Roger Federer hits a forehand shot at Wimbledon. The tennis great has called his racket an extension of his arm.

How Did Humans Evolve to Use Everyday Tools?

An anthropologist explains why we experience many objects, from tennis rackets to cars, as extensions of our bodies


The Books We Loved

Smithsonian editors choose their favorite (mostly) nonfiction of (mostly) 2023

Althea Gibson leaves Forest Hills court accompanied by Alice Marble and applause of spectators.

Sports Legend Althea Gibson Served Up Tennis History When She Broke Through in 1950

Her athletic performance in New York impressed onlookers of all colors and cracked opened the door for a new generation of Black players to come

Pickleball courts are starting to appear in vacant storefronts in shopping malls across the country.

Pickleball Courts Are Replacing Shuttered Mall Stores

Across the country, developers are trying to capitalize on the approachable sport's growing popularity

A game of doubles pickleball 

Why LeBron James Is Buying a Pickleball Team

The Los Angeles Lakers star is a fan of America's fastest-growing sport

A new study shows that children who play individual sports, like tennis, may have more mental health issues than those that play team sports or don’t participate in sports at all.

Should Parents Worry About New Research Linking Kids’ Mental Health and Individual Sports?

According to the study, children who played team sports had fewer mental health difficulties than those who didn’t play sports

The black-and-white stills represent the spirit rendered by King Richard, the new film starring Will Smith as the Williams sisters’ father, coach and mentor.

These Vintage Photos of Venus and Serena Williams Reveal the Truth of 'King Richard'

Seen as preteens, the future tennis sensations loved each other as much as they loved the sport

Althea Gibson (shown in 1959) also broke the color line at the French Open.

Sixty-Five Years Ago, Althea Gibson Broke the Color Line at the French Open

She was the first Black athlete—man or woman—to win any major national tennis championship

The Bucks refused to take the floor in protest of ongoing police brutality and racial injustice across America. All three NBA playoff games scheduled for Wednesday were subsequently postponed and the strike quickly spread to the to other sports leagues.

Athletes Shut Down Sports to Protest Police Brutality

A sports curator at the Smithsonian provides his thoughts on the past and future implications of the events of the week

Billie Jean King is the fifth recipient of the Smithsonian “Great Americans” medal.

Smithsonian Names Billie Jean King One of Its 'Great Americans"'

The tennis icon chatted about her life and legacy in a wide-ranging conversation at the National Museum of American History

Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) right before the famous match in Battle of the Sexes.

The True Story Behind Billie Jean King's Victorious “Battle of the Sexes”

Smithsonian sports curator Eric Jentsch offers a look at her legacy beyond the legendary match

This drone is designed to start controlled burns of grassland.

10 New Ways to Use Drones

From fighting wildfires to coaching people on their tennis game, the aerial devices are becoming a tool of choice

Which of These Summertime Athletes Should Be Displayed on the Walls of the National Portrait Gallery?

Vote now for your pick!

Croquet Was Once the Big Thing at Wimbledon

The club has croquet to thank for its famous lawns

The creators of "Will & Grace" donated the pilot script and other items from the show to the National Museum of American History.

A Proud Day at American History Museum as LGBT Artifacts Enter the Collections

The creators of "Will & Grace" and others donated objects related to gay history

Tennis player Renée Richards recently donated her tennis racket, along with a trophy, a dress and a number of other items to the Smithsonian.

Pioneering Tennis Player Renée Richards Recalls the Glory Days of Wooden Rackets

After winning the New York State men's title in 1964, Richard Raskind became Renée Richards and a civil rights icon

The current game of jeu de paume evolved from a game played by southern French villagers and monks in the 11th century.

Jeu de Paume: Holding Court in Paris

Court tennis, the quirky game of finesse and speed that once dominated France, is now kept alive by a small group of Parisians

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