February 17th, 2015

St. Petersburg C.C. Tennis Center to be Renamed in Honor of Vuille

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From right: Sam Vuille and his father Jim at the USTA Florida annual awards gala in 2009

Sam Vuille, the director of tennis at the St. Petersburg Country Club and a 2007 inductee into the USTA Florida Tennis Hall of Fame, will on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015 see the tennis center renamed in his honor.

“In recognition of his 27 years of outstanding service to the club, we are renaming our tennis facility in Sam’s honor,” says Jerry Ratledge, tournament co-chair of the upcoming Raymond James Super Senior Grand Prix held at the club. “Henceforth, it will become known as the Sam Vuille Tennis Center at the St. Petersburg Country Club.”

A dedication ceremony and unveiling of the club’s new sign will be held at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 21, followed by a reception and party at the clubhouse.

Vuille, his sister and three brothers trailed their parents, Janet and Jim, from an early age to the courts to hone their skills, with Sam established himself as a stellar junior competitor. Vuille is one of just three Florida juniors to record state singles titles in the 12-and-under, 14, 16 and 18 age divisions, and in 1972 he won the state singles championship. In 1976 he and his Alabama Crimson Tide teammates won the SEC Conference Championship, the first for Alabama.

A three-year stint on the pro tour saw him make the Wimbledon men’s doubles main draw in 1979.

“Playing at Wimbledon was my most outstanding moment, even though I had no impact on the draw,” said Vuille, who teamed with fellow American J.P. Geraghty, losing to American Jeff Borowiak and Australian Peter McNamara. “I didn’t realize how big a deal it was until I was there.”

Vuille’s father, “Gentleman” Jim Vuille, a 2009 USTA Florida Tennis Hall of Fame inductee, died in 2010 at age 101. Jim Vuille helped establish the St. Petersburg Tennis Center, then known as Bartlett Park, serving as president, interim pro, maintenance helper, and manager from 1974 to 1984. According to friend and fellow club member Gloria Lewallen, “He had the title ‘Gentleman Jim’ because when there was a close call, he always gave his opponent the benefit of the doubt.”

The Sam Vuille Tennis Center at the St. Petersburg Country Club will host the Raymond James Super Senior Grand Prix from Feb. 23-March 1, 2015, with age divisions 55-90 in men’s singles and doubles, with more than 300 competitors expected.

For more information click below:
Sam Vuille Tennis Center at the St. Petersburg Country Club
Raymond James Super Senior Grand Prix