The old U.S. Open grounds will hum in September again.
Historic West Side Tennis Club — which hosted the U.S. Championships and its modern day successor, the U.S. Open, from 1923-77 — will host the Davis Cup for the first time since 1959 when South Africa plays Venezuela Sept. 18-19. The event was moved from Venezuela for safety reasons amid the pandemic.
The best-of-five match series will be played the weekend after the Open on a hard court in the 98-year-old horseshoe-shaped stadium, which last hosted New York’s Grand Slam event in 1977.
The stadium last hosted the Davis Cup in 1959, when Rod Laver, Roy Emerson and Neale Fraser led Australia to a 3-2 victory over a United States team that featured Alex Olmedo, Butch Buchholz and Barry McKay.
The top South African players in the ATP rankings are Kevin Anderson, the former U.S. Open and Wimbledon finalist, who achieved a career-high ranking of No. 5. No. 49 Lloyd Harris, who beat Rafael Nadal last week in Washington, and former Australian Open and Wimbledon doubles finalist Raven Klaasen, who is ranked No. 23 in doubles. Venezuela is led by No. 585-ranked Ricardo Rodriguez.
“We could not be more excited to bring world class tennis back to the West Side Tennis Club, one of the most historic venues in American sports,” said West Side Tennis Club president Monika Jain. “While Forest Hills is most synonymous as the former home of the U.S. Open, the West Side Tennis Club has also hosted many Davis Cup matches, Wightman Cup matches as well as the Tournament of Champions men’s event for many years. We are thrilled to add another chapter of our illustrious tennis history with this South Africa versus Venezuela series.”
The last time a Davis Cup match was played in New York was 1981, when the U.S. took on Czechoslovakia in a quarterfinal at the USTA National Tennis Center.