Welcome to the Albany Tennis Club
A Community Organization
Albany Tennis Club History
The Albany Tennis Club traces its origins all the way back to 1878. In that year, a building, called the Albany Club, was erected on the southeast corner of Swan and Jay Streets in the City of Albany. The had two indoor courts accompanied by considerable gymnastic apparatus. An outdoor court was added in the spring of 1883.
The Albany Club was one of the original five founding member clubs of the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association, which we now know as the U.S. Tennis Association, or USTA for short. General Robert Shaw Oliver, a prominent Albanian, was the Albany Club’s first president. General Oliver was a man of some fame, attending President Grant’s funeral and Chester Arthur’s daughter’s wedding, and later serving as under Secretary of War. In 1878 General Oliver was elected the very first President of the USLTA.
In 1912 all operations of the Albany Club were transferred to the YMCA, which had acquired the Club property at Swan and Jay streets. The Ridgefield Athletic Club, which was incorporated in 1884, was the original owner of Ridgefield Park in uptown Albany, just off Partridge Street. The Ridgefield Club sold the property to the YMCA in 1912 and the tennis operation was moved there from the downtown location. A large two-story Victorian style clubhouse sat along side the courts on the site where the City currently has its park maintenance building. Little has been found about the Club operations from the 1920’s through the 1950’s. Bill Tilden, one of America’s most famous players, visited the courts in the 1930’s and the YMCA hosted tournaments throughout the years they operated the facility. In the late 1940’s, a group of Ridgefield YMCA members formed the Albany Tennis Association to promote tennis and social events. Annual dinner dances were held at Jack’s Restaurant in downtown Albany.
The YMCA operated the eight clay courts until 1968 when Ridgefield Park was acquired by the City of Albany. At that time there was concern that the City would choose not to maintain the clay courts, and either convert them to hard courts or eliminate them altogether. As an alternative, the members received the City’s approval to form The Ridgefield Tennis Association and take over responsibility for the operation of the courts. The Ridgefield Tennis Association subsequently incorporated as The Albany Tennis Club on October 1, 1973, and has operated the courts since.
The ATC’s premier event is the USTA sanctioned Tri-County Open tournament which has been held continuously for more than a hundred years. The tournament is traditionally held over the Labor Day weekend and offers a large slate of events in many categories. Participants come not just from the Capital District but from some distances to play on the clay courts and to improve their USTA ranking.
Click here to read the ATC By-laws.
Copyright 2018 Albany Tennis Club
"Albany Tennis Club" is a 501(c)7 non-profit organization. Po Box 3052, Albany, NY 12203