Gene Scott (tennis)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Gene Scott
Full name Eugene L. Scott
Country (sports)  United States
Born (1937-12-28)December 28, 1937
New York, U.S.
Died March 20, 2006(2006-03-20) (aged 68)
Rochester, Minnesota, U.S.
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Turned pro 1968 (amateur tour from 1951)
Retired 1975
Plays Right-handed
Int. Tennis HoF 2008 (member page)
Career record 39–47
Highest ranking No. 11 (1965, World's Top 20)[1]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open 2R (1964)
French Open QF (1964)
Wimbledon 3R (1964, 1965)
US Open SF (1967)
Career record 12–22
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open 2R (1964)

Eugene Lytton Scott (December 28, 1937 – March 20, 2006) was an American tennis player, tournament director, author and publisher. His active tennis career lasted from the 1950s to mid-1970s.

Early years[edit]

Scott was the grandson of Dr. Eugene C. Sullivan, one of the inventors of Pyrex and chair and president of Corning Glass Works.[2] He graduated with a BA in history from Yale University in 1960, where he was a member of Skull and Bones[3] and lettered in tennis, hockey, soccer, and lacrosse.[2] He earned a law degree from the University of Virginia in 1964.[2]

Tennis career[edit]

Gene Scott's highest U.S. ranking as an amateur was No. 4 in 1963, whilst he reached as high as World No. 11 in 1965.[1] At the time he was a member of the United States Davis Cup team, and was both teammate and roommate of Arthur Ashe. They remained friends and, with Charlie Pasarell and Sheridan Snyder, founded the National Junior Tennis League in 1969. He founded the magazine Tennis Week in May 1974.[4]

Later in life Scott remained among the best players in the world in his age group. He won the USTA Men's 65 Clay Court Championships held at New Orleans Lawn Tennis Club in 2002. He won the USTA Men's 65 Grass Court Championships in September 2004, and the International Tennis Federation's Men's Super-Seniors World Individual Championships in the 65 division a week later. Scott also played real tennis at New York City's Racquet and Tennis Club.

Scott grew up in St. James, NY, and played varsity hockey, track, soccer, and tennis at St. Mark's School in Southborough, Mass. At Yale, Scott earned letters in hockey, soccer, lacrosse, and tennis.[4]

Scott competed in the Davis Cup in 1963 and 1965, and his 1963 singles and doubles victories helped the United States win the Cup that year. Scott also made it to the semifinals of the U.S. Championships at Forest Hills in 1967 and the quarterfinals of the French Championships in 1964. In 1963 he won the singles title at the Eastern Grass Court Championships in South Orange after a straight sets victory in the final against compatriot Marty Riessen.[5]

Although Scott remained active as a court tennis player, which he played at The Racquet Club on Park Avenue, he became one of the major figures in American tennis through his publication Tennis Week which he founded, published and edited. His editorials—perceptive, authoritative and sometimes whimsical—were considered a must read for all the game's insiders as well as a tennis public who became educated about the game as a result of reading them.[4] He was an educator who took pride in nurturing young writers and was not afraid to criticize their work.

He was also a mentor, on and off court, to the flamboyant young talent Vitas Gerulaitis who regularly turned to Gene for advice as he rose up the world rankings. Scott ran tournaments in New York and New Jersey for many years before taking over as tournament director of the ATP Masters at Madison Square Garden.[4] In 1990, he was asked to start up the Kremlin Cup, a new ATP event in Moscow, with a remit to produce with one million dollars in sponsorship in nine months. With some assistance from the Kremlin itself, where Boris Yeltsin, a tennis fanatic, was busy installing himself as President of Russia, Scott came up with Bayer as his first title sponsor and the tournament, played inside the vast Olympic Arena, immediately drew some of the largest crowds on the ATP tour.

Death and legacy[edit]

Scott died of heart disease at the age of 68[2] and was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame (ITHF) in 2008 in the "contributor" category.[6] Since 2006 the ITHF annually presents the Eugene L. Scott Award to an individual who "embodies Scott's commitment to communicating honestly and critically about the game, and who has had a significant impact on the tennis world."[4]


  1. ^ a b "Gene Scott: A pioneer and promoter who shaped open tennis", Addvantage USPTA, May 2006.
  2. ^ a b c d Litsky, Frank (March 23, 2006). "Gene Scott, 68, Publisher of Tennis Week, Is Dead". NY Times. Retrieved September 20, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Miss MacLeod Wed to Eugene Scott: '62 Debutante Bride of Lawyer, a Yale Alumnus, on L.I.". New York Times. July 17, 1966. p. 62. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Richard Pagliaro (December 28, 2017). "Remembering an Icon: Hall of Famer Gene Scott". Tennis Now. 
  5. ^ Lincoln A. Werden (August 1, 1964). "Graebner Upsets Riessen and Froehling Beats Pasarell in Eastern Tennis". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ International Tennis Hall of Fame Archived July 22, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]