West Side Tennis Club recognizes tennis legends and celebrates 100 years
Aug 28, 2023
As the US Open kicks off today, it's important to remember its roots. The tournament wasn't originally based in Flushing Meadows. It was located just a few miles away at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, NY.
This weekend, Florida Tennis attended the West Side Tennis Club (WSTC) to celebrate its "Stadium Centennial and Heritage Day" and it was breathtaking.
Source: West Side Tennis Club
After touring the amazing grounds of the West Side Tennis Club (yes... the grass courts are gorgeous), an elegant dinner took place honoring Lt. Joe Hunt, John Newcombe, and Althea Gibson for their achievements.
Learning more about the dedication and patriotism of Lt. Joe Hunt and Althea Gibson, who broke the color barrier in the 1950s, was inspiring. And former pro Dick Stockton told stories of his experiences playing at "Forest Hills" along with his adventures with Aussie legend John Newcombe.
To cap the dinner presentation, tennis historian Joel Drucker gave a fascinating overview of the venue discussing the connection between tennis and music. It turns out that the WSTC stadium, mostly known for its tennis, was also used for some incredible concerts including The Doors, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and The Beatles.
We'll have extended coverage of the event in the upcoming issue of Florida Tennis. Until then, here's a teaser showcasing a few photos from the recent event.
Photos (from top to bottom): Jim Martz at the entrance of the West Side Tennis Club; past winners adorned the wall of WSTC including Florida favorite Chris Evert; a look at a can of old-school Wilson tennis balls and "Gut Oil" used back in the day; and the grass courts in front of the stadium as the sun set prior to the presentation. Photos: Florida Tennis.