The West Hants Club
The West Hants Club (often known simply as West Hants) is a sports and fitness club situated just outside Bournemouth, Dorset in the south of England. The club is primarily a tennis club but also incorporates a gym, swimming pool and squash and racquetball courts.
West Hants was opened in 1926 and two years later the club began hosting the British Hard Court Championships, an event that was held there for 55 years until 1983. The 1968 British Hard Court Championships was the first 'open' tournament of the so-called Open Era, where both professionals and amateurs could compete.
Major tennis tournaments
British Hard Court Championships
In 1928, two years after the formation of the club, West Hants hosted the British Hard Court Championships. The event attracted a host of notable names over the 55 years it was held, including Virginia Wade, Rod Laver, Fred Perry, Ken Rosewall, Ann Jones, Ilie Năstase, Evonne Goolagong and many more.
The club is also notable for having held the first 'open' event of tennis' Open Era, a tournament that admitted both amateurs and professionals to compete. The Hardcourt Championships was one of 12 to be granted a privileged status as the host of professional tennis.
West Hants hosted the men's tournaments at the Bournemouth International from 1996 to 2000, the only British event held on clay. The tournament was won by Albert Costa in 1996 and Félix Mantilla in 1997 and 1998. Adrian Voinea emerged victorious in 1999 before the tournament relocated to Brighton and was staged on hard courts. Greg Rusedski was the most successful British player when he reached the semi-finals in 1997 losing to Carlos Moyá.
- "Club History". The West Hants Club. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
- Roberts, John (17 September 1999). "Bournemouth seeking prime-time slot". 17 September 1999. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
- "Amateurs Performing Well In First Open Tennis Meet". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. 23 April 1968. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
- Harman, Neil (23 April 2008). "Andy Murray beginning to fit clay-court mould". Times Online. Times Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
- Roberts, John (14 September 1997). "Rusedski runs out of gas". Independent. Independent Print Limited. Retrieved 22 October 2010.