U.S. Pro Tennis Championships
The U.S. Pro Tennis Championships (also for a period known as the World Pro Championships) was the oldest professional tennis tournament played until its final year of 1999 and is considered as a part of the professional grand slam from 1927–1967 until the advent of Open Era. Pancho Gonzales holds the record for most wins with eight. In 1960, the Cleveland World Pro had a women's draw, with Althea Gibson defeating Pauline Betz in the women's final.
|U.S. Pro Tennis Championships|
|Defunct tennis tournament|
|Tour||USA Pro Tour (1927–69) |
Grand Prix Circuit (1970–89)
ATP World Tour (1990–)
|Surface||Grass, Clay, Wood, Hard|
American's first prominent professional player, Vinny Richards, arranged what became the first U.S. Pro by negotiating with Doc Kelton to have a tournament played at the Notlek Tennis Club, located at 119th Street and Riverside Drive in Manhattan, New York, on September 23–25, 1927. Richards, tour pro Howard Kinsey and teaching pros from the eastern U.S. comprised the field, with Richards defeating Kinsey in the final in straight sets, a victory which earned him $1,000 first-prize money.
The tournament was subsequently held annually at various locations including the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, New York City, the South Shore Tennis Club in Chicago, in Rye, New York, at the Terrace Club in Brooklyn, the Chicago Town and Tennis Club in Chicago, at the L.A. Tennis Club in Los Angeles, at various clubs around Cleveland, Ohio, and Cleveland Arena in Cleveland. In 1954, the USPLTA authorized Kramer to hold the U.S. Pro Championship at the L.A. Tennis Club in California, Gonzales winning the event, and the Benrus Cup (emblematic of the U.S. Pro) was awarded to Gonzales. Its final permanent home was the Longwood Cricket Club in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, where it was held from 1964 to 1999. It became part of the Grand Prix Tennis Tour shortly after the advent of open tennis in 1968. Between 1970 and 1977 it was a prominent tournament of the Grand Prix Super Series. It then became a tennis event within the ATP Tour with reorganization of the top tier of pro tour tennis.
The tournament was later played on Har-Tru clay courts and was initially an important tune-up event for the U.S. Open. But when this Grand Slam tournament moved to hardcourts in 1978, the U.S. Pro did not follow suit, electing instead to hold its tournament during the U.S. clay court season in early summer instead of during its hitherto pre-Open era (late summer) time slot. Remaining a clay event into the 1990s, the U.S. Pro was a non-ATP exhibition event during the early 1990s. It was only in its final three years that the tournament was once again an ATP event and played on hardcourts.
|1927||Vinny Richards||Howard Kinsey||11–9, 6–4, 6–3||Notlek courts, Brooklyn||Grass|
|1928||Vinny Richards||Karel Koželuh||8–6, 6–3, 0–6, 6–2||West Side Tennis Club||Grass|
|1929||Karel Koželuh||Vinny Richards||6–4, 6–4, 4–6, 4–6, 7–5||West Side Tennis Club||Grass|
|1930||Vinny Richards||Karel Koželuh||2–6, 10–8, 6–3, 6–4||West Side Tennis Club||Grass|
|1931||Bill Tilden||Vinny Richards||7–5, 6–2, 6–1||West Side Tennis Club||Grass|
|1932||Karel Koželuh||Hans Nüsslein||6–2, 6–2, 7–5||South Shore Country Club||Clay|
|1933||Vinny Richards||Frank Hunter||6–3, 6–0, 6–2||Westchester Country Club||Grass|
|1934||Hans Nüsslein||Karel Koželuh||6–4, 6–2, 1–6, 7–5||South Shore Country Club||Clay|
|1935||Bill Tilden||Karel Koželuh||0–6, 6–1, 6–4, 0–6, 6–4||Terrace Club, Brooklyn||Clay|
|1936||Joe Whalen||Charles Wood||4–6, 4–6, 6–3, 6–2, 6–3||Tudor City Tennis Club, New York||Clay|
|1937a||Karel Koželuh||Bruce Barnes||6–2, 6–3, 4–6, 4–6, 6–1||Greenbrier||Clay|
|1938||Fred Perry||Bruce Barnes||6–3, 6–2, 6–4||Chicago Arena||Canvas (i)|
|1939||Ellsworth Vines||Fred Perry||8–6, 6–8, 6–1, 20–18||Beverly Hills Tennis Club||Hard|
|1940||Don Budge||Fred Perry||6–3, 5–7, 6–4, 6–3||Chicago Town and Tennis Club||Clay|
