It wasn’t mobile-friendly. The design inspiration may well have been your front lawn. I can’t even imagine what the “text only” version looked like.
But it was a big deal. In 1996, TENNIS Magazine had come to “cyberspace” as TENNIS.com. Twenty years later, that domain remains the ultimate online resource for scores, news and analysis of one of the world’s most popular sports.
It’s fitting that the 20th anniversary of TENNIS.com coincides with the debut of Baseline. As was the case in ’96, we are venturing into unchartered territory with this website, armed with deep knowledge and passion about the game we love, and a burning desire to talk about it. We’re still trying to find the best ways to accomplish that on Baseline, and the same can be said for TENNIS.com—although we’ve learned a lot through the years. Website features have come and gone, as you’ll see in the following screenshots, many for the better. (Did we, however, foreshadow The Daily Spin with “Topspin”?)
LOOK OUT, the ball is coming through of the screen!!!
Every iteration of TENNIS.com has been an effort to improve the product and give our writers the best platform possible to express themselves. I wasn’t reading TENNIS.com in 1996, but I was going to my school’s computer lab every chance I had, curious to visit websites on this new and very exciting portal of information called the internet. But I’m glad that tennis fans could find what they were looking for back then at this giant green blob. It was jarring to some; it was a verdant meadow for others.
We hope you enjoy this trip down memory information superhighway.
1997: It was the Corel WTA Tour, and why not? WordPerfect was the word-processing king, after all. Cover man Pete Sampras looks like The Most Interesting Man in the World. A new bulletin board system was imminent.
1999: Tennis was a big thing online by the turn of the century, thanks to one name: Anna Kournikova. The Roger Federer of pageviews was the most searched athlete on Google in her heyday (to say nothing of Lycos, Netscape and AltaVista traffic). Everyone was searching strictly for her tennis information, of course, which TENNIS.com readily provided.
2002: The menu remained on the left frame, but TENNIS.com received a facelift in ’02, with the web logo matching that of the magazine. More Kournikova news. Check E-mail!
2006: The website celebrated its 10th anniversary with a new design, featuring softer colors and a more robust homepage. (RIP image host.) A greater gear presence. Would you rather attend a Grand Slam final or the Super Bowl?
2008: Green makes a comeback. “The Ticker” is born. I quit a full-time job in property and casualty insurance, moved to New York City and took a $8 per hour internship with TENNIS Magazine to help run its website. Hey, there’s Pete and Steve. All Things Tennis, All the Time.
2010: Holy headers—TENNIS.com goes all Wimbledon (and keeps up with Joneses online) with an all-white look. I always liked the feel of this version.
2012: Today’s your lucky day, Racquet Reaction fans. TENNIS.com had come a long way. Four years later, we can say the same—and it’s still Murray and Djokovic on top.
2016: The mobile version of TENNIS.com, today. (Read this great story after your dog gets tired chasing tennis balls.)
To 20 more years,