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.
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.
First ATA Singles Champion
Bob Davis (L)
Charles Berry (R)
1961 Junior National Championships
The ATA has served our
tennis community for
over 100 years. We
are one of a kind.
With over 600 life members, to date, the ATA is more active than
it has ever been.
The 2018 ATA National Tournament welcomed over 550 players and
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.
AT A GLANCE
MEMBERSHIP HAS ITS BENEFITS!
Participate in Countless ATA
Activities and Programs all Year Long.
Instant Access to Monthly Newsletter
ATA Member Card
and Access to Our Merchandise
Invitation to Experience The Adult & Junior Regional Rallies.
Access to an Awesome Historic Community of Active Tennis Players
Compete In ATA Tournaments
OUR PROUD TRADITION
Of Excellence Defines Us. Click Each Image For Quick Bio.
WTA Top 20
WTA Top 10
WTA Top 10
ATP Top 20
WTA Top 10
ATP Top 10
WTA Top 10 Doubles
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
Champions: Bob Davis and Eric Allen
Runner-Ups: James Malone and Billy Morton
ATA National Junior Doubles