NY Open debuts At West Side Tennis Club
by Lydia Stetson
Jul 10, 2013 | 2681 views | 0 0 comments | 159 159 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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The West Side Tennis Club (WSTC) in Forest Hills hosted the first annual New York Open tennis tournament last weekend on the hard courts at the legendary tennis stadium.

The citywide tennis tournament was open to players from all five boroughs, and included a women’s singles, men’s singles and men’s doubles competitions.

For $12, tennis lovers were invited to catch a glimpse of the 23 men, 10 women, and seven doubles teams competing for the new title.

Most of the players were in their 20s and consisted of high-ranked players from various New York City colleges, such as Columbia, Saint John’s and Queens College. Some of the much-talked players included Winston Lin, the number one tennis player for Columbia and St. John’s.

Dale Caldwell, author of Tennis in New York and former director at large for the United States Tennis Association (USTA), helped organize the New York Open.

“What we want to do is really sell tennis,” Caldwell said. “But the trick in doing this is creating a destination and to have some sort of entertainment. Unfortunately, tennis itself won’t sell. That‘s why we’ve been combining the tournament with other events.”

Caldwell wants to grow the Open with other events, such as film screenings, music, guest speakers and more.

On Friday, July 5, the club played host to an IMAX film in the stadium followed by a live jazz event on Saturday.

With permission to put together the event just four months prior, Caldwell and other WSTC board members worked tirelessly to pull it off, spending around $50,000 in total to organize the entire event.

The tournament turned out to be a hit, bringing in a large variety of tennis fans excited to see professional tennis returning to the historic club.

“We are thrilled to have tennis back in our stadium” said Beatrice Hunt, a board member of the WSTC for 42 years. “We held the U.S. Open till 1977, the Game of Champions till 1990, and other professional tournaments in the past, so when Dale approached us about the N.Y. Open, we were just thrilled.”

In addition to bringing tennis back to the club, live music is also returning to the stadium with a Mumford and Sons concert on August 28.

St. John’s University player Gary Kushnirovich was excited to compete and also play at WSTC for his first time.

“Playing at West Side has been pretty awesome,” Kushnirovich said. “My first match during the quarterfinals was in the stadium court, and you’re just standing there looking at all the seats, it’s really intense.

“There’s a lot of history there which can be seen by a few cracks on the court,” he added, “but when you see the great lawn and grass courts, it’s pretty remarkable.”

FINALS RESULTS Men's Open Singles

F (1) Winston Lin d. (2) Richard Del Nunzio 6-3; 3-6; 3-0Ret (ill)

SF (2) Richard Del Nunzio d. (3) Raj Vaswani 6-0; 6-3

SF (1) Winston Lin d. (4) Gary Kushnirovich 6-4; 7-5

Q (2) Richard Del Nunzio d. Chris Efstathiou 6-1; 6-0

Women's Open Singles

F Nino Lagvilava d. (2) Elizabeth Kobak 6-3; 1-0Ret (inj)

SF (2) Elizabeth Kobak d. Nina Mayevska 6-0; 6-0

SF Nino Lagvilava d. Eva Raszkiewicz 6-0; 6-4

Q (2) Elizabeth Kobak d. Meredith Wilson 6-0; 6-0

Men's Open Doubles

F (1) Natale/Speirs d. (2) Del Nunzio/Finch 6-3; 1-6; 7-6(7)

SF (2) Del Nunzio/Finch d. Alcayaga/Dorin 6-1; 6-3

SF (1) Natale/Speirs d. Ducarme/Van Winkle Wo (emerg)

Q (2) Del Nunzio/Finch d. Fallon/Nurenberg 6-4; 6-2
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