U.S. Pro Tennis Championships

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The U.S. Pro Tennis Championships (also for a period known as the World Pro Championships) was the oldest professional tennis tournament played until its final year of 1999 and is considered as a part of the professional grand slam from 1927–1967 until the advent of Open Era. Pancho Gonzales holds the record for most wins with eight.[1]

American's first prominent professional player, Vinny Richards, arranged what became the first U.S. Pro by negotiating with Doc Kelton to have a tournament played on the Notlek courts, located at 119th Street and Riverside Drive in Manhattan, New York, on September 23–25, 1927[citation needed]. Richards, tour pro Howard Kinsey and teaching pros from the eastern U.S. comprised the field, with Richards defeating Kinsey in the final in straight sets.

The tournament was subsequently held annually at various locations including the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, New York City, the South Shore Tennis Club in Chicago, in Rye, New York, at the Terrace Club in Brooklyn, the Chicago Town and Tennis Club in Chicago, at various clubs around Cleveland, Ohio, and Cleveland Arena in Cleveland. Its final permanent home was the Longwood Cricket Club in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, where it was held from 1964 to 1999. It became part of the Grand Prix Tennis Tour shortly after the advent of open tennis in 1968. Between 1970 and 1977 it was a major tournament of the Grand Prix Championship Series. It then became a tennis event within the ATP Tour with reorganization of the top tier of pro tour tennis.

The tournament was later played on Har-Tru clay courts and was initially an important tune-up event for the U.S. Open. But when this Grand Slam tournament moved to hardcourts in 1978, the U.S. Pro did not follow suit, electing instead to hold its tournament during the U.S. clay court season in early summer instead of during its hitherto pre-Open era (late summer) time slot. Remaining a clay event into the 1990s, the U.S. Pro was a non-ATP exhibition event during the early 1990s. It was only in its final three years that the tournament was once again an ATP event and played on hardcourts.

Past winners[edit]

Singles[edit]

