The International Tennis Hall of Fame is hosting its annual 25o level event on the ATP tour. It is the only grass court event held on US soil. It is also the only grass court ATP tour event held after Wimbledon concludes. I attended the tournament in 1999 and watched Chris Woodruff win the title. Watching professionals play on grass was a real treat. The day prior John McEnroe was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
I have toured the museum three times. It is a special place for a tennis fan to see. I would encourage all fans who are near Rhode Island to make a stop and see the museum. I would love to one day visit the museum and also rent a court for an hour and hit on grass. It is not a surface that many of us get to play on unless we were really elite junior players or know someone with a cool backyard.
Beyond that, the displays on the Battle of the Sexes match, Steffi Graf’s racquet from the 1988 US Open final, the Real/Royal Tennis Court on the grounds, the show court, the US-Germany Davis Cup display from 1937 and the antique racquets are all great treats for tennis fans.
This week’s event takes on a bit of added importance because the London Olympics are holding the tennis events on grass. It is nice to see a stronger than average field battle for a title on what I consider to be hallowed grounds.
If I could make one suggestion, it would be for the USTA to include this event in the US Open Series. The US Open and US Championships were held on grass at Forest Hills until the 1975 switch to har-tru. Holding the opening event of the US Open Series on grass would be a nice tip of the hat to history as well as an act of solidarity by the USTA that might help this tournament attract one or two more top 30 players every year.
The International Tennis Hall of Fame was used during the tennis scene of The Royal Tenenbaums.