National Tennis Week has been celebrated during the fourth full week of June since 1976. This year it will be celebrated from June 25 to July 1. President Gerald R. Ford — the 38th president of the United States, declared the holiday to celebrate the modern game of tennis that began in England in 1873. Tennis has blossomed in America as the physical fitness sport of over 20 million Americans, with “Olympics” tournaments and highly spectated events. Every year, on National Tennis week, people celebrate by engaging in sporty outdoor activities like running, posting online, watching tennis games, and meeting up with friends to play tennis games.
History of National Tennis Week
Tennis began in the 12th century in France as a ‘jeu de paume,’ or ‘game of the palm,’ and was played with the palm. The leather glove was later used, but it was supplanted in the 16th century by a newer, better-equipped tool — the tennis racquet. The game was known to be played by Kings and Noblemen. The French players would cry ‘Tenez!’ to start the game. The palm game was soon renamed Real Tennis.
The game of modern tennis began in England at the estate of Major Walter Clopton Wingfield in 1873. By the 1880s, the first tennis clubs were formed in the United States. They were established across the country amongst the upper classes. In a matter of years, the game had bloomed in America as a physical wellness sport for millions, having been recognized by 27 governors and 54 mayors.
In June 1976, the 38th President of the United States, President Gerald R. Ford designated the fourth week in June as the annual celebration of National Tennis Week. The year after the proclamation, a newspaper “Lipton Tea” advertised the event while announcing a giveaway.
National Tennis week has been celebrated on Twitter since 2011 and some years before then, on Facebook. There is a sports page named “Tennis Week” that started in 2009. Tennis has come a long way, with season-long international events and world champions like Roger Federer, Selena Williams, and Naomi Osaka.
National Tennis Week timeline
The French begin playing a form of tennis.
The tennis racquets we know today are invented.
English Tennis players modify the original game of tennis.
United States President Gerald R. Ford declares National Tennis Week a national holiday.
National Tennis Week FAQs
What is the Golden Slam in tennis?
‘A Calendar Year Golden Slam’ is when a tennis player wins all four “Grand Slams” in one year and wins gold in the “Olympics” in the same year.
Who is the only player to have won the “Golden Slam?”
Steffi Graf is the only player to win the “Golden Slam.”
What does N.T.R.P. mean in tennis?
N.T.R.P. means National Tennis Rating Program, a classification system that identifies and describes general characteristics of tennis-playing ability.
National Tennis Week Activities
Participate in a tennis camp
Tennis camps are an opportunity to learn from good coaches. Take your tennis game to the next level by joining tennis camps. The sporty and healthy competitive atmosphere is what you need for a splendid Tennis week!
Compete in a tournament
Registering for a tennis tournament is easier than you may think. You can find a contest near you and register online. There are leagues for every level of player, whether beginner or intermediate, or expert player. This is a good way to improve your skills — and even make friends along the way.
Celebrate on social media
The holiday hashtag is #NationalTennisWeek! You can celebrate on social media to let friends know you are observing the holiday too!
5 Interesting Facts About Tennis
Tennis balls used to be white
Tennis balls used to be white before they were yellow.
They were formerly no racquets
There were no racquets in the past, and people used the palm of their hands to hit the ball back and forth over the net.
Originated from France
The game of tennis originated in France where it was called ‘jeu de paume.’
Tennis competitions for wheelchair users
People in wheelchairs can play tennis and have their own competitions.
Tennis is an Olympic sport
Tennis is a very popular Olympic sport.
Why We Love National Tennis Week
We get to exercise and sweat out toxins from our bodies, helping us stay healthy and active. We also build our body strength and stamina.
Socialize with others
National Tennis Week is an opportunity to make friends who are also fond of the game. People always get to connect through sport and that is a fact!
Have fun with family and friends
The holiday is a really good time to meet up with friends or family for friendly tennis matches. We spend time fortifying our bonds with loved ones while enjoying a good game.
National Tennis Week dates