Year Champion Runner-up Score Site Surface
Professional Era
1927 United States Vinny Richards United States Howard Kinsey 11–9, 6–4, 6–3 Notlek courts, Brooklyn Grass
1928 United States Vinny Richards Czechoslovakia Karel Koželuh 8–6, 6–3, 0–6, 6–2 West Side Tennis Club, Forest Hills, Queens Grass
1929 Czechoslovakia Karel Koželuh United States Vinny Richards 6–4, 6–4, 4–6, 4–6, 7–5 West Side Tennis Club Grass
1930 United States Vinny Richards Czechoslovakia Karel Koželuh 2–6, 10–8, 6–3, 6–4 West Side Tennis Club Grass
1931 United States Bill Tilden United States Vinny Richards 7–5, 6–2, 6–1 West Side Tennis Club Grass
1932 Czechoslovakia Karel Koželuh Weimar Republic Hans Nüsslein 6–2, 6–3, 7–5 South Shore Country Club, Chicago Clay
1933 United States Vinny Richards United States Frank Hunter 6–3, 6–0, 6–2 Westchester Country Club, Rye, New York Grass
1934 Nazi Germany Hans Nusslein Czechoslovakia Karel Koželuh 6–4, 6–2, 1–6, 7–5 South Shore Country Club Clay
1935 United States Bill Tilden Czechoslovakia Karel Koželuh 0–6, 6–1, 6–4, 0–6, 6–4 Terrace Club, Brooklyn Clay
1936 United States Joe Whalen United States Charles Wood 4–6, 4–6, 6–3, 6–2, 6–3 Tudor City Tennis Club, New York ?
1937a Czechoslovakia Karel Koželuh United States Bruce Barnes 6–2, 6–3, 4–6, 4–6, 6–1 Greenbrier, White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia Har-Tru?
1938 United Kingdom Fred Perry United States Bruce Barnes 6–3, 6–2, 6–4 Chicago Arena, Chicago Canvas (indoor)
1939 United States Ellsworth Vines United Kingdom Fred Perry 8–6, 6–8, 6–1, 20–18 Beverly Hills Tennis Club, Los Angeles Hard (cement)
1940 United States Don Budge United Kingdom Fred Perry 6–3, 5–7, 6–4, 6–3 Chicago Town and Tennis Club, Chicago Clay
1941 United Kingdom Fred Perry United States Dick Skeen 6–4, 6–8, 6–2, 6–3 Chicago Town and Tennis Club Clay
1942 United States Don Budge United States Bobby Riggs 6–2, 6–2, 6–2 West Side Tennis Club Grass
1943 United States Bruce Barnes United States John Nogrady 6–1, 7–9, 7–5, 4–6, 6–3 Fort Knox Clay
1944 Not held
1945 United States Welby Van Horn United States John Nogrady 6–4, 6–2, 6–2 Rips Tennis Courts, Manhattan Clay
1946 United States Bobby Riggs United States Don Budge 6–3, 6–1, 6–1 West Side Tennis Club Grass
1947 United States Bobby Riggs United States Don Budge 3–6, 6–3, 10–8, 4–6, 6–3 West Side Tennis Club Grass
1948 United States Jack Kramer United States Bobby Riggs 14–12, 6–2, 3–6, 6–3 West Side Tennis Club Grass
1949 United States Bobby Riggs United States Don Budge 9–7, 3–6, 6–3, 7–5 West Side Tennis Club Grass
1950b United States Pancho Segura United States Frank Kovacs 6–1, 1–6, 8–6, 4–4 rtd Skating Club, Cleveland Clay (indoor)
1951 United States Pancho Segura United States Pancho Gonzales 6–0, 8–6, 6–1 West Side Tennis Club Grass
1952 United States Pancho Segura United States Pancho Gonzales 3–6, 6–4, 3–6, 6–4, 6–0 Lakewood, Cleveland (indoor)
1953 United States Pancho Gonzales United States Don Budge 4–6, 6–4, 7–5, 6–2 Lakewood, Cleveland (indoor)
1954 United States Pancho Gonzales Australia Frank Sedgman 6–3, 9–7, 3–6, 6–2 Cleveland Arena, Cleveland (indoor)
1955 United States Pancho Gonzales United States Pancho Segura 21–16, 19–21, 21–8, 20–22, 21–19v Cleveland Arena (indoor)
1956 United States Pancho Gonzales United States Pancho Segura 21–15, 13–21, 21–14, 22–20v Cleveland Arena (indoor)
1957 United States Pancho Gonzales United States Pancho Segura 6–3, 3–6, 7–5, 6–1 Cleveland Arena (indoor)
1958 United States Pancho Gonzales Australia Lew Hoad 3–6, 4–6, 14–12, 6–1, 6–4 Cleveland Arena (indoor)
1959 United States Pancho Gonzales Australia Lew Hoad 6–4, 6–2, 6–4 Cleveland Arena (indoor)
1960 United States Alex Olmedo United States Tony Trabert 7–5, 6–4 Cleveland Arena (indoor)
1961 United States Pancho Gonzales Australia Frank Sedgman 6–3, 7–5 Cleveland Arena (indoor)
1962 United States Butch Buchholz United States Pancho Segura 6–4, 6–3, 6–4 Cleveland Arena (indoor)
1963 Australia Ken Rosewall Australia Rod Laver 6–4, 6–2, 6–2 West Side Tennis Club Grass
1964 Australia Rod Laver United States Pancho Gonzales 4–6, 6–3, 7–5, 6–4 Longwood Cricket Club Grass
