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Wed, Nov. 13

Doubles Cookie Tourney Sunday; tennis Xmas gifts

This next Sunday, Dec. 5, is the "Doubles Cookie Exchange Tournament starting at 10 a.m. at the Roughrider Tennis Center.

Sign up with a doubles partner in the A-B and C events that will be had and enjoy a half day of tennis against players of your own ability level. The cost is $15 per person and it includes prizes to all finalists, lunch and snacks.

If you have a favorite type of cookie that you really like, bring a plate to share with the troops.

Call 445-1331 to enter.

"Tennis Christmas Presents"

It's that time of year again, the time for giving, giving and more giving. It's tradition and certainly all of the store owners are geared up for the rush with items that will spread miles of smiles on faces during the holidays.

If you happen to have or be a tennis enthusiast, what are some presents in that realm that would appeal to you?

I've created a list that every tennis player might like if they don't have it already, or need a new one.

For myself and Lleyton this year I'm going to indulge in a rebound net to put up in our driveway.

It takes a limited amount of space and doesn't make the noise of a normal backboard making our neighbors happy, too.

Most players have a special racquet that they want with the proper grip size, so if you don't know the particulars, better just get them a gift certificate to order what they really want. Otherwise you'll get that fake smile and thanks when they open it.

Most women like jewelry, so how about the diamond tennis bracelet you'll find at most jewelry stores.

For the big server (or the ones that think they are) a speedster sports radar gun for a couple hundred bucks will make their day.

There are those tennis players who are very analytical, so how about a couple books, tapes or CD's from Vic Braden, Nick Bolletteri or Dennis Van der Meer on the finer points of strategy, biomechanics, net play, drills and exercises. The list goes on and on, but the point is they'll get hours of enjoyment from maybe not getting any better, but having the knowledge to.

Equipment and clothes freaks like the latest anything that's out there. Racquet bags, shoes, grips, strings, warm ups, collection names like Marcia, Diadora, Lejay, Ellesse, LBH, Kaelin, Wilson, Tail. Ball hoppers with new pressureless practice balls are great to get, sunglasses, and training aids.

Some tennis players like to practice with a ball machine and there are many cordless, lightweight machines for around a thousand dollars that really work well. Easy to carry in the car, get out and set up on any public or private court.

All of us tennis pros would like to see each tennis player in the area receive a series of tennis lessons. A gift certificate fits in a Christmas stocking really well.

Tennis art for the walls, a turn-of-the-century wood racquet to put on a mantle, brass tennis knick-knacks, much of that can be found at many of our antique shops in the Prescott area.

What serious tennis player wouldn't want their own stringing machine?

For those who really want to surprise a love-crazed tennis player, send them to one of the major tournaments. Wimbledon would be nice. Or maybe a fantasy tennis camp with their favorite legend tennis idol.

Last but not least, if you have a large lot, there's nothing like being able to walk out your back door to play tennis. If your lot is relatively flat, $50,000 will get about the best there is tennis court-wise and will include nice lights.

Good luck and let me know how it goes. If you need any tips as to where to find something special, give me a call 445-1331.

•Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Newman family. Mary Newman, who was a tennis staple in the Phoenix area and also helped son Brad for years put on the Rehab tournament here in Prescott, passed away recently.

•If you have had a college, professional, personal friendship with an icon or tennis teaching career, please contact me with the details as I would like to highlight some of our Tri-City area accomplished tennis players. Email me with a paragraph or two. Thanks.

(Chris Howard is a local USPTA Tennis Professional with over 30 years in the racquet and fitness industry. He can be reached at 445-1331 or

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