After the conclusion of Olivier Rochus’ straight sets win over American Jack Sock, Center Court of the Western & Southern Open transformed from a place where world-renown athletes shine in front of the tournament’s fans to a shrine highlighting the achievements of those who have worked behind the scenes to ensure the sport’s Cincinnati success over the years.
The individuals inducted into the Hall of Fame this year were Joann Frazer, "an ardent volunteer, advocate and supporter of tennis on the local, national and international levels," George McCabe, a captain of numerous international team tennis competitions, author and former president of the Greater Cincinnati Tennis Association Phil Smith, and Bruce Flory, who spent years alongside McCabe as a member of the Western & Southern Open’s senior management.
Announcer Andrew Krasny kicked off the event by explaining the importance of the Cincinnati Tennis Hall of Fame for the audience in attendance. The honor, according to Krasny, was "established to recognize the rich history and tradition of tennis in Cincinnati." He continued that it also highlights "those who have worked so hard, on and off the court, to establish and nurture that legacy."
Bill Lofgren, the Chairman of the Cincinnati Tennis Hall of Fame, held the role of officially inducting each member into the Hall of Fame by placing a medal around each person’s neck.
Also appearing on-court for the ceremony were the Steering Committee of the Hall of Fame, founding members of the Greater Cincinnati Tennis Association, and the current board members and past presidents of the association.
Frazer, the first 2012 recipient of the honor, was praised as "an ardent volunteer, advocate and supporter of tennis on the local, national and international levels." Additionally, she has served as a volunteer for the Western & Southern Open over the past 22 years, while chairing both the USTA’s National Men’s Ranking Committee and the USTA’s Father & Son Ranking Committee, among others.
Krasny continued that Frazer "is a former member of International Tennis Hall of Fame Awards Committee, and has been the recipient of the USTA’s Samuel Hardy Award, the USTA’s highest honor in recognition of volunteer service."
The next inductee, McCabe, "has been ranked as high as No. 4 in seniors singles by the International Tennis Federation, and No. 2 in doubles," claiming the 2007 US Open singles title and the 2012 USTA National Public Parks titles over the course of his career.
In addition to his successful playing career, McCabe is also a leader in tennis, serving as captain of both the 80s Division of the 2010 Gardnar Mulloy Cup and for the winning team in the 75s Division at the 2008 Bitsy Grant Cup in the past.
Smith, the third enshrinee of 2012, served for 22 years in senior management with the Western & Southern Open "during the greatest period of growth in its history," said Krasny.
Author of From Club Court to Center Court, The Evolution of Professional Tennis In Cincinnati, McCabe also lead the Greater Cincinnati Tennis Association as president, chaired the marketing committee of the USTA/Midwest Section, and was "the recipient of awards for the promotion of tennis in the Midwest and for the international promotion of the City of Cincinnati."
The fourth enshrinee, Flory, "guided all aspects of the tournament," according to Krasny, as the Tournament Director for 13 years and as Director of Marketing for four years.
In addition, he helped to place "the tournament’s contributions of millions of dollars to its charitable beneficiaries, including Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and The Barrett Cancer Center."
To conclude the event, the four inductees circled the court to applause from the audience.