965. He won the NCAA singles championship and doubles
championship with Ian Crookenden. Arthur Ashe Jr. took home the U.S. Clay Court Championship and the
U.S. Indoor Doubles with teammate Charlie Pasarell in 1967. By 1968, Arthur Ashe Jr. was the first and only
black man to win the U.S. Open. It was the first Open in the Open era. He defeated Davis Cup teammate
Bob Lutz to win the U.S. Amateur Championship. To this day, he is the only player to win the amateur and
national championships in the same year.

The people on the top are Arthur Ashe, Lori McNeil, and Chanda Rubin. The
people on the bottom are Leslie Allen, and Jennifer Elie.
In 1970, Arthur Ashe Jr. became the first and only black man to win the Australian Open. Juan Farrow won
the U.S. Boys’ 12 Singles Championship and also won the doubles title with the teammate Lawrence
Hooper. In 1971, Arthur Ashe Jr. teamed up with Marty Riessen to win the French Open men’s doubles title.
In that year, Althea Gibson was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Juan Farrow in 1972 won
his second championship in the U.S. Boys’ 14 Singles. Diane Morrison in the same year won the National
Public Parks Girls 16U Singles Championship. In 1973, Juan Farrow won the National Boys Indoor 16 Singles
Championship. Lenward Simpson in 1974 signed with the Detroit Loves and was in the process of the first
black player in World Team Tennis. Arthur Ashe Jr. won the Wimbledon men’s singles title by defeating
Jimmy Connors in 1975. He was the first and only black man to win the event. Bruce Foxworth and Roger
Guedes won the NCAA Division II doubles. They were from Hampton University. Hampton was the first
historically black college or university to win the Division II title. Andrea Whitmore Buchanan in 1978 won
the National Parks singles, doubles, and mixed doubles titles. She was the first African American to win a
championship and the second only woman to win three major events in the tournament’s 52 year history.
In that same year, the Girls 14 Indoor Doubles was won by Kathy Foxworth and Lori Kosten. In 1980, Leslie
Allen was the first African American woman to play in the main draw of a professional tournament in Open
era history. In the same year, the U.S. Girls 16 Hard Court Doubles, U.S. Girls 18 Indoor Doubles, and the
U.S. Girls 18 Clay Court Doubles are won by Houston duo Zina Garrison and Lori McNeil. Leslie Allen won
the Avon Championships of Detroit in 1981. She was the first black woman since Althea Gibson to win a
major title.

Yannick Noah in 1983 became the first black man to win the French Open when he defeated defending
champion Mats Wilander, 6-2, 7-5, 7-6. He was 23 years old back then. He was the first Frenchman to win
the French Open singles championship since 1946. He was the last Frenchman to win that event. That
victory was his first and last Grand Slam singles title. In 1984, many events come about. Camille Benjamin
made it to the French Open semifinals. Lloyd Bourne (who was a two time All-American at Stanford)
reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open. Todd Nelson made it to the round of 32 of the U.S. Open.
Pepperdine University’s Jerome Jones and Kelly Jones (no relation) won the NCAA’s doubles championship.

These two Sisters are Zina Garrison on the left and Mashona Washington on the
Lori McNeil and Zina Garrison faced off in the Eckerd Tennis Open, which is the first time two black players
met in a major professional tennis championship in 1986. McNeil defeated Garrison, 2-6, 7-5, 6-2.
Northwestern University’s Katrina Adams was the first African American woman to win a NCAA doubles
title in 1987. She teamed up with Diane Donnelly to beat Stanford’s Patty Fendick and Stephanie Savides, 6-
2, 6-4. In 1988, Zina Garrison and Pam Shriver won the Olympic gold medal for women’s doubles in Seoul,
South Korea. Garrison also took home bronze in the women’s singles tournament. U.S. national team
named MaliVai Washington to its team. By 1990, Zina Garrison defeated Monica Seles, ending her 36-
match winning streak, and then stuns Steffi Graf in the Wimbledon semifinals to advance to her first Grand
Slam championship. Garrison would go on to lose to Martina Navratilova in the title bout, but by playing in
the championship, Garrison becomes the first black woman to reach a Grand Slam final since Althea Gibson
in 1958. Mashona Washington won the USTA National Indoor 18 Singles by 1992. MaliVai Washington
reached the Wimbledon singles final in 1996. He falls to the Dutchman Richard Krajicek in straight sets.
Washington was the first black man to reach the title game since Arthur Ashe Jr. During the year of 1996
also, he is named to the U.S. Olympic tennis team. He was the first African American to receive that honor.
Chanda Rubin and partner Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario win the Australian Open doubles title in 1996, and
Rubin fought her way to the semifinals of the Australian Open, where she loses to eventual champion
Monica Seles in three sets.

