Author(s): Peter J. Underwood
Biography | No Category
It is now largely forgotten that, until the late 1960s, professional tennis players - that is those who played openly for money - were banned from competing in the world's major tennis tournaments. Before then, the great contests such as the Davis Cup, Wimbledon and the national Championships like the Australian and the US, were exclusive to so-called amateurs. Amateur tennis players were meant to compete only for glory. Though this division arouse soon after the turn of the twentieth century, by the 1930s the 'Pro Tour' was entrenched, and endured for another forty years. This book tells the story of the Pro or Professional Era through a focus on the great champions who dominated the period from 1930 to 1968. On April 20, 1968, for the first time an amateur and a pro were allowed to play each other before the public. As the two plays stepped on to the court, the Pro Era ended, and the Open Era, which lasts to the present day, began.