Tag Archives: West Side Tennis Club

BP Katz commemorates Beatles anniversary


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Borough President Melinda Katz appeared on the “Jim Kerr Rock ‘n Roll Morning Show” on Q104.3 Friday to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles first visit to America.

It was 50 years ago today when the flight carrying the “Fab  Four”  to the U.S. arrived at John F.  Kennedy Airport, where they were greeted by thousands of screaming fans and a huge throng of reporters who came to the airport for the Beatles’ first U.S. press conference.

Since that day the borough of Queens has played host to several other major Beatles events, including their August 1964 concerts at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills and their 1965 and 1966 shows at Shea Stadium (with the sold out 1965 show being the first concert ever to be performed in a major sports stadium).

In recent years Sir Paul McCartney has made several trips to Queens for performances at Shea Stadium and Citi Field, and visited the Frank Sinatra School for the Arts in Astoria this fall, where he performed for and took questions from students.

During her radio appearance, the Borough President presented host Jim Kerr with a proclamation that notes all those important Beatles events. and pays tribute to the band for the great joy and excitement it has brought to people throughout the world.

“Beginning with their arrival in the U.S. during the dark days after the assassination John F. Kennedy, The Beatles have had a profound positive impact on our nation and have brightened the lives of countless millions of people,” Katz said. “As Borough President and as a lifelong Queens resident, I am proud that our borough has played such an important role in Beatles history. Thank you to Jim Kerr and everyone at Q104.3 for inviting me to their station to help mark today’s anniversary.”

 

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Where to play tennis in Queens


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Shamanth Rao

The U.S. Open is not the only place to play tennis in Queens. In honor of the end of the tournament, here are places where you can work on your serve, backhand and other racket skills in the borough, from private clubs to city park courts. 

 

Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
Flushing Meadow-Corona Park

The location of the U.S. Open, it also offers several different tennis programs, including junior tennis camps, adult lessons and private instruction with certified tennis professionals.

BumbleBee Tennis
21st Street, Astoria, 347-284-6061

There are lessons for kids starting at 2-years-old, instruction for adults, even beginners, and a cardio tennis program.

CityView Racquet Club
43-34 32nd Place, Long Island City, 718-389-6252

At this private club members can play tennis, squash or enjoy its fitness area, full service spa, juice bar, cocktail lounge and outdoor deck with a skyline view of Manhattan.

Cunningham Tennis Center
196-00 Union Turnpike, Fresh Meadows, 718-740-6800

It has a junior development program beginning at 4-years-old, various lessons for adults, and private or semi-private lessons seven days a week.

North Shore Tennis and Racquets Club
34-28 214th Place, Bayside, 718-229–9579

This tennis club has Har-Tru tennis courts, two platform tennis courts, lit for night play year-round and two squash courts, as well as lessons from tennis pros.

NYC Parks tennis courts
Various locations throughout Queens

Throughout the borough, you can play at one of the many tennis courts located at city parks and playgrounds. Some can be set aside by reservation and others are open to walk-ons.

West Side Tennis Club
1 Tennis Place, Forest Hills, 718-268-2300

The West Side Tennis Club has 38 courts with many different surfaces, including Har-Tru, red clay and Deco Turf, and bubble and platform tennis courts for when the weather gets cold.

Youth and Tennis Academy
Various locations in Queens, 718-658-6728

Tennis instruction is offered throughout the year for pre-school through high school aged children at different facilities in Queens.

 

 

Game’s still on at West Side Tennis Club


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Shamanth Rao

BY SHAMANTH RAO

The rhythmic thwacks of tennis balls hit by wooden rackets resounded once again across the grass courts at the West Side Tennis Club on a recent Saturday morning amid the rumble of the occasional passing Long Island Railroad train.

Some 35 years after the U.S. Open ended its six-decade run at the fabled Forest Hills tennis haven, players took to the courts on August 18 for the first edition of the Evian Wood Racquet Cup. The event, which came just over a week before the start of the U.S. Open in Flushing, marked part of an effort to revive tennis at the historic venue with everything from new tournaments to lessons for children.

“This event is a great way to remember the past in a relaxed and fun way,” said Jason Zone Fisher, who was master of ceremonies for the Evian Cup.

The member-owned West Side Tennis Club is a long way from its heyday, which ended with the United State Tennis Association’s decision to move the Open to a more modern facility in Flushing Meadows in 1978, a year after Guillermo Vilas and Chris Evert won the event. The Club stayed alive by hosting the Tournament of Champions in the 1980s, and subsequently housing smaller tournaments.

In recent years, financial issues – including upkeep of the near-century-old complex – forced Club leaders to explore selling the property. A $10 million deal to sell to condo developer Cord Meyer was rejected by members in 2010, much to the relief of many tennis fans.

In May 2011, the Landmark Preservation Commission rejected a bid to landmark the complex’s 15,000-seat tennis stadium “due to the deteriorated state of the building’s architectural features.”