1998 came and during that year, Venus Williams hits a 125 mph serve at Wimbledon. She was the first
woman to do so. The Wimbledon and U.S. Open mixed doubles championships are won by Serena Williams
and Max Mirnyi in 1998. The Australian Open and French Open mixed doubles finals were won by Venus
Williams and Justin Gimelstob in the same year. Steve Campbell reached the Australian Open’s round of 32
in 1998 too. In 1999, Serena Williams became the first black woman to reach a Grand Slam singles
championship since her sister Venus made the U.S. Open final 2 years before. After Serena wins the U.S.
Open, she became the first black woman since Althea Gibson to win a Grand Slam singles title. Both the
Wimbledon and U.S. Open women’s singles championships were won by Venus Williams in 2000. Serena
Williams and Venus Williams won the Wimbledon women’s doubles title in the year of 2000. They take
home the gold in the Olympic women’s doubles. Venus Williams gets gold in the women’s singles
championship too.

Sports Illustrated for Women honored Venus Williams with its

Sportswoman of the Year accolade in 2000 as well. Serena Williams
won three of the four Grand Slam women’s singles championships:
French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open (back in 2002). Serena
and Venus Williams team up to win the Wimbledon women’s doubles
title too in 2002. Serena Williams and Venus Williams are No. 1 and
No. 2 in the world. This is the first and only time in history that
siblings have accomplished that feat in 2002. Serena Williams did
major feats in 2003. In that year, she had the Serena Slam by winning
every Grand Slam singles title consecutively (though not in the same
calendar year). She was the first black woman to win the Australian
Open in 2003. In 2004, Scoville Jenkins (who was 18 back then) won
the USTA National Open Hard Court title. He was the first African
American to do so. James Blake achieves the highest world ranking
for a black man since Arthur Ashe Jr. in 1979. Blake’s five ATP titles
propel him to No. 4 in the world in 2006.

Venus and Serena Williams win their second women’s doubles

Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games. Frenchman Asia Muhammad is a tennis player
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached the Australian Open final as an unseeded who was born in Long Beach,
player, having defeated four seeded players to reach the California and continues to
championship in the same year. His ascent to the title match includes compete in the great sport of
a straight-sets win over Rafael Nadal, the No. 2 player in the world, in tennis too.
the semifinals. Ultimately, Tsonga loses in four sets to world No. 3
Novak Djokovic. Tsonga’s first-set victory was the only set Djokovic dropped the entire tournament. Tsonga
became the second black man to reach the final and would’ve become the second to win the event (Arthur
Ashe Jr.).
Tsonga was actually the first and one of only three players (Tomas Berdych and Stan Wawrinka) to garner
Grand Slam victories against the Big Four: Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal.
The Australian Open Girls Junior Singles title is won by Taylor Townsend in 2012. Shenay Perry was a great
tennis player and coach too in the 21st century.

At the 2012 London Olympics, Serena Williams captured her first gold medal in the women’s singles event.
Madison Keys took home her first WTA title in 2014. Donald Young and Taylor Townsend reached the
semifinals of the U.S. Open mixed doubles in 2014 too. Sloane Stephens (in 2015) won her first Women’s
Tennis Association tour-level tournament in 84 tries, defeating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in straight sets, 6-
1, 6-2. The 22-year-old back then becomes the first African-American woman to win the Citi Open since the
tournament started featuring women’s events in 2011.

Katrina Adams became the first African-American, first former professional player and youngest person
elected president of the United States Tennis Association by 2015. Serena Williams won the 2017 Australian
Open at January. This allows Serena Williams to set the record for the most Grand Slam wins being 23 by a
tennis player in the Open era. She is now only one behind Margaret Court who holds the all-time record of
24. Michigan’s Brienne Minor was the first black woman to win the NCAA’s Division I singles championship.
She defeated Florida’s Belinda Woolcock, 3-6. 6-3, 6-3, to become the first African-American to win an
NCAA tennis singles championship since Arthur Ashe Jr. in 1965. Congratulations to Sister Sloane Stephens
for winning the 2018 Miami Open. She continues to make history and we all honor her achievements.

Yes, Still we rise.

By Timothy