Founded in 1916, The American Tennis Association (ATA) is the oldest African American sports organization in the United States. The ATA was formed to afford African Americans the opportunity to participate in competitive organized tennis at a time when the social and racial climate was adverse.
In 1898, the first African-American champion was crowned in Philadelphia. Since then, many African Americans have enjoyed success an the courts nationally and internationally. In august 1917, the first National Tournament was held in Baltimore, MD and produced Men's and Women's singles champions Tally Holmes and Lucy Slowe. Other noted ATA champions include:
Jimmy McDaniels, Arthur Ashe, Althea Gibson, Arthur Carrington, Leslie Allen, Lori McNeil, Rodney Harmon, Zina Garrison-Jackson, Katrina Adams and the 1996 Singles Champions: Jeri Ingram and Donovan September.
More than eighty years later, the ATA has grown from its humble beginnings to nine sections encompassing the United States and the Caribbean offering a variety of programs, tournaments, and junior development opportunities for its members.
As the ATA prepares to move into the next century, the development of our youth is still at the heart of our mission. We encourage their participation in competitive tennis at all levels of play. Our primary focus is on providing the framework that will allow our youth to compete successfully for scholastic and athletic scholarships.
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