COLORADO TENNIS HALL OF FAME

WE ARE PROUD OF OUR DENVER TENNIS CLUB MEMBERS PAST AND PRESENT


(A special thanks to USTA Colorado for historical articles and pictures for this site.)



E.L. GRIFFEY   
More than anyone, E.L. contributed to the building of the Denver Tennis Club in 1928. The Club was literally a monument to E.L. who also served as its first president for 24 years. In those early days, the club was known as “Griffey’s Folly”.   In 1953, E.L. and three other DTC members combined to make up one of the nation’s oldest foursomes. Their combined ages totaled 306, and they played weekly.   E.L. played tennis until two weeks before his death.

E.L. was responsible for bringing the Intermountain Tournament to Colorado in 1922. He was the Tournament Director for the Denver City Open and Intermountain tournaments in Denver for over 20 years. For many years, E.L. assumed the responsibility for compiling the year-end Colorado player rankings, now the role of the Colorado Tennis Association.



Sam & Sid Milstein  (Class of 2000)   
 Brothers Sam and Sid were tennis pioneers, growing the game locally and advancing the sport around the world. Original members of Denver Tennis Club in 1928, both were strong tournament players, winning the Denver City Open doubles crowns in 1936 and 1948. They also ran the Denver City Open and Intermountain tennis tournaments from 1936 into the 1950s.
Ever the pioneering spirit, Sam was instrumental in the development of the yellow tennis ball and the high altitude tennis ball. They were the original owners of the Denver Tennis and Ski Shop (later known as the Aspen Leaf), and were responsible for building numerous Denver–area tennis courts.
In 1981, Sam and Sid received the Bud Robineau Award from the Colorado Tennis Association for their outstanding contribution to tennis.


Joan Birkland
Blessed with incredible athletic ability, Joan excelled in tennis, golf, and basketball. Despite the lack of sporting opportunities available to women at that time, she went beyond what was expected of girls in sports during her day.
Joan holds the distinction of twice winning the state golf and tennis titles in the same year, 1962 and 1966. She captured 21 major Colorado and Intermountain tennis titles in all, six singles and 15 doubles crowns.
She has been inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame, and the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame.
Joan is a national leader in the advancement of girls and women in sport, and has served as Executive Director of Sportswomen of Colorado for more than two decades.




Jeff Salzenstein
Jeff was the No. 1 ranked player in the nation in the Boys’ 12s division, and the No. 2 player in the country in the Boys’ 18s division.  He attended Stanford University where at the No. 1 spot he led his team to two NCAA Championship titles in 1995 and 1996. He was named the Senior Athlete of the Year at Stanford in 1996, and was a two-time NCAA All-American.
Jeff has achieved international success on the men’s professional tour and is among the top players in the world. In 1996, he won 23 matches in a row and quickly rose to No. 143 in the ATP world singles rankings. A year later, he ranked No. 69 in doubles and was among the top 10 Americans on the tour, earning “Rookie of the Year” honors from Tennis Week.



Anne Dyde
Anne dominated the Colorado tennis scene in the late 1950s and early 60s, winning the Colorado State Open singles title three times and the Denver City Open singles crown four times. In 1965, Anne held the state’s No. 1 ranking in both the Open and Senior divisions. Anne amassed five Intermountain Sectional Championships titles, 14 Colorado State Open titles and 17 Denver City Open titles in singles, doubles and mixed doubles. One of Colorado’s greatest doubles champions, Anne earned a No. 1 ranking in doubles and mixed doubles nine different times.
In 1980, Sportswomen of Colorado recognized Anne for her outstanding performance and dedication to tennis. This same dedication was noted in Sports Illustrated, which highlighted her record of playing 1,548 sets in a single calendar year, 1966.




Mike, Gene & Maurice Reidy
(1918-2009) (1919-1988) (1933-1982)

The Reidy brothers are entrenched in Colorado’s tennis history. Mike was instrumental in the formation of the Colorado Tennis Association, was its first secretary and was responsible for drafting the articles of incorporation. He also served as President of the Denver Tennis Club, and as Intermountain Sectional Delegate on the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association Executive Committee.
In 1947, Gene and Mike teamed up to capture the Denver City Doubles Championship. Gene served as Sectional Delegate on the USLTA, and was responsible for bringing the 1963 Davis Cup Tie to Cherry Hills Country Club. He also helped found the Colorado Youth Tennis Foundation.
Maurice was a Colorado State Junior champion and the team captain at the University of Notre Dame. At the Denver City Open, Maurice earned one singles title and five consecutive men’s doubles titles with three different partners. 




Roald Flater 
After serving two years in the US Army during World War II in Europe, Roald attended and played tennis at Northwestern University, where he obtained his Mechanical Engineering degree in 1949. In 1962, he moved to Denver and has had a virtual lock on the No. 1 spot in every age division from the 45 through 80 and over in Colorado and Intermountain rankings. He has also held USTA national and ITF world rankings as well. Roald holds several titles in USTA national competitions, and has represented the US against Mexico numerous times in the Osuna Cup. In 2007, he was a member of the USTA International World Cup Team at the Gardnar Mulloy Cup in New Zealand. Roald is also a passionate tennis instructor, coach and official. In 1972, at the age of 45, he earned his teaching certification and was the head professional at Hiwan Country Club. He became the Intermountain Section’s first Prince representative and helped Howard Head roll out the world’s first oversized racquet.



Katie Koontz
A native Pennsylvanian, Katie took up tennis at the age of 35. But the late start hasn’t kept her from reaching the pinnacle of the sport in national competition.
She won her first national championship title (gold ball) in 1990. Since then, Katie has added an additional 20 gold balls, 18 silver balls (runner-up) and five bronze balls (3rd place) to her trophy collection.
In 2004, Katie and her doubles partner captured the elusive “Gold Slam”, winning all four USTA National Championships on different surface.



Rhona Kaczmarczyk
Born in Dublin, Ireland, Rhona was 15 when she first represented her country at the Federation Cup, an honor she would have on three more occasions. A national champion at every junior age group, she was Ireland's top-ranked player at age 16. After a brief professional career, Rhona attended college in the United States.
She has been a consistent challenger at the championship level here in Colorado, amassing more than 11 singles and doubles titles at the Denver City Open, Colorado State Open and Intermountain Championships. In 1996, Rhona won the singles and doubles titles at both the Denver City Open and Intermountain Championships. She dominated the State Open in 1997-8, winning both the singles and doubles titles in each of those years. In 2006, at the age of 41, Rhona pulled off the rare singles/doubles sweep again at the Denver City Open. That same year, Rhona also captured the USTA National Women's 40 Indoor Championships and earned the USTA Colorado Joan Birkland Award as the state’s top female player.





                                         (A special thanks to USTA Colorado for historical articles and pictures for this site.)