HISTORY

HALL OF FAME

The Greater Cincinnati Tennis Association was founded in 1980 by a group of individuals who wanted to continue to promote the sport of tennis in Cincinnati. Originally the GCTA had only a small group of Cincinnati tennis supporters - it has since grown in its 28+ year history to thousands of members today.

 

With deep appreciation, the GCTA thanks the following individuals who have so willingly devoted their time and efforts to the development of tennis in Greater Cincinnati.

 

Past Presidents of the GCTA

W. Joseph Dehner 1980-1981

Geoffrey Crawford 1981-1983

Jack Guggenheim, Jr. 1983-1985

Tom Bohmer 1985-1986

Dr. John H.K. Yuan 1986-1987

Joseph Corey 1987-1988

William Lofgren 1988-1989

Marlin Marshall 1989-1991

Douglas Corn 1991-1992

Kevin Molony 1992-1994

Thomas Guenther 1994-1996

Heather Hairston 1996-1998

Brian Nester 1998-2000

Jim Farley 2000-2003

Brett DeCurtins 2003-2005

Brian Leshner 2005-2006

Joy Albi 2006-2008

Philip S. Smith 2008-2009

Carole Meldon 2009-2012
Joe Wilkerson 2012-2015

Matt Dektas 2016-current
 

 

Tennis In Cincinnati

Stewart Shillito, the son of John Shillito, the founder of the Cincinnati department store, Shillito's, had seen tennis played while on vacation at the fashionable seaside resort of Narragansett Pier, Rhode Island. In 1878 he decided to build a court at his father's home on Highland Avenue and Oak Street in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Mt. Auburn. It was the first tennis court ever seen in Cincinnati. After the first court was built, interest spread rapidly among enthusiastic friends of Shillito, and by 1880, Cincinnati was ready for a tennis club. The Cincinnati Tennis Club was born December 3, 1880 and it is now one of the oldest active clubs in the nation.

 

Professional Tennis in Cincinnati

On September 18, 1899, the Cincinnati Open was held for the first time on the courts of the Avondale Athletic Club. Top national players of the day were in the field, including future International Tennis Hall of Fame enshrinee Juliette Atkinson. The tournament grew over the years, and is now the oldest tournament in the nation played in its original city. Now known as the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters & Women's Open, the men's event is a member of the elite ATP Masters 1000, a group of tournaments which are mandatory for the top players to play. The women's event is a Premier event on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, and attracts seven or eight of the top 10 players. Both feature 56-player singles draws and both are held at the world-class Lindner Family Tennis Center in the Cincinnati suburb of Mason.

The Cincinnati Tennis Hall of Fame was established to honor the rich history, tradition and legacy of tennis in Cincinnati by recognizing individuals who have distinguished themselves and their sport, both on and off the court.

 

For a complete list of the Hall of Famers who've been enshrined to date, please click here to download a pdf to your desktop.

 

The 2018 Hall of Fame Class of Enshrinees were inducted on Sunday, August 12, 2018. This year's honorees include:

  • Kathy Barton

  • Elaine Bruening

  • William Chambers

  • Richard Friedman

  • Karen Montavon

Chair: Dick Friedman

Past Chair: Bill Lofgren

 

Selections Committee

Bill Lofgren

Steve Contardi

Phil Smith

Jim Farley

Brian Leshner

Kathy Graeter

Dick Friedman

 

Program Committee

Carole Meldon

Carolyn Adam

Caitlin Whitehurst

Karen Montavon

Dick Friedman

Margi Hardigg

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