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
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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