Jimmy Van Alen

Born:
September 19, 1902
Died:
July 03, 1991
Place of Birth:
Newport, Rhode Island
United States
Citizenship:
United States
Induction Category:
Contributor
Year of Induction:
1965

A national singles and doubles champion in court tennis, Jimmy Van Alen was a progressive thinker who fervently believed that tennis needed to be willing to make changes in its scoring system.  At the Newport Casino he introduced VASSS, the Van Alen Streamlined Scoring System, electric scoreboards, night tennis, and the tiebreaker, now called the tie-break.  His original nine-point “Sudden Death” tie-break was implemented at a Grand Slam event for the first time at the 1970 US Open.  Most importantly, he established the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Contributions

  • President of the Newport Casino 1952
  • President/Founder of the National Hall of Fame
  • Inventor of the tiebreaker/VASSS
  • National Court Tennis Singles & Doubles Champion