* International Tennis Day

The inaugural International Tennis Day  was a huge success. The annual date is 20 June, the anniversary of the Tennis Court Oath at the start of the French Revolution. Modeled after World Squash Day, the first ITD came off wonderfully. All four playing nations participated and photographs and reports went up onto the ITD page at Facebook, a seamless way for everyone to follow each other’s activities in real time. You can find the ITD page here. Australia got the day started off right. Melbourne had much play and in Hobart before a full dedans, Barry Toates hosted a skills shootout, as well as a crazy doubles match. Europe had a beautiful day to celebrate tennis. In Dublin a group- of leaders of the Irish Real Tennis Association, including the 2014 IRTA champion, gathered with the banner outside the old Guinness court. In France the ITD banner was proudly displayed at the Paris court. In England, a number of clubs put the banner in their grille and enjoyed what turned out to be a warm Friday of tennis. The highlight in England was at Radley, where they established a court record for seventeen continuous hours of play.  The first players at daybreak included Chris Ronaldson, in his pajamas complete with his plush toy; the final players in the late evening were a pair of Radley College boys. “In between every category of player was represented,” reported Maggie Henderson-Tew: pros and amateurs, club members, guests, a group of visitors (from IBM), men and women, adults and juniors, left-handers, right-handers and wrong-handers, fancy-dress and all-white sports kit wearers. The age range was seventeen to seventy-one years old and… Read the Full Story >

* 16th USCTA Annual Dinner

The sixteenth conclave of the United States Court Tennis Association, the Annual Dinner came off in stunning fashion at the Racquet & Tennis Club on Friday 13 December 2013. Last year’s dinner was the largest non-Hall-of-Fame gathering in the Association’s history. This year, it was even bigger. It started with cocktails and silent auction browsing in the main lounge. The main attractions were a wonderful oil painting set in Aiken (with Pierre doing the marking) and some photographs and prints by Michael Do and Freddy Adam. Then one hundred and eighty-six people packed into the R&T’s dining room for a most festive and memorable meal. Greg Van Schaack, the president of the Association, welcomed all the the members and guests. He asked for a moment of silence to remember two leading, larger-than-life USCTA leaders who are no longer with us: Newbold Smith (Philadelphia) and Eddie Ulmann (New York). Last year the focus of the Annual Dinner was on the restoration of the court at the Tennis & Racquet Club; this year, attention was channeled towards the proposed court in Charleston. Van Schaack introduced Matt Sloan, the president of the Daniel Island Company. Sloan spoke about how excited Daniel Island is to host the tennis court and what a complement it will be for the community’s established activities. Peter Pell, the chair of the Whitney Cup, welcomed everyone to the 80th playing of the Payne Whitney Memorial Cup Interclub Tennis Doubles. He acknowledged the captains of the six teams and then the first-time players in the event: Tom Brownlie (Philadelphia), Tom McGinnis (New York), Jason  Mengel (Greentree-Aiken) and Al Gordon (Tuxedo-Chicago). During dinner, the annual awards… Read the Full Story >

* Jimmy Dunn Updated

Jimmy Dunn By James Zug The 33rd annual Jimmy Dunn tournament weekend at the Racquet Club of Philadelphia was its most successful ever. One hundred and fifty-seven people came to South Sixteenth Street to play a total of 225 matches over the course of four very full days (and nights).             The highlight of the weekend was the Edward M. Noll Testimonial Dinner at the Saturday evening black-tie dinner-dance. Two hundred and thirty-five people attended, making it one of the largest events in RCOP history and recalling some of the legendary testimonial dinners of the past. Guests included Ed’s two sons Mike and Jimmy and daughter Michele; his wife Helene, her parents and brother; some of his six grandchildren; as well as many of the longtime members of the club.             Ed Noll started at the club as a junior apprentice to Jimmy Dunn in 1964 while a freshman at Roman Catholic high school (his mother used to sew the tennis balls for the club). He left in 1973 to work at the Racquet & Tennis Club in New York, as well as at Philadelphia Cricket and Philadelphia Country clubs. He returned to RCOP in 1980, succeeded as head professional when Dunn stepped down in the mid-eighties and in 1998 left the pro shop to become the manager of the club. Noll retired this summer, forty-nine years after first coming to the club.             As a player, Noll won the U.S. Professionals in 1974 and the U.S. Open doubles in 1972 (with Sam Howe) in five-set final. He also lost to Gene Scott in the 1974 U.S. Open final, after being up 4-2 in the… Read the Full Story >

* 2013 US Open

Cam is A ’Comin’   By James Zug   The past eight days have put an emphatic stamp on the world of tennis: Camden Scott Riviere is back. The ginger-haired southpaw from Aiken won the 61st United States Open on the Van Alen Court at the Racquet Club of Philadelphia. He captured his second Open title without the loss of a set, conceding just seven games in his first three matches and overall a total of fourteen games in twelve sets. In the semis, he demolished the defending champion Bryn Sayers 0, 2 and 1 and in the finals he dismissed his long-time rival Steve Virgona 2, 4 and 1.             Seeded three, Riviere was hoping to complete his comeback from injury and, as he said after his victory, “remind everyone that I was still here.” Riviere, who will turn twenty-six in May, is now in the prime of his career and will regain the #2 slot in the world rankings.             He was here once before. A half dozen years ago he was the young prodigy. He turned pro at seventeen in 2005 and challenged Rob Fahey for the World Championship in 2008 at Fontainebleau.             After the meteoric rise, he was felled by injury. He broke his right wrist in a tumble at the European Open at Lords in 2010; then tore the labrum in his left shoulder; then ripped a tendon in his left wrist during the 2010 Eliminator Finals at Tuxedo. The right wrist healed and he did extensive therapy on the shoulder—it still bothers him, especially on swings above his head, but it is manageable—yet the left wrist injury was… Read the Full Story >

* 15th Annual Dinner Breaks Records

The 15th official conclave of the United States Court Tennis Association, the Annual Dinner came off in spectacular fashion at the Racquet & Tennis Club on Friday 7 December 2012. The largest crowd in the history of the Annual Dinner—save when there has been inductions into the International Court Tennis Hall of Fame—came to New York to celebrate one of the most successful years in the history of the Association. Membership is at an all-time high; the number of courts is at an all-time high; and play, as seen upstairs during the Whitney Cup, is perhaps for amateurs also at an all-time high. The evening began in a most unusual place: the famous racquets court was the locale for the pre-dinner cocktail party. Rugs on the floor and heat being pumped in from the gallery gave the court a warm, inviting feel. A video taken in the nineties out at Greentree and featuring the late professional Jack Hickey played on a wide screen in the corner and the night’s silent auction items, organized by dinner co-chair Brian Owens, attracted much interest—one photograph by Freddy Adam received nearly ten bids. Peter Pell, the chair of the Whitney Cup committee, welcomed the crowd in the R&T’s main dining room as they sat down for dinner and introduced the seven new players in the Whitney Cup: Dillon Aldrich, Clayton Vaughters, Zach Sacks, Vu Hoang, Marty Kinsella, Steve Rozak and David Tedeschi. Greg Van Schaack, the president of the Association, then gave a quick report on the robust health of the game, noted the esteemed guests and new attendants at the dinner and led a moment of silence for… Read the Full Story >