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Westside Tennis Cub Forest Hills Celebrates Althea Gibson and Lt. Joe Hunt

Lt. Joe Hunt, an American hero and 1943 U.S. Nationals singles champion, was honored at the site of his triumph in Forest Hills. Photo credit: Joe Hunt

Tennis honored a treasured home and true heroes.

The West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills celebrated the iconic Forest Hills Tennis Stadium’s Centennial and Heritage Day on Saturday, August 26th.

The celebration of the 100-year anniversary of Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, home of the U.S. Nationals and later the US Open featured tributes to Hall of Famer Althea Gibson and Lt. Joe Hunt, an American hero as well as the celebration of the 50th anniversary of John Newcombe’s 1973 US Open triumph.

Lt. Joe Hunt remains the only player in history to win the US National boys’, junior, collegiate and men’s singles titles.  Lt. Hunt, who won the U.S. Nationals in 1943 while on leave from the Navy, was killed in the line of duty when his fighter plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in 1945.

Lt. Joe Hunt’s family, including his great nephew, Joseph Hunt, was on hand to receive the honor.

Joseph Hunt has graciously shared his personal photos from the event with 10sballs.com:

Statement from Joseph Hunt on Forest Hills honoring his great uncle, Lt. Joe Hunt:

The Forest Hills stadium at the Westside Tennis Club is the Mecca of American tennis, where great players through history either succeeded or failed to become champions. Joe’s biggest matches and greatest challenges were contested on that court.

In 1943 he wasn’t supposed to be able to play the United States, national championships, as he had been serving in the war for a year and a half. But when he was granted just enough leave between military assignments, he decided to play even though he was not given a chance to win. It is a tremendous honor that 80 years after his hard fought victory, his Banner will be raised and his memory cherished on the very court where he won his most important match and became the national champion.

We are thrilled to be attending and look forward to meeting Althea Gibson family. Thank you 10sBalls for always caring about the tennis players that helped form the current game.