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Tennis has its origins in the medieval era, but the modern form of lawn tennis was patented in 1874 by Walter C. Wingfield in Great Britain. The first Wimbledon tournament was played in 1877. The first tennis court in the U.S. was built in 1876, and the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association was formed in 1881. International competition began in 1900 with the first Davis Cup tournament between the U.S. and Great Britain.
 

African-American universities, including Tuskegee and Howard, offered tennis to students from the 1890s. Beginning in 1898 at Philadelphia’s Chautauqua Tennis Club, African-American tennis players from the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast competed in invitational tournaments.

When the USLTA (Currently the USTA) issued a policy statement formally barring African-American tennis players from its competitions, the Association Tennis Club of Washington, DC, and the Monumental Tennis Club of Baltimore, Maryland, conceived the idea of the American Tennis Association (ATA).
 

The ATA was born when representatives from more than a dozen black tennis clubs met in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 30, 1916, Thanksgiving Day. Dr. Harry S. McCard, Dr. William H. Wright, Dr. B.M. Rhetta, Ralph Cook, Henry Freeman, and Tally Holmes were among the ATA’s founding fathers. Holmes, of Washington, D.C., won the first two ATA men’s singles titles.

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ATA HISTORY

Tally Holmes
First ATA Singles Champion

1917

Dr. Reginald Weir
First Black Man to compete in National USLTA Event

Dr. Walter R. (Whirlwind) Johnson

Coach of Althea Gibson, Arthur Ashe and many others. 

 

Bob Davis (L)
Charles Berry (R)

1961 Junior National Championships

YEARS

The ATA has served our

tennis community for
over 100 years. We
are one of a kind.

LIFE MEMBERS

With over 600 life members, to date, the ATA is more active than
it has ever been.

TOURNAMENT
ENTRIES

The 2018 ATA National Tournament welcomed over 550 players and
their families.

junior

participants

Our youth represent over 15 regional and international junior development rallies, its no wonder why our juniors grow up healthy, productive and ready to play as adults.

MEMBERSHIP
AT A GLANCE

MEMBERSHIP HAS ITS BENEFITS!

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Participate in Countless ATA
Activities and Programs all Year Long. 

ATA Member Card
and Access to Our Merchandise

Access to an Awesome Historic Community of Active Tennis Players

Instant Access to Monthly Newsletter

Invitation to Experience The Adult & Junior Regional Rallies.

Compete In ATA Tournaments

 

OUR PROUD TRADITION

Of Excellence Defines Us. Click Each Image For Quick Bio.

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Althea Gibson

Arthur Ashe

Leslie Allen

Lori McNeil

Zina Garrison

Mal Washington

Chanda Rubin

James Blake

Katrina Adams

Rodney Harmon

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WTA #1

ATP #1

WTA Top 20

WTA Top 10

WTA Top 10

ATP Top 20

WTA Top 10

ATP Top 10

WTA Top 10 Doubles

NCAA Coach

 

ATA Sectional/Club
SPOTLIGHT

As the countries oldest African American Tennis Organization, we are positioned, in pockets, all over the country. These pockets, communities, or better yet ATA Clubs represent what the ATA means on a local level. Our reach, as an organization doesn't just extend through states it reaches down through generations of players. Our Clubs build the ATA's position nationally. Our ATA Sectional/Club Spotlight recognizes
PACIFIC COAST CHAMPIONSHIPS

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Arthur Ashe

Champions: Bob Davis and Eric Allen

Runner-Ups: James Malone and Billy Morton

ATA National Junior Doubles
Championships, 1962

 

IT'S YOUR
ATA!

THROUGH THE YEARS: A LOOK AROUND
THE AMERICAN TENNIS ASSOCIATION

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