4. Staten Island Cricket Club (1888-1889)

The Staten Island Tennis Club allowed women to play in other tournaments. Courtesy of Harper’s Weekly and Wikimedia Commons.

The Staten Island Cricket Club was arguably the first tennis venue in the U.S., introducing the sport in 1874. The club also claims to be the oldest continuously operating cricket club in the country, as it started in 1866. Before the U.S. Open briefly came to the club, it hosted a national tennis tournament in 1880. The tournament was arranged by Eugenius Harvey Outerbridge (the namesake of the Outerbridge Crossing), bringing in 23 players including three from Flushing, the home of the U.S. Open today. The tournament also marked the debut of the accomplished tennis duo James Dwight and Richard Sears. Outerbridge was responsible for assembling the nation’s first national governing body for any sport, which would later become the USTA, and Dwight went on to head the association for 21 years.

In 1888 and 1889, the club hosted the U.S. Open men’s doubles before the tournament returned to Newport Casino. Oliver Campbell and Valentine Hall won the men’s doubles matches in straight sets. Outside of this event, though, the club is perhaps better known for its cricket scene, attracting legendary players like Gilbert Jessop, Donald Bradman, and Everton Weekes.