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Bill Tym and Alex Gordon to be inducted into USPTA’s Hall of Fame

Sept 6 2007 — Bill Tym of Brentwood, Tenn., and Alex Gordon will join the ranks of only seven others when they are inducted into the United States Professional Tennis Association Hall of Fame as grand inductees. They will officially be recognized in September during the USPTA’s national awards breakfast at the World Conference on Tennis at the Saddlebrook Resort in Wesley Chapel, Fla. The USPTA Hall of Fame serves as a place to honor excellence in the tennis profession and commitment to USPTA, the world’s oldest and largest association of tennis-teaching professionals.

Tym, a USPTA Master Professional and past USPTA national president, has been involved in tennis as a coach, player and administrator for half a century. He coached the Vanderbilt University men’s team to its first NCAA tournament. Tym has had a 25-year association with the Indonesian Tennis Association and coached Yayuk Basuki, the first Indonesian player to reach the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. He also coached USPTA Professional Bryan Shelton, who became the first black player since Arthur Ashe to win an ATP event. As a player, Tym was a Southeastern Conference singles champion at the University of Florida. He also competed on the international tour and won 10 national and international titles.

Tym has also made significant contributions to the USPTA. As executive director of USPTA he helped create a standardized certification test. Tym was named USPTA Professional of the Year in 1982, College Coach of the Year in 1989, and Touring Coach of the Year in 1997 and 2002. He also received the George Bacso Lifetime Achievement Award from the USPTA in 2001 and the International Tennis Hall of Fame Tennis Educational Merit Award in 1981.

“Bill Tym is one of the most exemplary individuals to be honored with this award,” said CEO Tim Heckler. “He has served this Association in every capacity from volunteer to president and player to champion, and has been one of the finest lecturers the Association has known.”

Alex Gordon will be inducted into the USPTA Hall of Fame posthumously. Gordon, who was born in Montreal, moved to San Diego at an early age and resided there for the rest of his life. He made great contributions to the game of tennis as a coach, player and USPTA member. As a coach, he was first hired on as head professional at Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego in 1946. He taught there for 10 years and then returned again in 1960 and remained there until 1976. While at Hotel Del Coronado he also coached at Bishop’s School in La Jolla, Calif. As a player, while attending UCLA he was captain of the men’s tennis team and the school’s No. 1 singles player. He was also the two-time Southern California Interscholastic doubles champion. He was a runner-up at the National Senior Hard Court Mixed Doubles and the National Senior Indoors in the 50s and 55s. He was also the USPTA national 45s doubles champion in 1969, ’71 and ’72 (with Ben Press).

Gordon also made tremendous contributions to the country and the USPTA. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He was president of the USPTA San Diego Division in 1969-1974. He was also president of the USPTA national Board of Directors in 1976, but passed away during his presidency. He is credited for holding the Association together in the 1970s during which it struggled with internal political turmoil. For that and his other contributions, the Alex Gordon Professional of the Year award was named in his honor. The award recognizes outstanding performance as a teacher, coach and player, as well as contributions to the Association and the tennis industry as a whole.

“Alex Gordon was simply one of the most respected tennis professionals in USPTA’s history,” said Heckler. “He has served this Association at one of its most critical junctures. One might say he fought against favoritism in the political arena, which helped jumpstart USPTA’s growth and achievements far into the future. For this the National Pro of the Year award is named after him.”

 

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