In 1968 all Grand Slam tournaments started allowing professionals to compete with the amateurs. Previously only amateurs could play in the most prestigious tennis tournaments! Before the open era professional players played for prize money in separate events and tours and did not compete in the Grand Slam tournaments.
The beginning of the open era was a milestone in tennis history and led to much better conditions for professional tennis players. With the open era also began a surge in the popularity of game and the prize money for all players. Professionals were now able to make a good living playing it.
Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society and at all ages. The sport can be played by anyone who can hold a racket, including wheelchair users. The modern game isoriginated in Birmingham, England, in the late 19th century as lawn tennis.