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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
4:08 PM Sat, Sept. 22nd

Go away, rain; Southwest Seniors Saturday in Tucson

The rain. The rain. It didn't go away last weekend at the "Yavapai County Tennis Championships" at the Roughrider Tennis Center.

The rains came down Sunday, forcing a continuation of the last day of match play. The tournament has been postponed to this Saturday. If you are unsure of your times, contact Don Jones at 778-7071.

Some of the people and businesses who made this tournament possible are: Don Jones, Richard Bozeat, Anchor Books, Uncle Sal's Deli, Custom Designs of Prescott, dentist Michelle Bibeau, Burton Family Enterprises, Prescott Import Car Service, the Prescott Blind Company, Don Langford, Jack and Donna Cullen, Susie Q's and the Prescott Area Tennis Association.

There are extra T-shirts and they can be purchased for $10 each. Come by the tennis shed at the college, or pick one up while you're watching the finals this Saturday. All proceeds to go promoting tennis in the Prescott area.

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SOUTHWEST SENIOR CLOSED … The "23rd Annual Southwest Senior Closed Tennis Championships" are set for this weekend at the El Conquistador Tennis Resort in Tucson. If you're vying for a Southwest ranking it's a mandatory tournament to participate in.

It consists of singles, doubles and mixed doubles in five-year increments starting at the age of 35 up through the 85s.

Locally we have just myself (seeded fourth in the 40's and third in the 45 singles) and Dick McGaw (seeded second in the 60's) going down to play this year. Where are all the other old guys and gals from Prescott … Giardini, Brunstedt, Phelps, Matsumoto, Adam, Williams, Garber, Jackson, Robertson, etc.? It's time to get out there and have some fun playing the game of tennis, testing your skills and learning what humility is all about.

Wish us luck, we'll need all we can get.

On that same note, I just received notice for the "29th Annual Fiesta Bowl Scottsdale Senior Open Tennis Tournament," which is a national ranking tournament. It's scheduled for Dec. 6-9 at the Scottsdale Athletic Club owned and run by Alice and Bob Hing. Once again, it's for seniors ages 30 through 80, singles, doubles and mixed.

Players from all over the country converge to take part in this fun tournament. For more information, call 480-991-1571.

Nationally, Lleyton Hewitt is still going gangbusters, winning the Men's $800,000 International Series Tournament in Tokyo defeating Michel Kratochvil 6-4, 6-2.

The women's winner was Monica Seles over Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-3, 6-2. This was Seles' 50th career singles title.

In Moscow at the Kremlin Cup, Yevgeny Kafelnikov beat Nicholas Kiefer 6-4, 7-5 to win his fifth consecutive title there. The only other person to win five consecutive tournaments in a row in the Open Era is Bjorn Borg.

Kafelnikov donated his winnings to the families of the 78 people who lost their lives Oct. 4 in the Russian plane that went down in the Black Sea.

The women's final in Russia saw Jelena Dokie taking straight sets against up and coming Elena Dementieva 6-3, 6-3.

A side note is that Anna Kournikova (who dropped to the mid 20;s in ranking) and Martina Hingis won the doubles final in Moscow. Kournikova lost her singles in the first round there and has been out of action the past six months with a foot ailment.

The top five ranked players in the world currently are:

Men: 1) Kuerten, 755; 2) Agassi, 683; 3) Hewitt, 677; 4) Rafter, 557; and 5) Ferrero, 552.

Women: 1) Hingis, 5,256; 2) Capriati, 4,984; 3) Davenport, 4,345; 4) V. Williams, 4,333; and 5) Clijsters, 3,494.

It seems rather funny that Martina Hingis with no major titles to her credit the past two years still clings to the number 1 spot, while Venus Williams and Jennifer Capriati each have won two majors this year are below her. Something needs revamped.

Did you know that each year only the top 30 men on the tour make over $500,000 and for the women it caps out at about the top 20. Compare that to the professional sports of baseball, basketball and football and you can see these tennis players really work pretty hard for their money.

(Chris Howard is a local USPTA tennis professional with over 25 years in the fitness industry. Contact him at kchoward@earthlink.net).