Bob Ingersole, tennis director of the West Side Tennis Club, said the Club’s finances have “gone from poor to improving to stable.”

“We are now in the black,” he said, declining to offer more details or discuss other sale possibilities.

The Club has worked to increase its member base, Ingersole said, attracting more than 100 new members in recent months and bringing in more tournaments. In late August, the club held the Nesquik “Little Mo” International Open for kids, an event that featured appearances by Max Mirnyi and the Bryan brothers.

While it’s trying to keep up with the times, the West Side Tennis Club still feels right out of a past age. Colorful parasols, white chairs, fading photographs and polished name boards stand amid meticulously trimmed grass courts.

Bitsy Metcalf, who grew up learning tennis in New Orleans and wants to start playing regularly again, enjoyed the wood racquet retro-themed Evian Cup.

“I’d love to come back,” said Metcalf, 29.

 

Tennis might come back to Forest Hills Stadium


| smosco@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy of Michael Perlman, Rego-Forest Preservation Council

A historic Queens stadium might once again serve up tennis.

Reports have revealed the latest bid to save the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium is coming from Stadium Arts Alliance, a nonprofit that wants to redesign the site and convert it into a space for tennis, concerts, art shows and possibly minor league hockey.

The nonprofit is one of the groups that submitted a proposal to the West Side Tennis Stadium’s Request for Proposals – which ended on November 4.

Besides the Stadium Arts Alliance’s proposal, Cord Meyer proposed a new plan for condos, and other proposals also involved demolition for residential development. This is the second redevelopment plan proposed by Cord Meyer, the first of which was voted down in October of 2010.

Since that vote failed, the West Side Tennis Club voted out Kenneth Parker, the club’s president who was in favor of condo development, in favor of new president Roland Meier.

For any proposal to materialize, it would be subject to a review by the Stadium Committee, and in 2012, it would need to pass by a 2/3 vote of the West Side Tennis Club’s voting-eligible members, followed by approval of the Forest Hills Gardens Corporation.

Michael Perlman of the Rego-Forest Preservation Council said that a creative revitalization of the property would serve the surrounding community – and the history of the stadium.

“I feel that mixed-use creative revitalization and restoration for our country’s first concrete tennis stadium, and home to firsts in the tennis and music world, will convey historic pride, create jobs, and be a boost to our quality of life, character, property values, and local business, as well as become a 21st-century family destination,” he said. “We will support any plan that preserves and restores the stadium, while sensitively adapting it for mixed-use incentives involving tennis and/or other sports, concerts, and music and art festivals.”

The Stadium Arts Alliance is comprised of developer and president Kevin McCabe and chairman John Banks. McCabe is the founding partner and chief executive of the Aviator Sports & Events Center at Floyd Bennett Field, and John Banks is the vice president of government relations for Con Edison and a New York Public Library and MTA board member.

Neither McCabe nor Banks returned The Courier’s requests for comment.

Girls grab victory: Kew-Forest wins tennis, volleyball


| smosco@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy of Kew-Forest. Kew-Forest’s volleyball team netted a championship

The Kew-Forest School showed just how skilled its athletes are by capturing both the volleyball and varsity tennis girls’ championships in the span of one week – capturing the 2011 Private Parochial School Athletic League (IPPAL) Championships, capping off both teams’ impressive seasons.

On October 25, the varsity volleyball team defeated Lawrence-Woodmere in a match played at the Lexington School. Led by coach Adreama Mackey and team captains Maria Tsiatis and Lexis Valentine, the Jaguars won 2-1. After losing their first set 19-25, the Jaguars hit their stride and went on to win the next two sets. The second set resulted in a 25-22 win, and in their final set, they achieved a decisive victory of 25-10.

“After losing the first set, we were really determined to get it back,” said co-captain Maria Tsiatis. “It was really intense — they were a great team and we had to play our best to beat them. We saw what it means to work hard and see the results. Five of us are graduating, and winning it all meant so much.”

The team’s victory gave them a 7-1 record on the year.

On the tennis court, Kew-Forest defeated last year’s champions, the Portledge School, 3-2, for the championship. The Jaguars secured victory under the leadership of captain Whitney Schott to complete a successful 9-1 season for the team.

One of the key players, sophomore Grace Tom, played on both the tennis and volleyball teams, helping bring home both championships. Until this year, Kew-Forest had not fielded a girls’ tennis team for decades. In prior years, female players participated on the boys’ team, where they played a significant role in achieving a championship win last year.

The formation of the girls team has been invigorated by last year’s launch of the Kew-Forest Tennis Academy at the West Side Tennis Club, a partnership between the school and the tennis club. The Academy provides a unique interface between college-preparatory academics and competitive athletics — giving students three hours of daily practice and tennis pro instruction during the academic year. Scott Gordon-Somers, Director of Sport, Health and Wellness at Kew-Forest and acting girls’ tennis coach, has been key in the development of the Girls Varsity Team and the Academy.