WSTC Foundation celebrates 125 years of tennis history

Borough President Melinda Katz proclaimed August 25, 2017 as West Side Tennis Club Day.

Borough President Melinda Katz proclaimed August 25, 2017 as West Side Tennis Club Day.

The West Side Tennis Club Foundation celebrated its 125th Anniversary on August 25. Tennis greats joined club members for a day of matches, history, food and fun.

At the event, several commemorative banners were raised to honor Maureen “Little Mo” Connolly, Jack Kramer and the history of the Davis Cup in Forest Hills.

On display at the Forest Hills Stadium were artifacts from the stadium’s rich history, which the WSTC Foundation hopes to display in a new tennis archive. Funds raised from the party will also benefit disadvantaged children, as well as tennis programs for the physically challenged.

Todd Martin of the International Tennis Hall of Fame

Todd Martin of the International Tennis Hall of Fame

The West Side Tennis Club and Forest Hills Stadium are intertwined with tennis history. The stadium was the first tennis stadium in the country, built in 1923. In 1953, Connolly won a Grand Slam at the stadium, becoming the first woman to do so.

In 1968, the first U.S. Open was held at the venue before moving to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in 1977.

Additionally, during the 1960s, The Beatles joined other legendary artists in performing in a Forest Hills Stadium music festival.

Gordon Smith, executive director and COO of the USTA, deemed WSTC a crucial part of tennis history.

“Other than Wimbledon, maybe, it’s the most significant historic tennis site in the world,” he said, adding that 60 National Championships and 10 Davis Cup Finals were held at the club.

For the full story, visit the ForestHillTimes.com.

Brenda Bottum, Daughter of Maureen Connelly

Brenda Bottum, Daughter of Maureen Connelly

Bob Kramer, son of Jack Kramer

Bob Kramer, son of Jack Kramer

Gordon Smith of the USTA

Gordon Smith of the USTA

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