It all changed in 1973 for the ATP

The battle was over Nikki Pilic, but the war was over players' rights

Updated: July 1, 2013, 5:14 PM ET
By Kamakshi Tandon | ESPN.com

LONDON -- It was a funny way for some of the world's top players to spend a night the week before Wimbledon -- holed up in a meeting room of a London hotel in tense and furious discussion about whether to play the tournament. Yet that's where they were in 1973, the board of the fledging Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), trying to choose whether to take the courts or take a stand.

On one side was defending champion Stan Smith, who wanted to play. Public pressure was with him. On ...

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