20th Century - Open Era of Tennis History
1968 ▪ TENNIS HISTORY OF OPEN ERA ▪ The first official "open" tournament takes place at Bournemouth on the English south coast, and the first Grand Slam, the newly named French Open, leads in a new era. Ken Rosewall, a returning professional won both events.
1969 ▪ TENNIS HISTORY OF ROD LAVER ▪ Rodney George "Rod" Laver of Australia becomes the first man to win a pure "open" Grand Slam, by taking all four major titles in the same year.Rod Laver completed his first Grand Slam in 1962 and second in 1969 - he is the only player in history to achieve two Grand Slams.
1970 ▪ TENNIS HISTORY OF TIE BREAK ▪ The tiebreak is introduced to Grand Slam tennis, as the US Open adopts the nine-point shootout (sudden death at 4-4). The winner of the tie-break was the first person to reach five points. Jack Kramer introduces a point system for tennis tournaments depending on how far players go in tournaments and on the end of season prize money goes to player who had most points (tennis history web sources).
1972 ▪ ATP ASSOCIATION FORMED ▪ The Association of Tennis Professionals is formed and Jack Kramer is chosen as first Executive Director in tennis history.
1973 ▪ NIKKI PILIC SUSPENSION ▪ Wimbledon is boycotted by the ATP following the suspension of Yugoslav Nikki Pilic.
1976 ▪ FIRST GRAPHITE AND FIBERGLASS RACQUET ▪ Thanks to Howard Head first graphite and fiberglass racquets appear on the tennis scene in the tennis history. In the Wimbledon Championships Swedish player Bjorn Borg won his first title in singles.
1977 ▪ US OPEN MOVED TO FLUSHING MEADOWS ▪ As Wimbledon celebrates its centenary, the US Open offers farewell to the private setting of the Westside Club at Forest Hills, to move to a non-club national tennis centre nearby at Flushing Meadows. The last US Open at Forest Hills begins with Renée Richards, a transsexual who had played in the men’s singles as Richard Raskind in 1960, becoming the first (and only) person to have played in both the men’s and women’s singles at Grand Slam level.
1980 ▪ TIE BREAK SHOOTOUT RECORD ▪ The tiebreak comes of age in a 34 point shootout in the Wimbledon Championships final when Bjorn Borg has seven championship points to beat John McEnroe in four sets, but McEnroe saves them all, and converts his seventh point to take the match into a fifth set. Borg wins it 8-6. Great piece of tennis history.
1984 ▪ CLAY INDOOR SURFACE & TENNIS ON OLYMPICS AGAIN ▪ Clay develops into a temporary indoor surface when Sweden becomes the first country to install a makeshift clay court for a Davis Cup tie. And no ordinary tie – it’s the final, and the visit to Gothenburg’s Scandinavium arena of one of the strongest Davis Cup teams in tennis history: world No. 1 John McEnroe, No. 2 Jimmy Connors, and the world’s best doubles team, McEnroe and Peter Fleming. By Saturday night, Sweden is the champion for the loss of one set, and clay is established as a surface option for indoor ties. Tennis also returns to the Olympic Games as a test event for under-21 players at Los Angeles and is won by Stefan Edberg and Steffi Graf.
1985 ▪ TENNIS HISTORY OF BORIS BECKER ▪ The German player Boris Becker was the youngest ever and first unseeded Wimbledon Mens Singles Champion with only 17 years (precisely 17 years and 227 days old).
1988 ▪ AUSTRALIAN OPEN MOVES -The Australian Open Championships moves into the modern era of tennis history with a new national tennis centre at Flinders Park (later renamed Melbourne Park), characterised by the first tennis stadium with a retractable roof. Steffi Graf beats Chris Evert in the first ‘indoor’ Grand Slam final.
