Bob McClure reversed the motor on a vacuum cleaner to create the 1st commercially viable ball machine

Prince introduced the first literal tennis shoe, one designed specifically for tennis players, in 1985

Tennis was played on an indoor grass court for the first time at Gerry Weber Stadium in Halle, Germany

In 2006, tennis players earned the right to challenge line calls with the Hawk-Eye Officiating System

Michael Chang became the #2 player in the world using Prince's Longbody racket

The International Tennis Federation introduced the now-familiar "optical yellow" tennis ball in 1972

In 1937, the BBC broadcasted 30 minutes of tennis a day, marking Wimbledon's TV debut

Prince released the first graphite racket in 1977

Esurance launched the app for iPhone® on July 6, 2010

In January 2011, we integrated RepairView™ into Esurance mobile apps

In 2006, we partnered with Answer Financial to offer comparison quotes from other top car insurers

RepairView™: Check out your car's repair progress — without visiting the shop

We launched our app for Android™ on March 31, 2011

RepairView™ Social: Share pictures of your car's repairs on Facebook

Esurance mobile apps make it easy to do whatever you need to — on the go

Automatic car insurance discounts: Just enter your info and we'll add your discounts automatically

Make the most of evolving your game

From the US Open to our local Esurance Tennis Classic, we're always looking for ways to evolve your tennis experience.

Check back here often to see what we're up to and how you can get in on the action.

esurance evolves

Since we started out more than a decade ago, we've been working constantly to make car insurance smarter, sleeker, faster, and easier. And in the process of evolving car insurance, we've gone through some changes ourselves.

  • 2011 US Open
  • SmashZone - 10 and Under Tennis
  • Winston-Salem Open Wake Forrest University
  • Esurance Tennis Classic
  • New Haven Open at Yale
  • Atlanta Tennis Championships
  • Bank of the West Classic
  • Chris Evert Raymond James Pro Celebrity Tennis Classic
our sponsorship

As part of our goal of evolving your experience, our tennis sponsorships include partnerships with the above.

Get your free quote


With go-anywhere mobile apps, 24/7 support, and dedicated claims reps, we're making car insurance smarter. When you're ready for cutting-edge technology, (practically) super-powered customer service, and big discounts on your car insurance, get a quote from us.

Evolve your game with Esurance. Get your quote now.

Discounts subject to eligibility. Coverages may vary between and are not available in all states. Terms, conditions, and exclusions may apply.

© 2014 Esurance Insurance Services, Inc. All rights reserved.

  • The invention of tennis
    Experts believe that tennis evolved from a handball-like game played across the ancient world. In the Middle Ages, people began using short bats instead of their hands. It wasn't till 1500 that a recognizable racket developed, though at the time its head was strung with sheep gut. Until 1873, tennis was an indoor game. It was only with Major Walter Wingfield's "sphairistike" — a quickly abandoned name from the Greek for "playing ball" — that the sport moved outside and onto the now-familiar grass courts.
  • The tennis court
    The tennis court
    Indoor hard-surface courts are the oldest type of tennis court, having been around since the 1500s. Hard-surface courts offer the most consistent level of bounce, and are about mid-range in terms of ball speed. The grass courts made famous by Wimbledon and other Grand Slam events developed next, becoming popular in the late 1800s. Grass courts favor big-serve players as the ball moves fastest on their close-cropped surfaces. The clay court appeared most recently and is considered the slowest of the popular surfaces.
  • The tennis ball
    The tennis ball
    Much like the tennis shoe, the modern tennis ball didn't begin its evolution until the invention of vulcanized India rubber. Previously, players of "royal tennis," or "tennis real," used balls of leather or cloth stuffed with rags. Players of Major Walter Wingfield's "sphairistike" moved on to balls of vulcanized India rubber with a solid core. In the 1900s, this solid ball was replaced with one with a hollow pressurized core. Until 1972, the balls were traditionally white or black in color. The by-now-iconic "optic yellow" color was introduced because it makes for easier home television viewing.
  • The tennis racket
    The tennis racket
    Before the 1970s, tennis rackets had simple wooden frames with leather-wrapped grips and heads of about 65 square inches. With the '70s came frames made of light metals like aluminum and, eventually, composites of metal and plastic. Later, manufacturers started producing larger heads of 85 to 110 square inches, giving players the ability to hit much more powerful returns and serves. These new, larger racket heads play a pivotal role in today's fast-paced and high-speed matches.
  • The tennis shoe
    the tennis shoe
    Many elements of the modern game of tennis depended upon the development of vulcanized rubber in the 1800s, and the shoe is no exception. The new material was soon put to use in the soles of the tennis shoe's precursor, the plimsoll. Adidas introduced the first "tennis shoe" in 1931.
  • Tennis fashion
    tennis fashion
    In its early years, the all-white outfits worn by tennis players reflected the players' elevated class status. But there are practical reasons to wear white too, as it helps keep players cooler and shows sweat less than darker colors. Wimbledon holds fiercely to tennis tradition by still requiring players to wear all white on the court.
  • The International Tennis Federation
    The International Tennis Federation
    The International Tennis Federation, now the sport's worldwide governing body, formed from the merger of 13 national associations in 1913. The organization now determines and enforces technical specifications for the courts, rackets, and balls, as well as overseeing:
    • Administration and regulation
    • Organization of international competition
    • Structuring of the game
    • Development of the game
    • Promotion of the game
tennis evolves