Hyde Park Tennis Club honoring Cincinnati tennis legend

The Hyde Park Tennis Club is honoring Kathy Graeter by naming a court after her.
Published: May. 12, 2023 at 5:33 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - When you hear the name Graeter you probably think of ice cream in Cincinnati, but there is one member of the Graeter family that is well-known for her tennis skills.

The Hyde Park Tennis Club is honoring Kathy Graeter by naming a court after her. Graeter is one of the best players to ever compete here in the Cincinnati area and still plays decades later.

Graeter has been a member of the Hyde Park Tennis Club for almost 60 years. She joined just after college.

She is the all-time leader in titles at the Cincinnati MET Tennis Tournament and a member of the Cincinnati Tennis Hall of Fame among other accolades.

She started playing tennis when she was 12 years old and competed with the Mariemont High School tennis team and in college at Northwestern.

“My biggest accomplishment was an international tournament in Monte Carlo, Monaco, and we ended up winning that tournament,” remembers Graeter.

Now, her name is permanently etched on the court and on a plaque at the HPTC.

“I’m very honored to have a court named after me,” says Graeter, ”There is such a rich history in this city and to be honored that way is pretty special.”

Graeter loves the social aspect of playing tennis. She says that’s how she’s made many friends.

Brian Brockhoff has been friends with Graeter for more than 50 years.

“I will never forget it [meeting her],” remembers Brockhoff, “I would tag along with [my] dad and you met all these special people and Kathy was one of them.”

Brockhoff learned to play tennis from his father, but he says Graeter is someone he will never forget.

“She is just a wonderful human being,” Brockhoff continues, “For all the success she’s had professionally and she’s had on the tennis courts you would never know it. She’s grounded, humble, and has a fabulous sense of humor.”

Carol Tanner explained how she first met Graeter.

“This friend of mine said ‘well you should go come with me and watch Kathy Graeter play,’” remembers Tanner, “And I’m like who is that?”'

Her friend explained that Graeter is one of the best players in the city. A week later, Tanner played doubles against Graeter.

“About 45 minutes later, I can hardly walk, I’m sweating,” recalls Tanner, “I had never dealt with that kind of ball.”

Soon after that, they started playing on the same team and became friends.

“She’s a fantastic friend. She knows all my children, grandchildren and there’s not a better person around than Kathy Graeter.”

Not only does Graeter spend her free time playing tennis, but she is also a third-generation member of the Graeter family.

She walks to the store in Mariemont daily where she works. You may also find her at some of the other locations working well past the normal retirement age.

Graeter shows us all that age is just a number and staying fit and active is the key to a long life.

Grater says she hopes to leave behind a legacy of giving back.

“She worked hard on her tennis and tried to give the most to her game and try to give back to the community,” answers Graeter.

The dedication will begin at 12 p.m. Saturday at the Hyde Park Tennis Club. The address is 2820 Erie Avenue in Cincinnati. There will be some refreshments served. You can bet some of those will be from Graeter’s.

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