August 25, 1917 -- When great tennis players from Western New York are discussed, most fans don't remember any better than Jimmy Arias. That's with good reason, since Arias turned out to be one of the best players in the world.
But Robert Lindley Murray did something even Arias couldn't do ... and he did it twice. Murray won the United States Open men's singles title.
Murray graduated from Stanford and landed a job with Hooker Electrochemical in Niagara Falls. He squeezed in a trip to Forest Hills and on this day defeated Nathaniel Niles in four sets to take the championship.
In 1918, Murray had the chance to again play for the American title but initially refused because the company was busy with important World War I defense contracts. But the president of Hooker told Murray to go compete. He did, and successfully defended his title by defeating the legendary Bill Tilden in straight sets His run finally ended in 1919 with a quarterfinal loss to Bill Johnston.
Murray eventually rose to the rank of chairman of the board at Hooker. He also was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Murray died in 1970 in Lewiston.
--- Budd Bailey