Volleys of Praise for New Yale Tennis Center

Published on November 10th, 2009

The new Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center at Yale University, which opened just a year ago, hosted the Intercollegiate National Indoor Tennis Championship recently, the second major tournament held there this fall. The top-ranked 32 singles players and the 16 best doubles teams nationwide, in both the men’s and women’s divisions, descended on the highly acclaimed new facility for four days of spirited competition from November 5-8.

Designed by Mark Simon, partner in Centerbrook Architects, the new center has been drawing praise from coaches, fans, and players. Expanded from four courts to eight and featuring a new central viewing lobby and welcoming entrance with a dynamic entry canopy, the improved facility is widely credited with bringing the national tournament to Yale. The previously four years the event had been held at Ohio State University or the University of Virginia. In October, the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center hosted the Women’s Northeast Regional Championships.

“The first time I walked into the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center I was unbelievably impressed with it, the overall design, the graphics, the team rooms, with everything,” said David Geatz, who coaches Cornell University’s Women’s Tennis. “My teams have played all around the country, and this is the nicest facility of them all. It has a really nice college feel to it.”

Geatz is in good company, according to Alex Dorato, who is the Men’s Varsity Tennis Coach at Yale. “We received countless positive comments on our facility from players and coaches participating in our recent tournament,” Dorato said. “Many hailed it as the best indoor collegiate facility in the country. They were impressed with the excellent viewing afforded of all of the courts, the layout of the lobby, the spacing between courts, and the team lounge.”

Professional tennis player and Pilot Pen Champion James Blake, who has practiced at the facility, concurred: “The tennis center at Yale is wonderfully designed and fits perfectly for a college dual match. I think it will be the site of many memorable matches for the Eli's.” That’s high praise, indeed, coming from a Harvard man.