Sunday, October 27, 2013
- by B.B. Branton
"The 1960s were the glory days (of the women's tennis tour) as we played wherever we could and played our matches to completion. None of this tie-breaker sissy stuff."
-- Tennessee Tennis Hall of Famer Alice Tym
Long known for its strong history of outstanding tennis players and coaches, Chattanooga sent two more worthy candidates into the Tennessee Tennis Hall of Fame Thursday night at the induction dinner at the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club.
Former UTC women's tennis coach Alice Tym and Manker Patten tennis director Ned Caswell were honored at the dinner.
A true pioneer in the women's tennis world, Tym started the women's tennis program at Florida as a freshman in the early 1960s, rose to No.13 in the world on the women's tour and coached UTC to a pair of AIAW national titles in the late 1970s.
Caswell has led the way in continuing to keep Manker Patten as one of the premier tennis facilities in the South and also directs a successful prep tennis program at Baylor School.
The Atlanta native was an All-American at Furman and also is a three-time age division world champion.
Tym traveled the world playing women's tennis in the 1960s and 70s and told of doing whatever it took to survive and earn a living on the early days of the tour.
"The 1960s were the glory days as we played wherever we could and played our matches to completion," said Tym. "None of this tie-breaker sissy stuff."
Known for her flair for the dramatic and pushing the envelope whenever necessary, Tym related stories of smuggling diamonds in her tennis racquet handle from one country to another to make some extra money, making more money by betting on matches than actually winning them and being a "Vegas Type" card shark at night after winning on the court by day.
"Arthur Ashe was a great player on the court, but a bad card player,"Tym stated. "I took his money all the time."
"In the early days, you needed to have a friend on the tour in each country to help you along and to survive overseas,"Tym stated. "It was great to win tournaments, but the people you met along the way was priceless. I still maintain many of those friendships today."
contact B.B. Branton at firstname.lastname@example.org