Congratulations to our mentor, Mike Davies

ImageThis past weekend was a very exciting one for us here at The New Haven Open at Yale, and it wasn’t just because the tournament is only 4 weeks away. Our very own CEO, Mike Davies, was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Many gathered in Newport to recognize the outstanding accomplishments and contributions that Mike has made to the sport which we all love so much.

In a time when tennis was relatively unknown, there was a man who believed in the sport and was able to see the bigger picture. This man was Mike Davies. In 1970, he suggested the bold idea for a tennis tour of 20 tournaments with a year-end final and $1 million in prize money.

It’s obvious to us now that this was a success—but he didn’t just suggest an idea for a tour. He not only convinced NBC to broadcast 8 WCT events in addition to the Final, but also raised $1 million in advertising to complete the deal. While this would seem like more than enough to earn a spot in the Hall of Fame, Mike continued to innovate.

Within the next several years tennis exploded on the sports scene. Participation rose from 11 million to 33 million. And everything tennis related from indoor courts to clothing sales took off. He kept improving the game with the introduction of colored clothing for players, the yellow tennis ball which could be seen better on television and rules like 30 seconds between points. He even instituted the tie-break.

To say that Mike Davies made contributions to the game of tennis would be an understatement. From being ranked as Britain’s #1 player, to being the driving force behind taking tennis to network television, to overseeing the New Haven Open for 15 years as CEO, Mike has truly seen every side of tennis.

We are so proud that our leader and mentor is getting the accolades he deserves after 50 years of game-changing contributions and accomplishments. We know that we are so lucky to have such an honorable member of the tennis community with us here at The New Haven Open at Yale, and we can’t wait to see what else Mike has in store for the sport!

Watch Mike receive his official International Tennis Hall of Fame jacket here>

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