River Oaks International Tennis Tournament

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River Oaks International
RiverOaksCountryClub.JPG
Defunct tennis tournament
Tour Grand Prix (1971)
WCT (1972–1977)
Grand Prix (1978–1981)
WCT (1982–1984)
Founded 1931
Abolished 2007
Location River Oaks Country Club
Houston, USA
Surface Clay / Outdoor

The River Oaks International Tennis Tournament, also known as the River Oaks Invitational Tennis Tournament, was a men's tennis tournament held in early spring from 1931 until 2007 at the River Oaks Country Club, Houston, Texas, USA. [1] The tournament was the oldest in the country to still be played at its original site, in the original stadium. The tournament was founded by cotton broker Jack Norton.[2] From the very beginning, the River Oaks International was an invitational amateur tournament, and was not associated with the professional tennis associations. From the start, the field was filled with a few stars and then local candidates filled out the rest of the field. The inaugural edition in April 1931, which made a loss of $1,500, was won by 19-year-old Ellsworth Vines.[3][4] The tournament was not held during the World War II years 1942–1945.[5]

In 1971 the tournament was part of the Grand Prix tennis circuit while from 1973 until 1977 it formed part of the World Championship Tennis circuit.[2][6] One of the landmark tournament events was in 1974, the championship match was broadcast before a national audience; thirty-four-year-old Rod Laver, met the heir apparent, seventeen-year-old Björn Borg. Laver, who in 1961 became the first foreign player to win the singles title, won in straight sets and became the first man to hold four singles championships at River Oaks.[7]

In 2008, the River Oaks International was merged with one of the oldest, and last remaining clay court tournaments in the United States, the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships to continue the storied and tradition-filled tennis stadium at River Oaks.[8][9]


Winners[edit]

Singles[edit]

