Lively Tales About Dead Teams

1975-1978 & 1983 Indiana Loves

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World Team Tennis (1975-1978)
TeamTennis (1983)

Born: November 1974 – The Detroit Loves relocate to Indianapolis, IN
Folded: November 9, 1978
Re-Born: November 23, 1982 – Team Tennis expansion franchise.
Folded Again: 1983

Arenas:

Team Colors: Green, Burgundy & Gold

Owners:

WTT Championships: None

 

The Indiana Loves were a four-year member of Billie Jean King’s kooky, colorful World Team Tennis experiment during the mid-1970’s.  The franchise started out as the Detroit Loves in WTT’s inaugural season of 1974, but was unsuccessful there.  At the end of the season, the original owners sold out to Indianapolis businessman and tennis aficionado William Bereman, who kept the Loves name and moved the club to Indianapolis’ Market Square Arena for the 1975 campaign.

The Loves’ main attraction was the young Lithuanian-American golden boy Vitas Gerulaitis, who came to Indiana for the 1977 season after the Pittsburgh Triangles, his original WTT employer, went out of business.  Gerulaitis was 23 years old at the time and coming into his own as a rising star in both the singles and doubles game.  He won the Australian Open in 1977 (in what would be his only Grand Slam singles title) and was a semi-finalist at Wimbledon in 1977 and 1978.  Gerulaitis’ sister Ruta Gerulaitis also played for the Loves.

The Loves also featured a handful of top notch doubles players, including Aussies Allan Stone (also the Loves’ coach for all four seasons), Dianne Fromholtz and Geoff Masters.

The Loves had a losing record in all four seasons they played in Indianapolis, bottoming out in World Team Tennis’ final season of 1978 with a last place 13-31 record.  Shortly after the 1978 season concluded, eight of the ten World Team Tennis franchises folded causing the demise of the league.

A re-organized, lower-budget version of World Team Tennis came back in 1981.  In November 1982, former owner Bill Bereman announced that the Loves would return to the revived league in July 1983 after a four year absence. Bereman announced plans  to play at the 8,000-seat Indianapolis Sports Center.

I’m not sure what became of Bereman after that announcement. A team did play under the Indiana Loves name the following summer, but it never set foot in the state of Indiana. The Loves played the entire 1983 Team Tennis season as a travel team in other league cities and then quietly went out of business once and for all.

 

==Indiana Loves Programs on Fun While It Lasted==

Season Date Opponent Score Program Other

1978

1978 6/16/1978 vs. Phoenix Racquets ?? Program

 

==In Memoriam==

Vitas Gerulaitis died of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning at a friend’s home on September 17, 1994.  He was 40.

Loves Owner & President Bill Bereman passed away in April 1996 at age 54.

Former Loves Director of Publicity Jep Cadou died on October 21, 2003 at age 80.

 

 

 ==Links==

World Team Tennis Media Guides

World Team Tennis Programs

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