NEWPORT — A hearty group of devotees from The Indoor Court in city made the trek to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in the City by the Sea Tuesday afternoon, July 9, to take in some action at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships and be recognized during a noteworthy anniversary for the local facility.
Current owner Tom Brun was joined by past owner Ed Anelundi and 32 others in making the journey to Newport where the Hall of Fame paid tribute to The Indoor Court on reaching its 100th year of operation. Mr. Brun performed the coin toss prior to the Lleyton Hewitt-Ryan Harrison match. A brief biography of the court was read to the crowd and many of guests from The Indoor Court visited the Hall of Fame itself.
“Everything went pretty well,” Mr. Brun said of the day. “It was hot, a lot of us headed for the shade. But I think everyone had a nice time. It was a busy day, but a good day. It went well.”
Mr. Brun led the group in posing for photos on the Hall grounds. While The Indoor Court is celebrating its 100th anniversary, the International Hall of Fame is celebrating its 60th year of operation.
“I thought it was neat that it’s our 100th anniversary and it’s their 60th. The courts at Newport have been around a lot longer, but we have 40 years on the Hall of Fame. They still have a long way to go to catch us,” Mr. Brun said.
For those who don’t know, The Indoor Court traces its roots to the Gilded Age and the wealthy patricians so prevalent in Rhode Island at the time. Lyra Brown Nickerson purchased the land where the Indoor Tennis Court stands on Blanding Avenue from R. Clinton Fuller for just $100 in 1913. It opened the late the following year, October 1914, and has been a prominent, if often understated, part of the area tennis landscape ever since. Mr. Brun is hoping to put on a special event to coincide with the fall anniversary date.
“Business is pretty good. We only have the one court, so we try not to have people playing on top of each other. I’m trying to use an event like yesterday to network, bring someone of note in to maybe do an exhibition in October,” Mr. Brun added.
— Photos by Tim Marshall