International Tennis Federation

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International Tennis Federation
Logo of the FIS
Founded 1913
Place of foundation Paris , FranceFranceFrance 
president Francesco Ricci Bitti
Members 210 national tennis associations
Association headquarters London , UK
United KingdomUnited Kingdom 
Official languages) English

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) is the world tennis association to which 210 national tennis associations belong.


The ITF was founded in Paris in 1913 by 15 national associations as the ILTF (International Lawn Tennis Federation) . The founding members included the national associations of Australia , Belgium , Denmark , Germany , France , Great Britain , Italy , the Netherlands , Austria , Russia , Sweden , Switzerland , Spain , South Africa and Hungary .

After the First World War, only ten of the original 15 founding members were left in 1919. At the meeting on March 16, 1923 in Paris, the official tennis rules Official ILTF 'Rules of Tennis' were adopted. It was also decided to hold a series of four tournaments in Australia, France, Great Britain and the United States from 1924, today's Grand Slams Australian Open , French Open , Wimbledon Championships and US Open . The German Tennis Federation (DTB) was not re-admitted to the ILTF until 1926.

Although Daniel Prenn was no longer admitted to international tournaments by the DTB in 1933 due to his Jewish origin and prominent players protested against this procedure in an open letter in The Times , the ILTF did not react to the behavior of the German association. On the contrary, after the occupation of Austria and Czechoslovakia, the players there were allowed to compete for the German Reich .

In 1939 the ILTF already had 59 members. After the outbreak of the Second World War and the occupation of France, the ILTF was directed from Great Britain from that time on.

At the first meeting of the ILTF after the Second World War, on July 5, 1946 in the Savoy Hotel in London, 23 nations were represented. The International Ball Committee was founded in 1948 to promote the standardization of tennis balls and thus ensure the same quality of balls worldwide. In 1963 the ILTF celebrated its 50th anniversary and founded a national championship for women, the Federation Cup , as a counterpart to the Davis Cup .

In 1968, after 10 years of discussion, 47 member nations decided to open up the rules to professional sport , and the so-called Open Era began. After various disputes over the tournament calendar, the game-free time and the amateur regulations, the ATP players' union was founded in 1972 for male professional players and in 1973 the WTA for female professional players . Since then they have been organizing their own series of tournaments, today's ATP World Tour and WTA Tour .

Since the importance of the turf surface in tennis was steadily declining, the word "lawn" (for turf) was deleted from the name in 1977, when the US Open switched from turf to hard court.

In 1988, for the ITF's 75th anniversary, tennis was resumed as an Olympic discipline after 64 years . In 1994 the women's Federation Cup was renamed the Fed Cup and the mode was fundamentally changed a year later. Like the Davis Cup, the competition will also be held in a home / away match format . Until 1994 the Federation Cup took place at a tournament location where the winner was determined within a week.

In 2001, with 142 nations, 140 nations took part in the Davis Cup organized by the ITF for the first time .

After three years of intensive tests, electronic line monitoring, the so-called Hawk-Eye, was used for the first time at the Hopman Cup in Perth in 2006 , a technology that has since found its way into more and more large international tournaments. In 2008 the ITF founded an international beach tennis tour that initially consisted of 14 tournaments. Since 2009, the players who represent their country at the Davis Cup have also received world ranking points for the ATP world rankings, which should increase the incentive for top players to compete for their country at the ITF event.

In 2013, the ITF reached a new high with 210 national tennis associations as members. In the same year the 100th anniversary of the ITF and the 50th anniversary of the Fed Cup could be celebrated.


The association organizes the four Grand Slam tournaments ( Australian Open , French Open , Wimbledon and the US Open ) . The ITF also organizes the Davis Cup , Fed Cup and Hopman Cup , tennis competitions at the Olympic Games and youth tournaments such as the Orange Bowl . The professional tournaments are organized by the ATP for men and by the WTA for women . The ATP World Tour Finals , which have been jointly organized by ATP and ITF since 2000, are an exception .

The association also organizes other tournaments as part of the ITF Pro Circuit . The ITF Pro Circuit forms the lowest category of tournaments for professionals both in women 's tennis in the form of the ITF Women's Circuit and in men's tennis with the ITF Men's Circuit , but is included in the rankings of the WTA and ATP. It should enable young tennis players in particular to enter the tournaments of the WTA or the ATP.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. History (, accessed on 25 October 2014)
  2. ^ German Tennis Federation (ed.): Tennis in Germany. From the beginning to 2002. Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-428-10846-9 , pp. 89f.
  3. ^ Marshall Jon Fisher: A Terrible Splendor: Three Extraordinary Men, a World Poised for War, and the Greatest Tennis MatchEver Played , Crown / Archetype 2009, ISBN 978-0-307-45214-6 , page 61f.