On Tuesday, Oct. 9, the Riverside Park Fund Board of Directors along with Event Chair Dale Caldwell will celebrate the sport of tennis in Riverside Park at the New York Yacht Club, located at 37 West 44th Street from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. The evening will celebrate four local fixtures in the sport of tennis in the area, as four individuals, Seth Abraham, Tim Mayotte, Bob Ryland and Dick Savitt who make the sport great both on and off the courts will be honored.
A devoted tennis fan and life-long New Yorker, Seth Abraham is currently director-at-large on the USTA Board of Directors. His career highlights include serving as president of Madison Square Garden (the long-time venue for WTA Tournaments and exhibition tennis matches). Prior to MSG, he was president of HBO Sports (which for over two decades aired wall-to-wall weekday Wimbledon coverage) and he served as chief executive officer of Time Warner Sports.
Tim Mayotte is a former tennis professional and devotee of Riverside Park. He served as the vice president of the Riverside Clay Tennis Association where he regularly plays. He also plays at the 119th Street tennis courts. Tim’s career in tennis includes reaching the semifinals at Wimbledon and the Australian Opens and the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open. He also earned a Silver Medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. Tim currently works with high-performance juniors enrolled in his program, 360 Tennis, in Cunningham Park, Queens.
Breaking barriers early on, Bob Ryland was the first African-American to play professional tennis. Today, at the age of 92, Bob remains passionate about teaching tennis and can be seen at both the Riverside Park Clay and 119th Street courts—never missing an opportunity to give tips and encouraging advice to neighborhood players. He last competed and won the 1996 National Public Park’s super singles tournament (when he was 86!). In 1992, Bob was inducted into the USTA Eastern Hall of Fame.
Former Wimbledon and Australian singles champion (1951), Dick Savitt won many elite tennis titles during the years he was ranked among the top ten Americans. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1973 and the USTA Eastern Hall of Fame in 1999. Dick is a regular player at the Riverside Clay tennis courts and can also be seen playing at his namesake facility—the Dick Savitt Tennis Center at Columbia University.