1989 ▪ ATP TOUR TRANSFORMATION TENNIS HISTORY ▪ The ATP transforms itself from a players’ union into a tour body. In an announcement made in the US Open’s parking lot, it says it will take over the running of the men’s tour in January 1990 from the Men’s International Professional Tennis Council, that had operated under the ITF’s auspices, and henceforth be known as the ‘ATP Tour’. A feature of the new tour is an elite series of nine events, the ‘Super Nine’ (now the Masters Series). With the breakaway denoting a form of civil war in tennis, the Grand Slam tournaments form their own year-ending tournament to start in 1990 called ‘The Grand Slam Cup’. It will share a prize money pool of (a then massive) $1.5 million among 16 players and two reserves. The rival year-ending events were to last another 10 years in the tennis history before peace broke out in 1999
1990 ▪ TENNIS HISTORY OF MARTINA NAVRATILOVA ▪ Martina Navratilova became the Wimbledon ladies Singles Champion for a record 9th time.
1994 ▪ INDOOR GRASS TENNIS COURT ▪ Tennis on grass is played in indoor conditions for the first time in the tennis history, when the new retractable roof on the Gerry Weber Stadium in Halle, Germany, is closed to allow play to continue during rain.Martina Navratilova retires from singles tennis, having won a record 167 singles titles, a record 1438 matches won, and an 9 Wimbledon titles.
21st Century - A New Open Era of Tennis History
2001 ▪ TENNIS HISTORY OF GORAN IVANISEVIC ▪ In Wimbledon Championships tennis history Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia became the first Wimbledon wildcard in history of tennis to win the Mens Singles title.
2002 ▪ VENUS & SERENA WILIAMS ▪ Venus and Serena Williams become the first sisters in tennis history to be ranked #1 and #2 in the WTA world rankings list.
2003 ▪ PETE SAMPRAS ▪ Pete Sampras retires from tennis at a US Open farewell ceremony. He won 64 singles titles (4th highest ever) including a record 14 Grand Slam titles - 2 AO, 5 US Open and 7 Wimbledon.
2004 ▪ YEAR OF ROGER FEDERER IN TENNIS HISTORY ▪ Roger Federer becomes the first man in tennis history since Mats Wilander in 1988 to win three of the four grand slam events (Australian Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open) in a calendar year. He also captured an ATP-best 11 titles in as many finals, including the end-of-season Masters Cup. And also set an Open Era record by winning 13 consecutive finals (dating back to 2003), surpassing Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe who won 12 straight finals.
2005 ▪ NEW DOUBLES TIE BREAK SCORING SYSTEM ▪ The ATP (having dropped the word ‘Tour’ from its name in 2000) introduces a different scoring system for doubles matches, with sudden death points at deuce (‘no advantage’) and a first-to-ten-points tiebreak in place of a final set. Roger Federer's 25-match winning streak (the longest in men's tennis since 1984) ended at the hands of 18-year-old Richard Gasquet in Monte Carlo. Another great moment in tennis history.
2006 ▪ ANDRE AGASSI RETIRES ▪ The greatest showman in tennis history - Andre Agassi - retires on 3 September 2006 following a 7-5 6-7(4) 6-4 7-5 defeat to Benjamin Becker (GER) in the third round of the US Open.The right for players to challenge dubious line calls by electronic review is introduced in the Miami Masters Series tournament and makes its Grand Slam debut at the US Open later that year.
2007 ▪ TENNIS HISTORY OF RAFAEL NADAL ▪ On the 19 May, Rafael Nadal claims 81 straight wins on clay to set a new all surface record. His run was ended by Roger Federer in the Hamburg Masters final the following day. On the 9 September, Roger Federer became the first man in tennis history since Bill Tilden in the 1920s to win 4 US Open titles in a row, beating Novak Djokovic in the final.
2009 ▪ ROGER FEDERER ▪ On 7 June, Roger Federer became arguably the greatest tennis player of all time in tennis history with his victory at the French Open. Federer joins Fred Perry, Don Budge, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson and Andre Agassi as winner of all four Grand Slam titles, and equals the 14 Grand Slam titles claimed by Pete Sampras - who never managed to win on the clay of Roland Garros. On 20 April, Marat Safin and Dinara Safina became the first brother and sister to reach world number one in tennis history. Marat became achieved the top ranking on 20 November 2000. Roger Federer secure No. 1 postion on the end of seson with victory over Andy Murray in three sets at London ATP Finals on 25 November.
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