Gene Scott (tennis)
|Full name||Eugene L. Scott|
|Country (sports)||United States|
|Residence||New York, United States|
December 28, 1937|
New York, United States
|Died||March 20, 2006(aged 68)|
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Turned pro||1968 (amateur tour from 1951)|
|Int. Tennis HoF||2008 (member page)|
|Highest ranking||No. 11 (1965, World's Top 20)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||2R (1964)|
|French Open||QF (1964)|
|Wimbledon||3R (1964, 1965)|
|US Open||SF (1967)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||2R (1964)|
Scott was the grandson of Dr. Eugene C. Sullivan, one of the inventors of Pyrex and chair and president of Corning Glass Works. He graduated with a BA in history from Yale University in 1960, where he was a member of Skull and Bones and lettered in tennis, hockey, soccer, and lacrosse. He earned a law degree from the University of Virginia in 1964.
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. 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 1974.
Later in life Scott remained among the best players in the world in his age group. 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 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.
Although Scott remained active as a Court Tennis player, which he played at The Racquet Club on Park Avenue, Gene 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. At heart, Scott was an educator. He took great pride in nurturing young writers and was not afraid to criticize their work—sometimes harshly. He was also a mentor, on and off court, to the flamboyant young talent called 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. 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
Scott died of heart disease at the age of 68 and was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2008 in the "contributor" category. The impact Gene Scott had on the tennis world was clear for all to see at his Memorial service held at a large church on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The crowds spilled out onto the sidewalk, offering a true reflection of how many lives gene had touched.
- "Gene Scott: A pioneer and promoter who shaped open tennis", Addvantage USPTA, May 2006.
- Litsky, Frank (March 23, 2006). "Gene Scott, 68, Publisher of Tennis Week, Is Dead". NY Times. Retrieved September 20, 2009.
- "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.
- Hall of Fame