In a general conference convened in Paris in March 1913, 12 national tennis associations founded the International Lawn Tennis Federation in response to the growing need for an international governing body for the sport. Among the inaugural members include: Australasia (Australia and New Zealand), Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Netherlands, Russia,
South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, and Spain. Aside from establishing its first set of officers, the general conference yielded initial edicts on the official language of the federation (which was French, with English translation), and the designation of Great Britain as the host of the “World Championships on Grass – in perpetuity’.
As governing body of tennis in the world, the Federation promotes and develops the sport to make it a truly global sport available to all in a non-racial, non-political form and to preserve the integrity and independence of tennis as a sport. Currently, the federation has 202 member associations from countries in every continent. The federation reaches out to all its members through its six regional associations: the Asian Tennis Federation, Confederacion SudAmericana de Tenis, Confederacion SudAmericana de Tenis, COTECC, Oceania Tennis Federation, and Tennis Europe.