1965 Australia Ken Rosewall Australia Rod Laver 6–4, 6–3, 6–3 Longwood Cricket Club Grass
1966 Australia Rod Laver Australia Ken Rosewall 6–4, 4–6, 6–2, 8–10, 6–3 Longwood Cricket Club Grass
1967 Australia Rod Laver Spain Andrés Gimeno 4–6, 6–4, 6–3, 7–5 Longwood Cricket Club Grass
Open Era
1968 Australia Rod Laver Australia John Newcombe 6–4, 6–4, 9–7 Longwood Cricket Club Grass
1969 Australia Rod Laver Australia John Newcombe 7–5, 6–2, 4–6, 6–1 Longwood Cricket Club Uni-Turf
1970 Australia Tony Roche Australia Rod Laver 3–6, 6–4, 1–6, 6–2, 6–2 Longwood Cricket Club Hard
1971 Australia Ken Rosewall South Africa Cliff Drysdale 6–4, 6–3, 6–0 Longwood Cricket Club Hard
1972 United States Bob Lutz Netherlands Tom Okker 6–4, 2–6, 6–4, 6–4 Longwood Cricket Club Hard
1973 United States Jimmy Connors United States Arthur Ashe 6–3, 4–6, 6–4, 3–6, 6–2 Longwood Cricket Club Hard
1974 Sweden Björn Borg Netherlands Tom Okker 7–6, 6–1, 6–1 Longwood Cricket Club Har-Tru
1975 Sweden Björn Borg Argentina Guillermo Vilas 6–3, 6–4, 6–2 Longwood Cricket Club Har-Tru
1976 Sweden Björn Borg United States Harold Solomon 6–7, 6–4, 6–1, 6–2 Longwood Cricket Club Har-Tru
1977 Spain Manuel Orantes United States Eddie Dibbs 7–6, 7–5, 6–4 Longwood Cricket Club Har-Tru
1978 Spain Manuel Orantes United States Harold Solomon 6–4, 6–3 Longwood Cricket Club Har-Tru
1979 Spain José Higueras Chile Hans Gildemeister 6–3, 6–1 Longwood Cricket Club Har-Tru
1980 United States Eddie Dibbs Argentina José Luis Clerc 6–2, 6–1 Longwood Cricket Club Har-Tru
1981 Argentina José Luis Clerc Chile Hans Gildemeister 0–6, 6–2, 6–2 Longwood Cricket Club Har-Tru
1982 Argentina Guillermo Vilas United States Mel Purcell 6–4, 6–0 Longwood Cricket Club Har-Tru
1983 Argentina José Luis Clerc United States Jimmy Arias 6–3, 3–6, 6–0 Longwood Cricket Club Har-Tru
1984 United States Aaron Krickstein Argentina José Luis Clerc 7–6, 3–6, 6–4 Longwood Cricket Club Har-Tru
1985 Sweden Mats Wilander Argentina Martín Jaite 6–2, 6–4 Longwood Cricket Club Har-Tru
1986 Ecuador Andrés Gómez Argentina Martín Jaite 7–5, 6–4 Longwood Cricket Club Har-Tru
1987 Sweden Mats Wilander Sweden Kent Carlsson 7–6, 6–1 Longwood Cricket Club Har-Tru
1988 Austria Thomas Muster United States Lawson Duncan 6–2, 6–2 Longwood Cricket Club Har-Tru
1989 Ecuador Andrés Gómez Sweden Mats Wilander 6–1, 6–4 Longwood Cricket Club Har-Tru
1990c Argentina Martín Jaite Czechoslovakia Libor Němeček Longwood Cricket Club Har-Tru
1991 Ecuador Andrés Gómez Soviet Union Andrei Cherkasov Longwood Cricket Club Har-Tru
1992 United States Ivan Lendl United States Richey Reneberg 6–3, 6–3 Longwood Cricket Club DecoTurf
1993 United States Ivan Lendl United States Todd Martin 5–7, 6–3, 7–6 Longwood Cricket Club DecoTurf
1994 United States Ivan Lendl United States MaliVai Washington 7–5, 7–6 Longwood Cricket Club DecoTurf
1995 Not completed due to rain
1996 Not held
1997 Netherlands Sjeng Schalken Chile Marcelo Ríos 7–5, 6–3 Longwood Cricket Club DecoTurf
1998 United States Michael Chang Netherlands Paul Haarhuis 6–3, 6–4 Longwood Cricket Club DecoTurf
1999 Russia Marat Safin United Kingdom Greg Rusedski 6–4, 7–6(11) Longwood Cricket Club DecoTurf

Notes:

a This tournament, the first pro event open to amateur players, is considered by some as both the U.S. Pro Tennis Championship and first "U.S. Open" event (then the U.S. Open was again held from 1938 to 1941 at Greenbrier but as a separate event from the U.S. Pro held in Chicago or in L.A).

b These tournaments from 1950–1962, considered as the U.S. Pro for the season, were billed the World Pro Championship with the exception of 1951, where a separate U.S. Pro and World Pro in Cleveland were held.

r For 1951, the tournament was played under Round Robin format with Seguara 4–0 and Gonzalez 3–1 as final standings.

v For 1955-56, the matches were played under Van Alen scoring system.

c From 1990 to 1995, the U.S. Pro event appears to have been an exhibition and not part of the ATP tour.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Collins, Bud (2010). The Bud Collins History of Tennis (2nd ed.). [New York]: New Chapter Press. p. 752. ISBN 978-0942257700.