On July 13, former Women’s Tennis Association tour players teamed up in a social round robin with members of the West Side Tennis Club for the Pro-Am Tournament of the 2014 USTA National Women’s Grass Court Championships.
The friendly tournament was followed by a reception that offered an opportunity for WSTC members to meet the tournament players. The Pro-Am Tournament's proceeds benefit the West Side Tennis Club Foundation, which provides grants to local needy children.
For greater than four decades, the West Side Tennis Club has hosted the USTA National Women’s Grass Court Championships, which is second in stature to the World Championships. It is the highest grade senior tournament in the United States.
The tournament is open to the public. Matches in several different age groups began on July 14 and will conclude on July 18.
The event’s professional staff has a history of success. Australian native Bob Ingersole is the club’s Tennis Director. He has instructed over 100 nationally ranked juniors and adults, earning him the titles of the USPTA/Eastern Pro of The Year in 1991 and 2000. He is serving as the tournament director along with his wife Dina Ingersole.
The team is also comprised of member volunteer Akemi Kinoshita, who organized the Pro-Am Tournament. She is a former Women’s Tennis Association touring pro that ranked in the top 100. Joining the West Side Tennis Club in 1993, she has assisted the tournament directors for two decades.
This event marks former WTA touring player Gretchen Rush's first appearance in the 50 and Over age group.
“It is great for the tournament to have such a well-known player as Gretchen Rush,” said Kinoshita. “Her serve and volley style are perfectly suited for the grass court game.”
Rush was a four-time All-American at Trinity University in Texas. She has three top-level singles titles, and she earned a career-high world singles ranking of number 13. She has also appeared in the singles quarterfinals at the U.S. Open, French Open, and Wimbledon.
Other notable participants in this year's tournament include Tina Karwasky in the 60 and Over age group, Margaret Canby in the 80 and Over age group, and
Doris Jane Lutz in the 85 and Over age group.