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Mon, 07.29.1940

American Professional Tennis Integrates

Photo: Xavier University

On this date in 1940, American professional tennis integrated for the first time.

Interracial matches were played on the courts of the Cosmopolitan Tennis Club, an affiliate of the American Tennis Association (ATA), in New York City.   Ed Hughes, a reporter for the "Brooklyn Daily Eagle," wrote,

"The color line was erased, at least temporarily, for the first time in the history of major American Tennis yesterday. Don Budge, the greatest tennis player in the world, encountered Jimmy McDaniel, Negro National Champion, defeating him, 6-1 and 6-2."

Before 1940, American blacks were denied the chance to join tournaments sanctioned by the United States Lawn Tennis Association. It was rare that they were even allowed to engage in friendly competition.

To become a Professional Athlete


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