This year's inductees in the Cincinnati Tennis Hall of Fame include the single biggest supporter of the local international tournament, a former player on the ATP World Tour, the winner of multiple Cincinnati Metropolitan tennis titles, and one of the first Cincinnatians to be ranked in the U.S. Top 20. The inductees are John F. Barrett, Jason Yeager, Linda Lee Burrell Steele Zulia and Henry Truxtun Emerson, respectively.
"The Cincinnati Tennis Hall of Fame's 2014 class is characterized by its members' accomplishments both on and off the court," said Dick Friedman, chairman of the Cincinnati Tennis Hall of Fame. "From a former ATP player to a world-class sponsor, we are so fortunate to have individuals of this caliber in our tennis community. They have helped make the region a true mecca for the sport."
The class was inducted on Center Court tonight at the Lindner Family Tennis Center during Western & Southern Open's Opening Night.
Barrett (of Indian Hill) is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Western & Southern Financial Group, and his passion for Cincinnati is why the company became the title sponsor of the Cincinnati's storied international tennis tournament in 2002. His support over the years has contributed to the success of the W&S Open, allowing it to reach the highest levels of both the ATP and WTA Tour, and remain the nation's oldest tournament still held in its original city.
Yeager (of Edgewood, Kentucky) was ranked as high as 891 in doubles and 1096 in singles on the ATP World Tour. A three-time letter-winner at the University of Kentucky, he was ranked as high as 17 in doubles in college. He took home two singles titles, one doubles title and one mixed doubles title at the Thomas E. Price Cincinnati Metropolitan Tennis Championships, was named one of Cincinnati's Top 100 Players, and named Player of the Year by the Greater Cincinnati Tennis Association on multiple occasions.
Zulia (of Cincinnati, Ohio) was ranked in the Top 15 nationally in singles as a junior, and reached the No. 2 doubles ranking in the Midwest. She won a total of five Thomas E. Price Cincinnati Metropolitan Tennis Championships (singles, doubles and mixed doubles). Collegiately, she played for Furman University and the University of Alabama before finishing at the University of Cincinnati where she was voted Doubles Most Valuable Player. She has been a high school coach at both Mariemont and Wyoming, and currently is a teaching professional at CourtYard Sportsplex, Camargo Racquet Club and The Club at Harpers Point.
Emerson (formerly of Indian Hill) began his tennis career in the 1800s. By 1904 he was ranked No. 19 in the US, and in 1908 he was the No. 4 doubles player in the Midwest. In Cincinnati's international event, now known as the Western & Southern Open, Emerson reached seven finals (singles, doubles and mixed doubles) and still holds the record for the most singles Round of 16s reached with 12, a record he shares with Michael Chang and his brother, Nat Emerson. He also won the 1909 Western Doubles Championships, and at the age of 38, was a singles quarterfinalist and a doubles finalist at the National Clay Court Championships.