American Tennis Association,  WTEF Lifetime Achievement Award

The American Tennis Association (ATA) is based in Largo, Maryland, suburban Washington, D.C. and is the oldest African-American sports organization in the United States. The core of the ATA’s modern mission continues to be promoting tennis as a sport for African-Americans and developing junior tennis players, but the ATA welcomes people of all backgrounds.

The ATA was founded in Washington, D.C. on November 30, 1916 by a group of African-American businessmen, college professors and physicians as the black equivalent to the National Championships. A major reason was the large amounts of discrimination against African-Americans in Tennis.

The American Tennis Association continued to be the primary governing body for African-American tennis in the United States until the desegregation in the 1950s, after Althea Gibson became the first African-American player to compete in the U.S. National Championships at Forest Hills, NY.

The first ATA National Championships, which consisted of men’s and women’s singles and men’s doubles, were held at Baltimore’s Druid Hill Park in August 1917. Every year in August, several hundred players now compete in more than 50 different events in various locations.

PAST TENNIS BALL AWARDEES

WTEF Champion of Tennis Award

Katrina M. Adams, 2015
James Blake, 2014
Mark D. Ein, 2013
Jonathan Vegosen, 2012
Gigi Fernandez, 2011
Mary Carillo, 2010
MaliVai Washington, 2010
Andrea Jaeger, 2009
Andre Agassi, 2008
Patrick McEnroe, 2007
Pam Shriver, 2006
Tracy Austin, 2005
Chris Evert, 2004
Rod Laver, 2003
Pauline Betz Addie, 2002
Billie Jean King, 2002
2001, Davis Cup Stars:
Tony Trabert
Gene Scott,
Richey Reneberg,
Charlie Pasarell,
Fred McNair,
Patrick McEnroe,
Tom Gullikson,
Tom Gorman

William H.G. FitzGerald Distinguished Service Award

Senator Shelley Moore Capito, 2016
Alonzo H. Mourning, Jr. , 2015
Rep. Ed Whitfield, 2014
Robert L. Johnson, 2013
Art Monk, 2012
Charles Mann, 2012
Rep. Fred Upton, 2011
Calvin Cafritz, 2010
Sheila Johnson, 2009
Steve Case, 2008
Raymond A. “Chip” Mason, 2007
Rep. Norm Dicks, 2006
Sen. Ted Stevens, 2005
Sen. John B. Breaux, 2003
Hon. William H.G. FitzGerald, 2003

Lifetime Achievement Award

Sylvia and Saul Ritzenberg, 2016
Peter Work, 2015
Paul R. Ignatius, 2013
Donal Dell, 2007

Life Champion Award

Jackie Joyner-Kersee, 2016

Featured Celebrities 1995-2000

Jim Vance, Guillermo Vilas
Donna Shalala,
Tom McMillen, Camille Mosley
John Lloyd, John McEnroe
Luke & Murphy Jensen
Stefan Edberg, Brett Haber
Bud Collins, Jimmy Connors
Art Buchwald, Mary Carillo