Reform to an Open status altered the course of tennis history

The Open era's influence on tennis is immeasurable. It has led to a deeper, richer infrastructure with unforgettable characters and achievements. Bonnie D. Ford kicks off a weeklong look celebrating the first 40 years of a rapidly evolving, prosperous game.

Originally Published: October 13, 2008
By Bonnie D. Ford | ESPN.com

Baby boomers fueled the tennis expansion that came shortly after the Open era began in 1968, so the fact that modern tennis has reached the milestone age of 40 should have the same significance it had for that generation. Forty means mature, but not old; established, but still open to change.

The pre-Open era concept of "real'' tennis as a non-commercial enterprise, and players as its gallant unpaid performers, is almost unimaginable now that athletes work on building ...

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