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Ashe, King propel tennis to new levels of awareness and popularity

In 1968, amateurs and pros unified, boosting tennis into a new, unequivocal frontier. Joel Drucker looks back at the first decade of Open era tennis, from the "Love Double" to the "Battle of the sexes."

Originally Published: October 14, 2008
By Joel Drucker | Special to ESPN.com

Key moments of the Open era: Part I. Dawn (1968-77)

1. Open at last For decades, tennis had been a sport divided into two realms. There was the prevailing amateur world, where players competed at Roland Garros, Wimbledon, Forest Hills and other disparate tournaments at the whim of organizers who would provide under-the-table payments and other nefarious forms of compensation. Then there were the pros, who earned legitimate money but were banned from all these prestigious events. The ...

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