Forest Hills & West Side Tennis Club


In 1913 the West Side Tennis Club located at 238 th St. in Manhattan was looking for a larger propety and one they could buy, they had been looking for a year. Out of the possible sites two were Kew Gardens and Forest Hills Gardens. The Sage Foundation Homes was anticipating the possible publicity and the ensuing demand for their homes if the club relocated to Forest Hills Gardens. So Sage Homes offered 10 acres for $77,000 with a $2,000 cash downpayment. The club accepted, and planned to spend an additional $25,000 to set-up the clubhouse and the courts. Twice before the west side tennis club had hosted the davis cup and in 1913 it requested permission to host the 1914 Davis cup, which was granted. The projected expenditure of the club were predicated on a $12,000 windfall for not resigning at their present location and the future revenues from 1914 Davis Cup tournament to be held at the clubs' new location.

Meanwhile the 1913 Davis Cup matches were held at the West Side Tennis Club location on 238 th St. The Australian team, Stanley Doust, A. B. Jones and Horace Rice won the doubles, but lost all the other matches to the American team of Harold H. Hackett Maurice know as " The California Comet" McLoughlin, and H. Norris Williams.

By the next year's match the club was ready with eighteen newly seeded grass courts and thirty-five clay courts. The 1914 Davis Cup finals were to be played at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills begining August 13, 1914. The month before while the International Zone Tournaments were played in Pittisburgh the judges waited till the end of the tournament to make the announcement that war had begun. The event lasted for three days. The first day was the most important because of the match between the Australian (they were the cup holders and the winners of the International-Zone Tournament) Norman E. Brooks and Maurice McLoughlin "The California Comet" More then 12,000 people watched the first day of play. McLoughlin finished the match in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, a total of fifty games in two hours. But the Davis Cup was retained by the Aussies that year, Wilding and Brooks beating McLaughlin and Bundy . Those three days ended all international play until after the armistice that ended WWI in 1918.

The following is a chronology of the start of World War I, to put the 1914 Davis Cup into proper historical perspective

1914
June 28, Archduke (and heir) Franz Ferdinand of Austria is murdered in Sarajevo by Serbian nationalist.

July 28, the Austro-Hungarian Empire declares war On Serbia.

July 30, Austria beings bombing Belgrade.

August 1, Germany declares war on Russia (see fascinating correspondance between cousins Willi & Niki, William II of Germany and Nicolas II of Russia and how a local problem was turned into World War I.)

August 2, Germany invades Luxemburg and France.

August 4, England declares war on Germany.

August 10, Text of telegram from Kaiser Wilhem II to President Wilson.

August 13-15. Opening day of Davis Cup play at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills.

August 19, Declaration of U. S. neutrality, by President Wilson.



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