3. Philadelphia Cricket Club (1887-1920)
The Philadelphia Cricket Club is the oldest country club in the U.S. Founded in 1854, the club was one of the founding members of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and hosted the inaugural U.S. Women’s National Singles Championship in 1887. Starting off as a singles tournament, the women’s championship was played on grass and was first won by 17-year-old Ellen Hansell, followed the next year by Bertha Townsend. The tournament used a system in which the defending champion automatically made it to next year’s final, so Hansell only played Townsend and lost, retiring just two years later.
From 1889 to 1891, women’s singles and women’s doubles were played at the club. Then from 1892 to 1920, women’s singles and women’s doubles, as well as mixed doubles, were played here before the tournament moved to New York. Over the years, after the U.S. Open moved, the Philadelphia Cricket Club has hosted USTA championships for players aged 30-35 and over 70. The club also hosts golf tournaments, as well as the Philadelphia International Cricket Festival.