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The Los Angeles Tennis Club:
A Condensed History

Tom LeCompte

Printable Version

Hollywood and Vine—circa 1920.

In 1920, Vine Street down from Hollywood Boulevard was little more than a passable roadway lined with pepper trees. Melrose Avenue was an unpaved "cowpath," according to the Los Angeles Tennis Club's official history. Nevertheless, by the time a group of tennis enthusiasts decided Los Angeles should have a club devoted to the sport they loved, Southern California had long been known for tennis. (Click Here for part 1 on the golden age of the club.)

There was May Sutton, a child phenom who as a 12-year-old in 1908, beat the 1899 U.S. women's singles champion. Then as a 16-year-old, May won the U.S. singles title. At 17 won shethe first of two Wimbledon singles titles. She and three of her four sisters—all formidable players—formed the core of a Southern Cal tennis dynasty that continuedwell into the new century.

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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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