tennis was racially segregated in the american south (no blacks in the country clubs)...tennis was religiously segregated in the american north (No Jews in the country clubs) at the same time.
There was little racial segregation or race problem in western europe at the time. Of course, blacks were less than .1% of the population there. Europe had all kinds of problems with Jews, Catholics vs. Protestants, etc., at that time. Not excusing the racism in the american south, it was a bad thing, a shameful thing. Just pointing out that western civilization across the board at that time was much less tolerant than we would like to think.
(2013-50=1963, 7 years AFTER Brown v. Board, racially integrated colleges were the norm, althogh uneasily so still, even in the South)
50 years ago there were very few public courts in the USA.
Ergo, private clubs only, ergo, elitist image
nail up a basketball hoop anywhere for $10 and a $5 ball
(1963 prices) and you've got a place to play.
See how the elitist image exists?