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Club of Dreams: The Golden Age of the Los Angeles Tennis Club

Tom LeCompte

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The Los Angeles Tennis Club. The title there meant the most to Jack Kramer.

Before his death, Jack Kramer, tennis legend and winner of 10 major titles, had just a single trophy on display at his modest Los Angeles home. Not from Wimbledon or Forest Hills or the Davis Cup. It was his club championship trophy.

That might seem odd, given Kramer's achievements and stature. But that trophy was no ordinary trophy from no ordinary tennis club. Winning the Pacific Southwest Championships trophy at the Los Angeles Tennis Club meant you were one of the top five players in the world.

For Kramer, it was also a sentimental choice, for it was at the Los Angeles Tennis Club that he learned to play the game. As a junior, he sparred against adult members including Bill Tilden and Ellsworth Vines, as well as future champions such as Don Budge, Bobby Riggs, Ted Schroeder and Bob Falkenburg.

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Tom LeCompte is a freelance writer based in Boston. He is the author of the acclaimed biography: The Last Sure Thing: The Life and Times of Bobby Riggs.

The Last Sure Thing: The Life and Times of Bobby Riggs.

Bobby Riggs was a gifted champion who dominated tennis in both the amateur and pro ranks, winning 3 Grand Slam singles titles, and 3 U.S. professional titles. He was a life long opponent of the tennis establishment, a hustler who had an obsessive gambling proclivity and a troubled family history. His playing accomplishments were overshadowed by the hype surrounding his stunning straight set loss to Billie Jean King in the 1973 Battle of the Sexes. Read the real story of one of the great personalities in tennis history.

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