|1941||Fred Perry||Dick Skeen||6–4, 6–8, 6–2, 6–3||Chicago Town and Tennis Club||Clay|
|1942||Don Budge||Bobby Riggs||6–2, 6–2, 6–2||West Side Tennis Club||Grass|
|1943||Bruce Barnes||John Nogrady||6–1, 7–9, 7–5, 4–6, 6–3||Fort Knox||Clay|
|1945||Welby Van Horn||John Nogrady||6–4, 6–2, 6–2||Rips Tennis Courts, Manhattan||Clay|
|1946||Bobby Riggs||Don Budge||6–3, 6–1, 6–1||West Side Tennis Club||Grass|
|1947||Bobby Riggs||Don Budge||3–6, 6–3, 10–8, 4–6, 6–3||West Side Tennis Club||Grass|
|1948||Jack Kramer||Bobby Riggs||14–12, 6–2, 3–6, 6–3||West Side Tennis Club||Grass|
|1949||Bobby Riggs||Don Budge||9–7, 3–6, 6–3, 7–5||West Side Tennis Club||Grass|
|1950b||Pancho Segura||Frank Kovacs||6–1, 1–6, 8–6, 4–4 rtd||Skating Club, Cleveland||Clay (i)|
|1951||Pancho Segura||Pancho Gonzales||6–3, 6–4, 6–2r||West Side Tennis Club||Grass|
|1952||Pancho Segura||Pancho Gonzales||3–6, 6–4, 3–6, 6–4, 6–0||Lakewood, Cleveland||Hard (i)|
|1953||Pancho Gonzales||Don Budge||4–6, 6–4, 7–5, 6–2||Lakewood, Cleveland||Hard (i)|
|1954||Pancho Gonzales||Pancho Segura||6–4, 4–6, 2–6, 6–2, 6–4||Los Angeles Tennis Club||Cement|
|1955||Pancho Gonzales||Pancho Segura||21–16, 19–21, 21–8, 20–22, 21–19v||Cleveland Arena||Hard (i)|
|1956||Pancho Gonzales||Pancho Segura||21–15, 13–21, 21–14, 22–20v||Cleveland Arena||Hard (i)|
|1957||Pancho Gonzales||Pancho Segura||6–3, 3–6, 7–5, 6–1||Cleveland Arena||Hard (i)|
|1958||Pancho Gonzales||Lew Hoad||3–6, 4–6, 14–12, 6–1, 6–4||Cleveland Arena||Hard (i)|
|1959||Pancho Gonzales||Lew Hoad||6–4, 6–2, 6–4||Cleveland Arena||Hard (i)|
|1960||Alex Olmedo||Tony Trabert||7–5, 6–4||Cleveland Arena||Hard (i)|
|*1960||Althea Gibson||Pauline Betz||Cleveland Arena (Women's event)||Hard (i)|
|1961||Pancho Gonzales||Frank Sedgman||6–3, 7–5||Cleveland Arena||Hard (i)|
|1962||Butch Buchholz||Pancho Segura||6–4, 6–3, 6–4||Cleveland Arena||Hard (i)|
|1963||Ken Rosewall||Rod Laver||6–4, 6–2, 6–2||West Side Tennis Club||Grass|
|1964||Rod Laver||Pancho Gonzales||4–6, 6–3, 7–5, 6–4||Longwood Cricket Club||Grass|
|1965||Ken Rosewall||Rod Laver||6–4, 6–3, 6–3||Longwood Cricket Club||Grass|
|1966||Rod Laver||Ken Rosewall||6–4, 4–6, 6–2, 8–10, 6–3||Longwood Cricket Club||Grass|
|1967||Rod Laver||Andrés Gimeno||4–6, 6–4, 6–3, 7–5||Longwood Cricket Club||Grass|
|1968||Rod Laver||John Newcombe||6–4, 6–4, 9–7||Longwood Cricket Club||Grass|
|1969||Rod Laver||John Newcombe||7–5, 6–2, 4–6, 6–1||Longwood Cricket Club||Hard|
|1970||Tony Roche||Rod Laver||3–6, 6–4, 1–6, 6–2, 6–2||Longwood Cricket Club||Hard|
|1971||Ken Rosewall||Cliff Drysdale||6–4, 6–3, 6–0||Longwood Cricket Club||Hard|
|1972||Bob Lutz||Tom Okker||6–4, 2–6, 6–4, 6–4||Longwood Cricket Club||Hard|
|1973||Jimmy Connors||Arthur Ashe||6–3, 4–6, 6–4, 3–6, 6–2||Longwood Cricket Club||Hard|
|1974||Björn Borg||Tom Okker||7–6, 6–1, 6–1||Longwood Cricket Club||Clay|
|1975||Björn Borg||Guillermo Vilas||6–3, 6–4, 6–2||Longwood Cricket Club||Clay|
|1976||Björn Borg||Harold Solomon||6–7, 6–4, 6–1, 6–2||Longwood Cricket Club||Clay|
|1977||Manuel Orantes||Eddie Dibbs||7–6, 7–5, 6–4||Longwood Cricket Club||Clay|
|1978||Manuel Orantes||Harold Solomon||6–4, 6–3||Longwood Cricket Club||Clay|
|1979||José Higueras||Hans Gildemeister||6–3, 6–1||Longwood Cricket Club||Clay|
|1980||Eddie Dibbs||José Luis Clerc||6–2, 6–1||Longwood Cricket Club||Clay|
|1981||José Luis Clerc||Hans Gildemeister||0–6, 6–2, 6–2||Longwood Cricket Club||Clay|
|1982||Guillermo Vilas||Mel Purcell||6–4, 6–0||Longwood Cricket Club||Clay|
|1983||José Luis Clerc||Jimmy Arias||6–3, 3–6, 6–0||Longwood Cricket Club||Clay|
|1984||Aaron Krickstein||José Luis Clerc||7–6, 3–6, 6–4||Longwood Cricket Club||Clay|
|1985||Mats Wilander||Martín Jaite||6–2, 6–4||Longwood Cricket Club||Clay|
|1986||Andrés Gómez||Martín Jaite||7–5, 6–4||Longwood Cricket Club||Clay|
|1987||Mats Wilander||Kent Carlsson||7–6, 6–1||Longwood Cricket Club||Clay|
|1988||Thomas Muster||Lawson Duncan||6–2, 6–2||Longwood Cricket Club||Clay|
|1989||Andrés Gómez||Mats Wilander||6–1, 6–4||Longwood Cricket Club||Clay|
