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Cotton Bowl Tournament Celebrates 61 Years

December 30, 2018

Did you keep up with the Cotton Bowl Classic in Dallas this past week? In 1957, following the path of the Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl, Dallas added a tennis tournament to its “annual New Year’s festival of sports”. The first Cotton Bowl Indoor Tennis Tournament was played at the Fair Park Recreation Building indoor courts from December 28-31, 1957 and was open to junior players. With an entry fee of $2.00 per player, per event, the tournament received just over 200 entries. The event was sponsored by the Cotton Bowl Council and the Dallas Tennis Association, in cooperation with the Dallas Park and Recreation Department. Festivities included a buffet and dance for players and parents on the evening of December 29 at the Dreyfus Club.

By the early 1960s, the tournament was the nation’s largest junior indoor tournament. It later expanded to include adult divisions and is now an Adult Major Zone.


Pictured here are the 1957 finalists admiring their trophies. Included in the group are Nancy Richey, Leo LaBorde, Jr and Butch Newman.


Junior boys singles winner Willie Wolff of Fort Worth was a freshman at Southern Methodist University when he won the 1957 title.


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