The West Side Tennis Club, the venerable tennis club located in Forest Hills, Queens, N.Y. and the long-time former home of the U.S. Open, will celebrate the 125th anniversary of its founding with special ceremonies, pro tennis matches and a Gala dinner all available for tennis fans on Friday, August 25.
Former top tennis professionals James Blake, Luke Jensen, Vince Spadea and Jan-Michael Gambill will compete in a one-day abbreviated tennis-tournament in the famous Forest Hills Stadium court at 4 pm that will precede official anniversary ceremonies featuring USTA President Katrina Adams and International Tennis Hall of Fame CEO Todd Martin and the Gala dinner.
Blake, the former world No. 4 and member of the 2007 championship winning U.S. Davis Cup team, will play Gambill, the former world No. 14 and also a former member of the U.S. Davis Cup team, in the first semifinal match at 4 pm. It will be followed by Spadea, the two-time U.S. Olympic team member and former world No. 18, taking on Jensen, the charismatic winner of the 1994 French Open doubles title, in the second semifinal. The winners of each semifinal will then compete in a championship match. Each match will consist of one FAST-4 set, first to four games, no-ad scoring and a tie-breaker at three games all.
Following the tennis, fans will also be able to stay for the special 125-year anniversary ceremony featuring Adams and Martin. The legacies of Jack Kramer, a two-time U.S. singles champion, and Maureen Connolly, the second player to win the “Grand Slam” of tennis in 1953, will also be honored with a banner raising ceremony at the famed Forest Hills Stadium, the site of their greatest triumphs, with each family being represented.
Tickets for the tennis tournament and the anniversary ceremony – that includes an Open Bar – are $100, with $50 being a tax-deductible contribution to the West Side Tennis Club Foundation, the non-profit organization that helps introduce tennis to children and the physically challenged while also preserving the history of the West Side Tennis Club. A $250 ticket ($125 tax deductible) includes play on the grass tennis courts starting at 2 pm, including the tennis and ceremony viewing, and the Gala dinner starting at 7:30. Tickets can be purchased at www.WSTCFoundation.org or by calling the West Side Tennis Club front desk at 718 268 2300.
The West Side Tennis Club was founded in 1892, then located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The private club moved to its current location in Forest Hills in 1913, where it hosted the U.S. National Tennis Championships (known as the modern-day U.S. Open since 1968) from 1915 until 1977. In addition, the club has hosted a total of 16 U.S. Davis Cup ties, more than any other facility. The club features 38 tennis courts featuring four different court surfaces – grass, hard, red clay and Har-Tru – including the 13,000-seat Forest Hills Stadium that is now a popular concert venue. The club also features a junior Olympic-size pool, paddle tennis courts and its famous Tudor-style clubhouse. For more information on the club, including membership information, go to www.ForestHillsTennis.com