|1990c||Martín Jaite||Libor Němeček||7–5, 6–3||Longwood Cricket Club||Clay|
|1991||Andrés Gómez||Andrei Cherkasov||7–5, 6–4||Longwood Cricket Club||Clay|
|1992||Ivan Lendl||Richey Reneberg||6–3, 6–3||Longwood Cricket Club||Hard|
|1993||Ivan Lendl||Todd Martin||5–7, 6–3, 7–6||Longwood Cricket Club||Hard|
|1994||Ivan Lendl||MaliVai Washington||7–5, 7–6||Longwood Cricket Club||Hard|
|1995||Not completed due to rain|
|1997||Sjeng Schalken||Marcelo Ríos||7–5, 6–3||Longwood Cricket Club||Hard|
|1998||Michael Chang||Paul Haarhuis||6–3, 6–4||Longwood Cricket Club||Hard|
|1999||Marat Safin||Greg Rusedski||6–4, 7–6(13–11)||Longwood Cricket Club||Hard|
a This tournament, the first pro event open to amateur players, is considered by some as both the U.S. Pro Tennis Championship and first "U.S. Open" event (then the U.S. Open was again held from 1938 to 1941 at Greenbrier but as a separate event from the U.S. Pro held in Chicago or in L.A).
b These tournaments from 1950–1962, were billed as the International Pro or World Pro Championship with the exception of 1950 in Cleveland, which was authorized by the USPLTA to be the U.S. Pro, and therefore billed as the U.S. Pro. In 1951, a U.S. Pro was held at Forest Hills authorized by the USPLTA, and an International Pro was held at Cleveland. There was no authorized U.S. Pro event held in 1952 or 1953, but the International Pro was held at Cleveland in those years. In 1954, the USPLTA authorized Kramer to hold the U.S. Pro at L.A. Tennis Club in Los Angeles. This was the successor tournament to the 1951 U.S. Pro at Forest Hills, which had also been authorized by the USPLTA, and Segura was deemed to be the defending champion. The International Pro and World Pro at Cleveland were not authorized by the USPLTA to be the U.S. Pro, and were not billed as such nor regarded as the U.S. Pro. According to the USPTA article, "renowned players grace USPTA championships", "there were some years in which the U.S. Pro was not held, such as the late years of WWII, and the years 1952 to 1961". The Cleveland press and other U.S. press reports of the era refer to the Cleveland World Pro using the title "World Pro", and not as the U.S. Pro. In some interviews in the 1950's, Gonzales and Segura referred to the Cleveland World Pro unofficially as "the National". The initial suggestion that the Cleveland World Pro was the U.S. Pro apparently occurred after 1964, the year in which the final Cleveland World Pro was held. The Forest Hills U.S. Pro organized by Kramer in 1963 may have had USPLTA approval, which Kramer could have continued with the 1964 Longwood event.
r For 1951, the tournament was played under Round Robin format with Segura 4–0 and Gonzalez 3–1 as final standings.
x In 1954, the USPLTA authorized Kramer to hold the U.S. Pro Championship at the Los Angeles Tennis Club, Gonzales winning the final over Segura in five sets. The Benrus Cup, emblematic of the U.S. Pro, was awarded to Gonzales. This tournament was the successor event to the 1951 Forest Hills U.S. Pro, and Segura was deemed to be defending champion of the U.S. Pro.
v For 1955–56, the matches were played under Van Alen scoring system.
c From 1990 to 1995, the U.S. Pro was an exhibition event and not part of the ATP tour.
- Collins, Bud (2016). The Bud Collins History of Tennis (3rd ed.). New York: New Chapter Press. pp. 793–795. ISBN 978-1-937559-38-0.
- McCauley, p. 100
- "24 Sep 1927, Page 7, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle". bklyn.newspapers.com.
- L.A. Times, May 14, 1954
- "05 Jul 1951, Page 20, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle". bklyn.newspapers.com.
- McCauley, p.64 / L.A. Times, May 1, 1954
- L.A. Times, May 1, 1954 / McCauley p. 64
- USPTA website, page "renowned players grace USPTA championships"
- "Renowned players grace USPTA Championships". USPTA. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
- L.A. Times, May 1, 1954
- "Connors Upsets Ashe". The Logansport Press. Logansport, IN. United Press Int. 1973-07-24. Retrieved 2015-10-11.