BY ROLAND MEIER
The West Side Tennis Club is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. Starting on the West Side of Manhattan in 1892, moving to Forest Hills in 1913, building our Tennis Stadium in 1923, and having the privilege of hosting 60 years of memorable tennis championships, and almost 40 years of epic music performances should give us every reason to rejoice.
But what makes us especially proud is the fact that The West Side Tennis Club, after losing the U.S. Open in 1977, reinvented itself by creating a family-friendly environment, connecting to the Forest Hills neighborhood and Queens, organizing more fun events, raising club tennis to a higher level, and creating a pricing structure attracting younger tennis aficionados and families.
The revival of our historic stadium started in 2013 with the epic performance of Mumford & Sons. Subsequent memorable concerts included The Who, Zac Brown, Paul Simon, Ed Sheeran, Drake & Lil Wayne, The New York Pops, and the return of professional tennis with World Team Tennis in 2016, which helped the Forest Hills venue climb back into the tennis limelight.
The West Side Tennis Club Foundation wants to pay tribute to our rich history by not only bringing historic artifacts back into the stadium, but by populating this monument-like structure with banners highlighting the names of former tennis champions, music performers and events.
As a special component of the 125th anniversary celebrations, on August 25 we are delighted to unveil banners commemorating tennis greats Maureen (Little Mo) Connolly and Jack Kramer and the Davis Cup in Forest Hills.
As we continue our journey rediscovering the unprecedented tennis history of Forest Hills, we hope that this inaugural event will become an annual tradition and that the Forest Hills Player Party at the West Side Tennis Club will be scheduled each Friday before the U.S. Open.
Proceeds help the West Side Tennis Foundation fulfill its missions supporting youth tennis, tennis for the physically challenged, and tennis history and archives. The foundation considers itself part of the fabric making in Queens a destination and we appreciate any support from the business community in the form of sponsorship.
Roland Meier is the president of the West Side Tennis Club Foundation