The biggest stars in tennis used to play at Orange Lawn, including, from left, Bill Tilden, George Lott, Bruce Barnes, A. H. Charin Jr., Martin Plaa and Robert Ramillon.
Orange Lawn Tennis Club (OLTC) is founded at the intersection of Montrose and Berkeley Ave. in South Orange, where it remained for 36 years.
This marked the beginning of the “glory years” of tennis at OLTC when all the world’s greatest players sought invitations to Orange – the second most prestigious tournament in the US, (behind Nationals at Forest Hills).
Standing room-only crowds of up to 4,000 usually appeared for the semi-finals and finals.
Althea Gibson 1957. An American tennis player and professional golfer, and one of the first Black athletes to cross the color line of international tennis. In 1956, she became the first African American to win a Grand Slam title.
Billie Jean King 1964. By 1968, King had claimed the world’s No. 1 ranking in women’s tennis.
Former doubles partners McEnroe and Fleming.