Tennis in the United States

Tennis was first played in the United States in 1874. In 1881, the National Lawn Tennis Association was founded in order to organize all tennis activities in the country. The first major tennis tournament was called the US Open Championship and was also first played in 1881.

Tennis in the United States
CountryUnited States
Governing bodyUnited States Tennis Association[1]
National team(s)United States Olympics team
National competitions
International competitions

History edit

The first tennis clubs in the United States were formed in the mid-1870s. Mary Ewing Outerbridge allegedly introduced the sport to the United States after seeing tennis being played in Bermuda and demonstrated it to people on Staten Island in 1874. Soon tennis clubs were established across the country amongst the upper classes, including in New Orleans and San Francisco.[2] The New Orleans Lawn Tennis Club was founded in December, 1876.[3]

In 1887 the Philadelphia Cricket Club, hosted a National singles Championship. In 1888 a women's tennis tournament was soon set up. In 1900, the Davis Cup was created and held in Massachusetts.

Governing Board edit

United States Tennis Association was national board for tennis in the United States. The organization original name was the National Lawn Tennis Association this was changed to its current name in 1975.[4][5][6][7][8] They are responsible for the promotion and development of tennis athletes in the United States.

Tournaments edit

There are 15 total active ATP, WTA, and Grand Slam tennis tournaments held in the United States. Twelve events are held on hard courts, two on clay, and one on grass. Six are ATP only, four are WTA only, and five tournaments are combined events. The US Open is one of four Grand Slam tennis tournaments.[9][10][11][12] It is played in late August to early September at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, New York. The Indian Wells Masters, Miami Open and Cincinnati Masters are part of the ATP Tour Masters 1000 and the WTA 1000. In 2025, the Dallas & Newport ATP 250 events will merge licenses with Dallas being upgraded to a 500 and Newport being phased out.[13][14]

Active ATP / WTA Tennis Tournaments Held in the United States
Number Title Location Tour Level Held Surface Founded
1 Dallas Open Dallas, TX ATP 250 (2024)

500 (2025)

February Hard 2022
2 Delray Beach Open Delray Beach, FL ATP 250 February Hard 1993
3 Southern California Open San Diego, CA WTA 500 February - March Hard 1971
4 ATX Open Austin, TX WTA 250 February - March Hard 2023
5 BNP Paribas Open Indian Wells, CA Both Masters 1000 March Hard 1974
6 Miami Open presented by Itaú Miami, FL Both Masters 1000 March Hard 1985
7 Credit One Charleston Open Charleston, SC WTA 500 April Clay 1973
8 U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships Houston, TX ATP 250 April Clay 1910
9 Infosys Hall of Fame Open Newport, RI ATP 250 July Grass 1976
10 Atlanta Open Atlanta, GA ATP 250 July Hard 2010
11 Mubadala Citi DC Open Washington, D.C Both 500 July - August Hard 1969
12 Cincinnati Open Cincinnati, OH Both Masters 1000 August Hard 1899
13 Tennis in the Land Cleveland, OH WTA 250 August Hard 2021
14 Winston-Salem Open Winston-Salem, NC ATP 250 August Hard 1981


15 US Open Tennis Championships Queens, NY Both Grand Slam August -September Hard 1881

Players edit

Men's edit

American male tennis players used to be amongst the best in the world and produced many Grand slam winners for much of the 20th century. The number of male tennis inside ATP rankings has declined since the 21st century.[15][16]

Women's edit

Helen Wills Moody won 31 Grand Slam titles in the 1920s and 1930s. She helped to popularize the overhand serve for women during the 1940s.[17] Alice Marble is another important influential American tennis player. In 1939, she was a triple champion at Wimbledon. Her style of play was characterized as masculine because of her aggressive pursuit of the ball during serves and volleys. Like Helen Wills Moody, others would go on to copy her style of play.[17] Maureen Connolly won the four Grand Slam singles tournaments in 1953.[18]

Althea Gibson was the first African American woman to win a Grand Slam tournament.[19] She claimed the singles title at the French Championships in 1956, and at Wimbledon and the US Nationals in 1957 and 1958.

In the Open Era, the United States has produced some of the most influential and successful players including Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova (defected from Czechoslovakia), Monica Seles (defected from Serbia and Montenegro), Venus Williams, and Serena Williams. The arrival of the Williams sisters is credited as the ushering in of a new era of power and athleticism on the women's tour and 23 time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams is considered by many to be the greatest women's player of all time.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "USTA History". Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  2. ^ "USTA History". Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  3. ^ "About the NOLTC". Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  4. ^ Corbett, Merlisa Lawrence. "Why Is American Tennis Dying?". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  5. ^ Rhoden, William C. (9 September 2012). "To Excel in Tennis, United States Should Look to High Schools". Retrieved 12 March 2019 – via
  6. ^ Hahn, Steven; Hahn, Declan (9 September 2011). "The Surprising Reason for the Decline of American Tennis". Retrieved 12 March 2019 – via The New Republic.
  7. ^ Morales, Miguel. "American Tennis Isn't Dying But It Does Need Help". Forbes. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  8. ^ Heitner, Darren. "American Tennis' Deep Decline Necessitates Shift To Youth Development". Forbes. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  9. ^ Post, Sponsor. "9 things you didn't know about the US Open". Business Insider. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  10. ^ Pilon, Mary (11 September 2015). "Straight Sets at Night: How the Lights at the U.S. Open Changed Tennis". Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  11. ^ Graham, Bryan Armen (11 September 2017). "The US Open showed black women have made American tennis great again". Retrieved 11 March 2019 – via
  12. ^ Walker, Rhiannon (1 August 2017). "The rich and nuanced history of black people in tennis". Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  13. ^ "ATP upgrades Dallas, Doha, Munich to 500 events from 2025; Atlanta, Lyon, Newport to end". Retrieved 2024-02-12.
  14. ^ "Dallas, Doha & Munich Upgraded To ATP 500 Tournaments From 2025 | ATP Tour | Tennis". ATP Tour. Retrieved 2024-02-12.
  15. ^ Eccleshare, Charlie (27 August 2018). "Special report: The strange, slow death of American men's tennis - and how US plans to bounce back". Retrieved 11 March 2019 – via
  16. ^ Sopher, Philip (22 August 2014). "Explaining the U.S. Tennis Slump". The Atlantic. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  17. ^ a b Robertson 1974, p. 36
  18. ^ Robertson 1974, p. 40
  19. ^ "The story of Althea Gibson: the first African-American to win the US Open". The Independent. 7 September 2017. Archived from the original on 2022-05-27. Retrieved 11 March 2019.