Welby Van Horn of Lake Worth, Fla., becomes part of an elite group as a grand inductee in the United States Professional Tennis Association Hall of Fame. Van Horn has been involved in many facets of tennis as a player and coach. He was officially recognized and inducted at the USPTA’s annual awards breakfast during the USPTA World Conference on Tennis Sept. 15-20 at the La Quinta Resort and Club in La Quinta, Calif. The Houston-based 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.
His career as a coach has spawned institutions such as the Welby Van Horn Tennis Academy in Boca Raton, Fla., and Welby Van Horn tennis programs in a number of locations. The teaching system he developed is still used today and it is featured in his recent book “The Secrets of the Tennis Master.”
Tennis great Jack Kramer, a former Wimbledon and U.S. Singles champion, said, “Welby was a … terrific world-class player. But as good as he was as a player, he became an even better coach. His system of instruction is unique and amazingly productive.”
Van Horn was a star player and contemporary of other world-class players and USPTA members, including Fred Perry, Bobby Riggs, Bill Tilden and Bruce Barnes. When he was 19 years old, he reached the finals of the 1939 U.S. Nationals. One of the high points of his playing career was his crushing defeat of the great Bill Tilden during a match between U.S. and British Empire service teams at Wimbledon in 1945. Van Horn also won the United States Pro Championship (our very own USPTA event) in 1945.
“Welby Van Horn’s knowledge, commitment and success as a tennis player and teacher are why he is an exemplary member of the USPTA. It is an honor to have him inducted into the USPTA Hall of Fame,” said USPTA CEO Tim Heckler.