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The Development and Transformation of Anglo-American Relations in Lawn Tennis around the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Lake, RJ and Eaves, SJ and Nicholson, R (2017) The Development and Transformation of Anglo-American Relations in Lawn Tennis around the Turn of the Twentieth Century. Sport History Review, 49 (1). pp. 1-22. ISSN 1087-1659 (In Press)

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Abstract

Anglo-American relations in tennis are a fascinating subject, particularly in the period of the late-19th/early-20th century, during which the developments seen both on and off court were reflective and indicative of broader societal shifts, as the US gradually replaced Britain as the world’s leading industrialized nation. The aims of this paper are to discuss how Anglo-American relations in lawn tennis shifted throughout this period, from when lawn tennis was “invented” in Britain to the onset of the Great War, and to contextualize these developments in the light of shifting geo-political/economic and cultural relations more generally between the two nations, alongside developments within sport and tennis more specifically. Shifts in the following areas are examined: attitudes toward and opinions of the relative standards of both American and British tennis players from the general public, correspondents and the media of the other nation, in terms of their overall rank and possibilities of success; and, attitudes from tennis officials toward the formal organization of competitions between players of both nations.

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