Paul Flory, the longtime tournament director of the Cincinnati tournament, has passed away at the age of 90 after a battle with Alzheimer's disease.
Flory’s death comes on the heels of the recent passing of former USTA president Hunter Delatour.
Flory began working at the Cincinnati tournament in 1975 and helped build it into one of the United States’ four biggest tournaments with the U.S. Open, Indian Wells and Miami. The August event is now a combined men’s and women’s Masters Series/Premier tournament that draws most of the world’s stars.
Flory was chairman of the tournament until his death. His son Bruce runs the tournament.
A former executive at Procter & Gamble, he was once named a Great Living Cincinnatian by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.
“With him it was always the journey,” Bruce Flory told Cincinnati Now. “He loved it so much, it was never like, ‘Hey, we’re done.’ He wanted to know, ‘What’s next?’ He took lot of pride in sharing the tournament with the city. I think he had a wonderful life.”
Delatour was the president of the USTA in 1983-84, a term during which Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe blew up at Davis Cup tie in Gothenburg, Sweden. Delatour later apologized to the Swedes and created code-of-conduct contracts for the players, requiring they agree to "represent the United States in the finest tradition of international sportsmanship" and display "courtesy and civility toward competitors, officials and spectators at all times."
Both McEnroe or Connors refused to sign the contract and it later died on the vine.
However, even after his presidency expired Delatour would continue to press the cause of civility in tennis as a volunteer on various ITF committees. He was well liked.
“His passing is a gigantic loss,” former Stanford coach Dick Gould told Inside Tennis. “He was incredibly loyal, and there was no finer ambassador for tennis nationally and internationally. He stood for the good of the sport.”