The Louisville Tennis Center has seen some major highs, followed by near extinction. But the Metro Parks courts across from the Louisville Zoo have been brought back to life in a big way, with bigger plans to come.
It opened in 1969 and hosted a major pro tennis event for most of the 1970's, with the best players in the world coming here. But it fell into disrepair and was closed for two years in the early 2000's. That changed in 2004 when Pete McGrath became head pro for the Metro Parks courts.
"We kind of transformed it into a participant facility instead of the great spectator facility it once was," said McGrath. The more we try to serve the needs of the community, the more the community has responded."
Tiffany Welcher was once a kid learning the game at the Center. This summer, after finishing a stellar college career, she is back as a teacher.
"The Center is unbelievable, how much it's changed in the last decade," the Clarksville High grad said. "What Pete's done with the place, how he has all these kids coming into the community and building it up basically from nothing, I think it's amazing."
McGrath said during it's high points, about three-thousand people are coming through the Center in a week. Some of the money made is being put back into the Center for improvements this winter and there's a long-term hope of adding hard-courts to an nearby area tied in with a nearly 100-year-old Camp Zachary Taylor building.