San Francisco – September 2009

Court Angel ID’d as Edwards Family

The court angel that has stepped forward to renovate nine city courts in the last five years is the Edwards Family Trust administered by Jeff and Nicki Edwards of San Francisco.

The work has been done by Vintage Contractors on Ocean Avenue, the company founded by NorCal court standards pioneer, the late Gene Edwards. Jeff Edwards, a former tennis star at the University of Illinois, is his son. Another son, Tony Edwards, is vice president of Vintage Contractors and authorized the disclosure.

The gratis work to restore crumbling courts in tennis-active neighborhoods has been a godsend, as the ever cash-strapped city continues to skimp and cut back maintenance and recreational services.

Vintage’s latest project was one tennis court and one basketball court at Larsen Park completed in May. Vintage did the Silver Terrance Playground court and the Christopher Playground court in ‘07. The largest contribution came in ‘04. The family trust backed the resurfacing of the four popular tennis courts at Julius Kahn Park and one basketball court. Through another Edwards Family Trust gift next year, Vintage will resurface the badly deteriorated two tennis courts at Hamilton Park on Geary Ave.

Save Recreation Coalition Builds to Save Tennis

SFTC members are being reminded these days that all that glitters is not golden when it comes to club takeovers. Moreover, they’re invited to join a cause bigger than saving one club from the wrecker’s ball. Groundstrokers in the Brannan Street indoor fortress that had been on the auction block for a couple of years shook off their nightmare of their club being swallowed by developers when Western Athletic Clubs bought it in February. WAC manages Golden Gateway Tennis and Swim Club in the Financial District and owns a string of other NorCal clubs. So, rest easy?

Not by a long shot.

“Western Athletic Clubs bought the club, but it is owned by [resort and real estate giant] KSL,” says club member Mason Grigsby. “And KSL is not tennis people, it’s money people.”

Moreover, many fear that height limits could jump to 85 feet from 65 feet in SoMa where the four-story SFTC lives, making it an even more attractive parcel.

But Grigsby’s concern goes beyond the club. He is helping guide a new broad-based team to protect all recreational sites in the city. He and other Save Our SFTC activists such as Kris Schaeffer and Lena Grotz have dropped the title and joined the umbrella group “Save Recreation Coalition.” They want to stop the loss of any recreational space in the city to other use. Among the players are Lee Radnor and his Friends of Golden Gateway, the YTA and the San Francisco Tennis Coalition.

“We’re going to planning and health groups to stress the logic of preserving recreation,” Grigsby said. “We’re working on a larger level now and want to involve a lot of people outside of tennis. And recreation is key to tourism.”

First order of business is to revive the city’s moratorium on replacing recreation sites with buildings, unless the developer can build an identical replacement nearby. SFTC and its allies successfully lobbied hard for its passage but it has recently expired. The coalition now wants the safeguard permanently in the Planning Code, which would require Board of Supervisors approval.

California Tennis Club Hosts Bay College Battle

How would you like to see the Bay Area’s best collegiate tennis players competing right at your doorstep — or a Muni bus ride away — free of charge?

That’s what’s happening at the historic Cal Club in October. USF varsity men’s coach Peter Bartlett has organized a four-day competition between top men players from Stanford, Cal, USF, St. Mary’s and Santa Clara, all Division I teams. They’ll square off in singles and doubles Oct. 29 when the Scott Street club throws its doors open to the public. The finals will be played Nov. 1 in what Bartlett says is the inaugural Battle of the Bay Fall Tennis Classic.

“I’ve got commitments from all the schools to send their top four players and top two doubles teams,” Bartlett says. “We’ve got some sponsorship and we’re looking for a title sponsor, but this is going to happen.”

“Some among the total 20 singles players may have to qualify for the draw of 16,” he said.

A bonus for the public will be an exhibition on Oct. 29. Former ATP touring pros Jared Palmer and Paul Goldstein will play an exo.

USTA NorCal Move

USTA NorCal will uproot its Alameda headquarters at 1350 South Loop Rd.  According to USTA NorCal President Marjorie Peterman, pending final legalities and architectural upgrades, the section will move into a new Alameda location in February 2010.

Word of a move began to circulate in ‘06, when USTA NorCal leaders first considered relocating to the Central Valley.  An 80-acre park in the town of Ripon quickly emerged as a cost-efficient alternative to the section’s East Bay digs.  But just as quickly as the proposed plan surfaced, it disappeared.

Now it appears the move is on again.  Only this time the organization will stay in Alameda.

‘THE COLDEST WINTER I EVER SPENT WAS A SUMMER IN SAN FRANCISCO’: Wimbledon semifinalist Elena Dementieva had an opportunity to experience the mid-summer chill of San Francisco prior to the Bank of the West Classic when she visited the picturesque albeit fog-enshrouded Golden Gate Bridge. “I heard a lot about San Francisco,” said the Russian, who was making her first visit to The City by the Bay. “People say this is one of the most beautiful cities in the United States. It was very impressive. It’s a very interesting city to visit.”

‘THE COLDEST WINTER I EVER SPENT WAS A SUMMER IN SAN FRANCISCO’: Wimbledon semifinalist Elena Dementieva had an opportunity to experience the mid-summer chill of San Francisco prior to the Bank of the West Classic when she visited the picturesque albeit fog-enshrouded Golden Gate Bridge. “I heard a lot about San Francisco,” said the Russian, who was making her first visit to The City by the Bay. “People say this is one of the most beautiful cities in the United States. It was very impressive. It’s a very interesting city to visit.”

In Brief

Seniors return to 1770 Scott Street to compete in the annual Cal Club Senior tournament, Oct. 7-11 in men’s 35-80 age groups and women’s 35-60. Last year’s 45s singles winner, Eric Lehto, is expected to defend his title. Street parking is free; valet parking is $10 a day.




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