The Association

The first reference to tennis in the Americas extant in the historical record is a decree against playing tennis on Sundays, issued by the Governor of New Amsterdam, Peter Stuyvesant, on 26 October 1656. The centuries that followed were replete with further proof that some sort of version of the game of kings was being played in North America. In October 1876, exactly a year and a half after the newly invented game of lawn tennis came to these shores, Hollis Hunnewell and Nathaniel Thayer opened the first bona fide court tennis facility on Buckingham Street in Boston. In the next fifty years, eighteen more courts were built; today there are nine active courts in the U.S., the oldest in Newport (1880) and the youngest in Washington, D.C. (1997).

The United States Court Tennis Association, under the leadership of its first president William L. Van Alen, initially convened on 30 January 1955 in New York. Up until that time there was no central authority to regulate, promote and preserve the game in the United States. Indeed, when the Laws of Tennis in America were first adopted on New Year’s Day 1934, just three clubs—The Racquet & Tennis Club, The Racquet Club, and The Tennis & Racquet Club— were signatories. (The rules were revised in 1979 and in 2000.) Besides the promulgation of tennis rules, the Association has the authority to coordinate and control all championships and major competitions, and in conjunction with its member clubs, organize and conduct tournaments for all levels of play in America. It publishes an annual report, newsletters, a fixtures calendar and other announcements; hosts an annual dinner each autumn in New York; raises funds for the construction, maintenance, and restoration of courts, and for supporting the development of female and junior players; and conducts relations with other national governing bodies around the world; promotes international play and supports the U.S. at international competitions. One of its most essential functions is the vigorous support of professionals in America, without whom the continued existence of the game would be precarious. The Association provides prize money for tournaments like the National Open, the U.S. Professional Singles, and the U.S. Open.

 

Charter Members

W. Anderson Fulton Cutting Seymour H. Knox C. C. Pell
George F. Baker, Jr. F. F. de Rham, Jr. T. I. Laughlin Ogden Phipps
E. Mauran Beals Charles Devens W. E. Lingelbach, Jr. F. G. B. Roche
John C. Bell, Jr. W. Palmer Dixon A. B. Martin Francis X. Shields
Crawford Blagden George Dwight E. B. Martin Chas. M. Stockton
G. H. Bostwick E. M. Edwards H. C. McClintock J. H. Van Alen
W. A. Coolidge C. Frothingham R. S. Millen William L. Van Alen
A. L. Corey R. L. Gerry, Jr. H. R. Mixsell John Hay Whitney
E. B. Coxe III R. Grant III F. S. Moseley, Jr. G. W. Wightman
C. S. Cutting N. R. Knox D. A. Newhall William C. Wright

Life Members

William J Clothier Anthony P. Negretti William G. Fitzgerald
Alastair B. Martin Bertram L. O’ Neill Edward J. Hughes
Chris Ronaldson John E. Slater The Right Honorable Lord Aberdare
William L. Van Alen Northrup R. Knox The Tennis & Rackets Association

Presidents

William L. Van Alen 1955-1971
John E. Slater 1971-1988
Edward J. Hughes 1988-1998
Charles T. Johnstone 1998-2001
William F. McLaughlin, Jr. 2001-2006
James D. Wharton 2006-2009
Gregory Van Schaack 2009-2014
Jeremy R. Wintersteen 2014-