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Professional Tennis

New Jersey Tennis Stars

Tennis Legends Play in New Jersey

Grand Slams





Coloring Book Pages (pdf):

Zeero Watches a Tennis Match

Traz is Ready to Ace this One

Jaypeg - Lose the Boots!


Professional Tennis
June 2003

Charles C. Pyle organized and promoted the first traveling professional tennis tour in 1926. For the next four decades professional tennis players were not allowed to compete in "grand slam" events and tournaments that were sanctioned by national tennis organizations. Many of the male players developed their games and reputations in amateur tournaments before competing professionally in exhibition matches and special events. Few women, however, turned pro during this period of tennis history.

Most tennis tournaments became open in 1968, allowing both amateur and professional players to enter competitions. Soon afterwards, professionals dominated the game. Requirements were established to regulate the minimum age that a player must meet before turning pro. For the current men's tour, the minimum age requirement is 14, and players in this grouping may only enter a limited number of tournaments until they reach the age of 16. The minimum age requirement for the current women's tour is 14, and players may only play in a limited number of professional tournaments until they become 18.

Professional tennis is presently governed by three major organizations: the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the ATP (formerly the Association of Tennis Professionals), and the Women's Tennis Association (WTA). The ITF oversees the four grand slam tournaments as well as the Davis Cup (men's) and Fed Cup (women's) annual international tennis competitions that are held between national teams. With the exception of Davis Cup and grand slam events, the ATP presides over the men's professional tennis tournaments. The WTA governs the women's professional tennis tour.

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