San Diego – June 2009

Tennis Fest Wows Crowd at Balboa

It was a perfect day for the hundreds of people who jammed the Balboa Tennis Club for their chance to try tennis. Tennis Fest 2009, presented by the San Diego District Tennis Association, is truly a ‘festival’ and it’s free. Each year it grows bigger and better. Bill Rennie chaired the event aided by Jeff Anderson, Steve Bickham, Geoff Griffin, Monty Grout, Steve Kappes, Becky Kuba, Fran McCloskey, Press and Juan Villanueva.

For some it was a first-time experience, others have been playing the game and wanted to get a few tips from the 60 top teaching pros that volunteered their afternoon. All 25 courts were hopping: the littlest children had a ball hitting balls, other courts catered to intermediates offering stroke clinics and skill drills and the “Beat the Pro” courts for the advanced players were extremely popular. Cardio tennis got the players’ hearts thumping, their feet moving and even made the fans tired just watching this incredible workout. Hit for Prizes courts were a favorite too. Beach Tennis set up on the lawn to give folks a chance to try this new sport, usually played on sand, that combines tennis and beach volleyball. Booths lined the court fences with information and product samples. Those who pre-registered received a goodie bag and a t-shirt.

Wayne Bryan got things off to a great start on center court by pulling spectators from the audience to participate in drills, some of the same ones he used when he was teaching his top ranked twins the basics. Valerie Ziegenfuss introduced this year’s Ben Press Award recipient, Ed Collins.

His outstanding commitment to tennis over many decades of coaching and teaching produced a slew of national champions. As Ben Press said, “Ed is the epitome of a great teaching pro. He is 100 percent dedicated. He’s a good man.”

93rd La Jolla Championships Coming Soon

You know it’s summertime in San Diego County when the 93rd La Jolla Championships, held at the La Jolla Tennis Club, begins competition, for juniors June 22-26 (entries close June 9) and for adults June 19-21, 26-28, July 3-5 (entries close June 6).

Whether to carry on a family generational tennis tradition or to combine tennis with your summer family vacation, the opportunity to play in a terrific competition that is minutes from the beach is alluring. That’s why over a thousand people entered last year. Over the years the draws have included soon-to-be-tennis stars like Tracy Austin and Pancho Gonzales.

The La Jolla Championships is one of the oldest, most prestigious tennis tournaments in the U.S. Back in 1917 the singles winners were Roy Bleifuss and Marion Williams. She captured the title a total of eight consecutive years. Ben Press won it in 1949 and his female counterpart was Maureen Connolly. She took the title again in 1950 and Press did so in ‘51. Dorothy Bundy Cheney also won the singles eight times between 1956-64 following the 1928 win by her mother May Sutton Bundy.

College Season Winds Down

Both University of San Diego teams finished in third place in the Mountain West Conference. Toreros Achim Ceban and Juan Gomez received All-Mountain West Conference recognition for their singles and doubles play. The men’s team was 4-4 in conference play and 15-12 overall while the women were 6-3 in conference competition and 17-8 overall.

Division II UCSD men’s team claimed the top spot in the California Collegiate Athletic conference with a 3-0 conference record and 9-9 overall. They beat No. 4 UC Santa Cruz and Sonoma State in their final two matches. The UCSD women results are 10-0 in conference play and 15-5 overall. They scored a 9-0 defeat of Cal Poly Pomona and a 6-3 win against their neighbors, Pt. Loma Nazarene University.

USTA League Dealine June 10

Summer means the USTA Senior League and the USTA Super Senior Leagues will be in full swing. Seniors must be born in 1959 or earlier and super seniors need a birth date in 1949 or earlier to qualify. Deadline for team signups is June 10. Format is three doubles matches. Senior women play Monday-Thursday mornings at 9 am and men play Sundays at 9 am. Super senior women play Friday at 9 am and men play Saturdays at 9 am. Fee is $21 per player (captain’s $18 fee waived) and all must be USTA members. Call 858-755-8110 for information.




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