NEWPORT, R.I. – Before the 2018 Hall of Fame ITA Grass Court Invitational began, University of Chicago women’s tennis coach Jay Tee commented that he had never seen a grass court in person, let alone played on one.
After three days at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Tee can now check the grass court box off his list, and really came away impressed with the entire Hall of Fame ITA Grass Court Invitational experience.
“It’s something different than we’ve ever seen,” said Tee, who also coaches the Chicago men’s tennis team and has a combined 192-82 record in his first six seasons at Chicago. “It’s a very cool experience and lends itself to a lot of great things, where players are trying things with slices and volleys and coming in (to the net) can translate well over to hardcourts. There’s also some problem solving as well.”
Tee said that playing outside of their region in the fall season was a good way to bring his team closer together.
“The ambience and the experience itself really lend itself to a team-bonding experience,” said Tee.
Having International Tennis Hall of Fame CEO Todd Martin extend the 2018 invitations to Division III teams has created another opportunity for the student-athletes to grab the national spotlight, something Tee believes is well-deserved.
“I think this is a testament to how good Division III is,” said Tee. “I know when I came out of high school in 2002, Division III wasn’t really a factor in my decision-making process, and thought that the top couple of teams were just bunched together. Now, the depth and players that we have, you come out and watch tennis out here, I think it looks more like Division I than it ever has, and I think it’s only going to continue going that way.”
The 2018 Hall of Fame ITA Grass Court Invitational was held at the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Matches took place on the historic Bill Talbert Stadium Court and on the additional grass courts at the Hall of Fame. For more information, visit the event page and look back on social media content, using the hashtag #ITAGrassCourt.