Texas Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2016
Sue Bramlette got a late start in tennis, but has made up for that with her passion for competition, teaching, and organizing tournaments. Starting at age 32, Sue was taught by Texas Tennis Hall of Famer Jim Parker. After only five years of mentorship, in 1987 Sue won her first national title and also became certified by the USPTA. As a member of the Houston Racquet Club pro staff, Sue set learning objectives for age-appropriate tennis instruction from peewee level through high school. She coached young juniors at HTA Excellence Camps, USTA Junior Development Camps, and served as the McKinley Cup coach for Texas 12s. Sue received the HTA Samson Award in 1994 as a result of site directing numerous junior tournaments, serving from 1992-1994 as tournament director for the USTA Zonals, and writing “Entering Junior Tennis,” a booklet for parents. Sue’s daughter Christie benefited from these efforts, receiving a full tennis scholarship to the University of Virginia.
Concurrently, Sue excelled in both singles and doubles in Texas Section tournaments, won numerous USTA balls, was captain of the Texas Intersectional team (1995-2012 and 2015 until present), was 3-time USPTA National Player of the Year (35, 45, and 55), and represented the USTA on the Alice Marble Cup and the Kitty Godfree Cup teams. In 2015 Sue was named Player of the Year by Les Grande Dames.
From 2007-2009, Sue served as President of the National Senior Women’s Tennis Association and has been Membership Director since then. Since 2004, Sue has been tournament director of the USTA National Senior Women’s Clay Court Championships. She has raised the funds necessary to make this the most popular senior women’s national championship in the U.S.
Sue has dedicated her energies to a body of work dedicated to the propagation and development of Texas tennis and is honored to be in the 2016 class of the Texas Tennis Hall of Fame.
Canby first discovered a love of tennis as a 9-year-old in San Antonio. Since then, her career has spanned a remarkable 72 years. While tennis took a backseat to swimming and diving competitions during her high school and college years, the passion for tennis was always present. Over her lifetime, Margaret has won 40 tennis championships on clay, grass, hard court and indoor. In 2013, she showed she still had it winning the Women's 80 singles Clay Court, Hard Court and Grass Court National Championships and placing first in the World Individual 80 Women's Double Championship. She is currently ranked second in doubles and 12th in singles by the International Tennis Federation Super Senior World Ranking for her age group.
Canby's tennis career has taken her around the world and she has captained the women's 80 and over team in the Doris Hart Cup. In 2012-2015 Margaret captained the Texas 80 Women's Intersectional Teams which won the national championship. She currently plays on teams in the USTA Leagues in San Antonio. Congratulations to a more than deserving member of 2016 Texas Tennis Hall of Fame Class.
Born in Bryan, Texas, Julie Cass has excelled at every level of tennis. In high school she won the 1986 5A Doubles State Title while playing for Richard King High School in Corpus Christi. In junior college, Cass was the National Singles and Doubles Junior College Champion in 1989 while playing for Odessa Junior College and finished there as the #1 ranked Junior College player in the Nation. From there, she would join the University of Houston, being named All-SWC in 1991. Since 2001, Cass has earned 82 National Titles (Gold Balls) in her age group (30 in singles, 37 in doubles, 5 in mixed doubles (one with her brother) and 10 at the father/daughter grasscourt championships). Not surprisingly, she has reached a No.1 world ranking in her age group four times. In ITF World Cup play, Cass has been the top player on the Lenglen, Young, and Court Cup teams, capturing the World Team Championship title as well as individual singles and doubles World Champion titles in Mexico City in 2010. Her team repeated as World Team Champions in New Zealand in 2011. In 2014 in Florida Cass won the World Individual Championships in singles on clay which is her worst surface. Cass has been the Director of Women’s Programs at Westwood Country Club in Austin for 20 years. The Austin-American Statesman once wrote, that Cass “transformed from a somewhat reluctant high school player to one of the most dominant American players in any age group, men's or women's.”
Dennis Ralston had the rare opportunity to lead U.S. Davis Cup teams to victory as both a player and captain. He was considered a stormy figure early in his career although his actions seem tame compared to numerous players who came after. As a doubles player alongside Chuck McKinley, he made his strongest showing. They won the U.S. title three times, in 1961, 1963 and 1964, and were in finalist in 1962.
Ralston was a member of the Handsome Eight, the original eight players signed to the World Championship Tennis (WCT) tour in 1967. He and the seven other pioneers of the professional game helped pave the way for the current day ATP World Tour.
Between 1968 and 1971 Ralston served as coach of winning U.S. Davis Cup teams and in 1972 he became captain for a four year term - winning the Cup in 1972 and reaching the finals in 1973. His coolness and calming manner in the face of an uproarious crowd and patriotic local line judge in Bucharest was a highlight of the 1972 Cup victory over Romania.
A slim 6’2” tall, Ralston was a stylish stroker with a piercing forehand. He was a fine server and excellent volleyer who was in the U.S. Top Ten for seven straight years. He was the first to be No. 1 three straight years (1964, 1965 and 1966) since Don Budge (1936-1938). His highest world ranking was No. 5. Ralston and his dad, Bob Ralston, won the U.S. Father and Son title in 1964.
Ralston went on to make a name as an outstanding educator and influence while serving as the men's tennis coach at Southern Methodist University from 1981-1989 and 1991-1993. In 1983 he was named the NCAA National Coach of the Year and led the Mustangs to a second place national finish, best in school history.
Additional accomplishments include: Wimbledon Doubles Champion at 17 years of age in 1960, French Open Doubles Champion in 1966, Wimbledon Singles Finalist in 1966 and induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987.