On July 13, 2021, Richard Zausner passed away after putting up a tough fight to Esophageal cancer. Dick, as he was referred to, had been an important part of American tennis for many years, especially College And Junior Tennis.
Dick Zausner was the publisher of College And Junior Tennis Magazine. He oversaw everything in it and was conscious in making it the best -- and only -- publication of its kind for amateur tennis players. Since it was read by children as young as 10 years old, he was also always keeping in mind what was right for them, from editorial to advertising.
The attention to the magazine came from the years of involvement at the Port Washington Tennis Academy. It was founded and owned by Hy Zausner. In 1980, it was Dick who took over running the facility from his father.
The Port Washington Tennis Academy, a place where future champions such as John McEnroe, Mary Carillo, Vitas Gerultis, and Tracy Austin, spent hours training, continued to flourish under the guidance of Dick Zausner. An extensive renovation was completed in 2002. At that time, with 17 indoor courts and an indoor track, it was the largest tennis facility under one roof in the country.
While overseeing the PWTA and continuing as publisher of College And Junior Tennis, Dick also remained invoved with the USTA. He was a long term Chairman of USTA/s Eastern Junior Tournament Rules & Discipline Committee.
My relationship with Dick Zausner goes back to when he hired me at 20, just after I finished my journalism degree, to run College and Junior Tennis, a monthly print magazine at the time. I told him I knew nothing about tennis and he said he’d teach me. I was there for four and a half years, until my daughter was born. Ten years later, the time was right for me to come back. My relationship with Dick, and Madeline, picked right up where it let off.
That was 1995. While there were plenty of work disagreements, I remained “one of his girls.” (He had only had one son, David, who was by his side until the end.) He was there at my wedding, and my dad’s funeral. I often thought of him as my second dad.
After I moved to the Midwest, I would stay at his house for weeks each summer while I covered the US Open each year. We stayed in touch regularly.
In 2017, Dick Zausner was indicuted into the USTA Eastern Tennis Hall of Fame. I had the pleasure of going with him to the event and celebrating, along with Jennifer Fuchs, Liz Jaffe, and Betty Newfield. It was a special evening.
You will be missed by so many, Dick. My heart goes out to your siblings and David, and the rest of the Zausner family.
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