Year Champion Runner up Score
1931 United States Ellsworth Vines United States Bruce Barnes 6–3, 6–4, 10–8
1932 United States Wilmer Allison United States Jake Hess
1933 United States Frank Parker United States George Lott 7–5, 10–12, 6–4, 6–2
1934 United States Lester Stoefen United States Wilmer Allison 6–2, 6–2, 6–2
1935 United States Bryan Grant United States Wilmer Allison 6–3, 1–6, 6–4, 6–4
1936 United States Bryan Grant United States Wilmer Allison 6–4, 4–6, 6–4, 6–0
1937 United States Bryan Grant United States Wilmer Allison 4–6, 6–3, 6–3, 7–5
1938 United States Wayne Sabin United States Ernest Sutter 6–4, 4–6, 4–6, 6–0, 6–2
1939 United States Frank Guernsey United States Frank Kovacs 4–6, 7–5, 6–1, 6–3
1940 United States Robert Riggs United States Bryan Grant 7–5, 6–3, 7–5
1941 United States Frank Kovacs United States Bryan Grant 6–4, 2–6, 7–5, 6–3
1942 No competition (due to WWII)
1943
1944
1945
1946 United States Gardnar Mulloy United States William Talbert 6–4, 4–6, 6–3, 5–7, 6–4
1947 United States Jack Kramer United States Gardnar Mulloy 6–1, 6–0, 6–2
1948 United States Frank Parker United States William Talbert 9–7, 6–2, 6–1
1949 United States Ted Schroeder United States William Talbert 6–4, 4–6, 6–1, 6–4
1950 United States Robert Falkenburg United States Ted Schroeder 6–0, 15-13, 3–6, 6–4
1951 United States Arthur Larsen United States Herbert Flam 6–4, 7–5, 3–6, 10–8
1952 United States Gardnar Mulloy United States Arthur Larsen 6–3, 3–6, 3–6, 8–6, 6–4
1953 United States Gardnar Mulloy United States Vic Seixas 6–4,5–7, 6–4, 6–2
1954 United States Richard Savitt United States Ham Richardson 4–6, 6–3, 6–4, 7–5
1955 United States Tony Trabert United States Vic Seixas 6–0, 6–1, 6–4
1956 United States Ham Richardson United States Vic Seixas 7–5, 6–0, 3–6, 6–4
1957 United States Herbert Flam Australia Mervyn Rose 7–5, 6–1, 6–4
1958 United States Barry MacKay Chile Luis Ayala 8–10, 6–4, 6–3, 6–3
1959 United States Bernard Bartzen United States Richard Savitt 2–6, 7–5, 4–6, 0–2 retired
1960 United States Barry MacKay Australia Neale Fraser 7–5, 6–3, 6–4
1961 Australia Rod Laver Australia Roy Emerson 7–5, 7–5, 1–6, 6–3
1962 Australia Rod Laver Australia Roy Emerson 6–1, 7–5, 7–5
1963 Spain Manuel Santana United States Chuck McKinley 6–4, 13-11, 3–6, 2–6, 6–4
1964 Australia Roy Emerson Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Nikola Pilić 6–1, 6–4, 6–2
1965 India Ramanathan Krishnan United States Cliff Richey 6–4, 2–6, 6–4, 6–3
1966 Australia Marty Mulligan Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Nikola Pilić 6–2, 3–6, 6–4, 0–6, 4-5
1967 Australia John Newcombe Australia Tony Roche 6–2, 7–5, 6–3
1968 United States Cliff Richey Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Boro Jovanović 6–4, 6–1, 6–0
1969 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Željko Franulović Mexico Rafael Osuna 7–5, 6–3, 6–2
1970 United States Clark Graebner United States Cliff Richey 2–6, 6–3, 5–7, 6–3, 6–2
1971 United States Cliff Richey United States Clark Graebner 6–1, 6–2, 6–2
1972 Australia Rod Laver Australia Ken Rosewall 6–2, 6–4
1973 Australia Ken Rosewall Australia Fred Stolle 6–4, 6–1, 7–5
1974 Australia Rod Laver Sweden Björn Borg 7–6, 6–2
1975 Australia Ken Rosewall South Africa Cliff Drysdale 6–4, 6–7, 6–4
1976 United States Harold Solomon Australia Ken Rosewall 6–4, 1–6, 6–1
1977 Italy Adriano Panatta United States Vitas Gerulaitis 7–6, 6–7, 6–1
1978 United States Brian Gottfried Romania Ilie Năstase 3.6, 6–2, 6–1
1979 Spain José Higueras United States Gene Mayer 6–3, 2–6, 7–6
1980 Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl United States Eddie Dibbs 6–1, 6–3
1981 Argentina Guillermo Vilas United States Sammy Giammalva Jr. 6–2, 6–3
1982 Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl Argentina José Luis Clerc 3–6, 7–6, 6–0, 1–4 retired
1983 Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl Australia Paul McNamee 6–2, 6–0, 6–3
1984 United States Mark Dickson United States Sammy Giammalva Jr. 6–3, 6–2
1985 Australia Paul McNamee Sweden Anders Järryd 7–6, 4–6, 6–4
1986 United States Jimmy Arias Sweden Mats Wilander 6–2, 2–6, 6–1
1987 United States Jimmy Arias Sweden Jonas Svensson 6–2, 6–4
1988 France Henri Leconte United States Michael Chang 4–6, 7–6, 6–3
1989 Sweden Magnus Gustafsson Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Bruno Orešar 6–2, 6–0
1990 United States Richey Reneberg Sweden Magnus Gustafsson 6–4, 6–4
1991 Sweden Magnus Gustafsson Sweden Magnus Larsson 6–7, 7–6, 6–1
1992 United States Bryan Shelton United States Jeff Tarango 4–6, 6–3, 6–2
1993 United States Richey Reneberg United States Todd Martin 5–7, 6–3, 6–3
1994 Sweden Magnus Larsson United States Richey Reneberg 6–4, 6–2
1995 Sweden Mikael Tillström Australia Richard Fromberg 6–3, 6–4
1996 Norway Christian Ruud United States Jeff Tarango 3–6, 6–3, 7–5
1997 Australia Jason Stoltenberg United States Alex O'Brien 6–2, 4–6, 7–5
1998 Argentina Mariano Zabaleta Belgium Xavier Malisse 7–6, 6–2
1999 United States Vince Spadea Australia Jason Stoltenberg 6–4, 6–2
2000 Sweden Magnus Larsson Switzerland Roger Federer 3–6, 6–1, 7–5
2001 Romania Andrei Pavel Norway Christian Ruud 6–3, 6–4
2002 Switzerland Michel Kratochvil South Africa Wayne Ferreira 6–4, 4–6, 7–6
2003 United States James Blake South Africa Wayne Ferreira 6–2, 4–6, 6–3
2004 Czech Republic Jiří Novák &
United States Hugo Armando
Title shared
2005 United States James Blake Russia Dmitri Tursunov 6–2, 6–3
2006 Romania Victor Hănescu Spain Juan Mónaco 6–7, 6–4, 7–5
2007 Russia Dmitri Tursunov Chile Nicolás Massú 2–6, 1–0 retired
2008 see U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships

References[edit]

  1. ^ "River Oaks: Showcase Of Tennis". Sports Illustrated. April 20, 1959. pp. 22–26. 
  2. ^ a b Robertson, Max (1974). The Encyclopedia of Tennis. London: Allen & Unwin. p. 307. ISBN 9780047960420. 
  3. ^ Dale Robertson (April 4, 2004). "River Oaks stages 70th edition of quaint event that boasts legend-filled history". www.chron.com. Houston Chronicle. 
  4. ^ "River Oaks Tennis Title Won by Vines". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Apr 13, 1931. 
  5. ^ Dale Robertson (April 7, 2012). "On tennis: Players love center court at River Oaks". The Houston Chronicle. 
  6. ^ "River Oaks Tennis To Have New Look". Schenectady Gazette. Apr 2, 1973. 
  7. ^ "Laver Snaps River Oaks Tennis Jinx". The Pittsburgh Press. Apr 17, 1961. 
  8. ^ "U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships". www.mensclaycourt.com. ROCC. 
  9. ^ "River Oaks tennis tourney finds way to endure". The Houston Chronicle. April 5, 2009. 

External links[edit]