History Of Saddlebrook Tennis
Saddlebrook Tennis was founded in 1986 by the legendary Harry Hopman. Saddlebrook owner, Tom Dempsey was approached by Hopman to build a tennis program at the beautiful 480 acre resort just north of Tampa, Florida. The program was built and run on the coaching principals that made Harry Hopman one of the most successful tennis coaches in history. His philosophy and focus on fitness and hitting thousands of balls was the foundation of the Saddlebrook Program and still echoes throughout the grounds today through the intense drills our coaches run during our daily clinics.
Saddlebrook Tennis Program Director, Howard Moore accompanied Harry Hopman "Hops" along his journey from The Port Washington Tennis Academy in NY, where greats John McEnroe and Vitas Gerulaitis trained, to the new venture at Saddlebrook. Howard comments on his years working with Hopman that "it gave me insight into one of the greatest tennis minds of all time." Howard Moore can be found any given day patrolling the grounds of Saddlebrook making sure his adult and junior camp programs are running smoothly and that he has an opportunity to give a warm welcome to each and every Saddlebrook guest.
Saddlebrook has been a training ground for some of the most famous touring pros of all time. The combination of tranquility, privacy and exclusivity on property coupled with the energy of the world's top players training to reach their goals of ATP and WTA success has made Saddlebrook a historic and legendary training ground.
Inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1978, Henry Christian Hopman made his name as the most successful of all Davis Cup captains, leading his native Australia to 16 Cups between 1939 and 1967. Emphasizing super fitness, he drove and inspired some of the greatest Aussie players including Frank Sedgman, Lew Hoad, Ken Rosewall, Ashley Cooper, Mervyn Rose, Rex Hartwig, Mal Anderson, Neale Fraser, Roy Emerson, Rod Laver, John Newcombe, Fred Stolle, and Tony Roche. He emigrated to the US in 1969 and became a highly successful teaching pro at the NY Port Washington Academy in NY.
A fine player, particularly in doubles, he won the Australian Men's doubles with Jack Crawford in 1929 and 1930 and four mixed doubles titles. He opened his first Hopman Tennis Academy with his wife, Lucy, in Largo, Florida. Hopman was born August 12, 1906 in Sydney and died December 27, 1985 in Largo.