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Sun, Oct. 20

Clijsters & Federer again!; 11th Annual Wood Racquet soon

Can you just imagine what it must feel like to in the past year have your doctor tell you that your booming tennis career might likely be over at the age of 21 with a wrist injury? And to top it off, you break up with your fiance (Lleyton Hewitt) a month before your wedding was to take place? It would probably leave you wondering what could possibly be next.

How about recuperating and coming back on the womens tour to win two majors in a row (Indian Wells and Key Biscayne), beating six Top 10 players along the way ... Maria Sharapova in the finals 6-3, 7-5 in Florida, and now having a 14-match win streak going as the womens tour heads toward the French Open!

Thats a real Cinderella Story and no one is more deserving than Belgian, Kim Clijsters.

Flip to the mens tour and you find a Spanish kid by the name of Rafael Nadal, a hard hitting, 18-year-old lefty, coming out of the draw to play the No. 1-ranked player Roger Federer in the finals at the Nasdaq-100 Open.

The kid wins the first set with two breaks 6-2, the second in a tie break 7-4, and goes up 4-1 in the third. On the brink of winning a straight three-setter against Roger Federer, then the walls start tumbling down.

In the third set tie-break Rafael goes up 5-3, two points from victory, but Federer comes back. He wins the next four points and the third set.

As the No. 1 became more accurate and aggressive, he slowly but surely took the fourth set 6-3, and the final set 6-1 to turn what looked like an upset into his 22nd consecutive match win.

Neither player can feel too badly about the almost four-hour match, the 29th-seeded Nadal came away with $266,675 and Federer won another singles title and over a half million to put in the bank.

Now on to the clay court season.

11th Annual Wood Racquet Tourney-Sat., April 23

For those of you who have been playing tennis for 25 years or longer, you no doubt remember the Days of Wood.

Rough or smooth was the call for who would serve first, tennis whites and white tennis balls. Putting your racquet under your shirt with the first hint of rain since most racquets were strung with gut. Leather grips, drilling the grooves of your tennis racquet out a little more because youd worn down the wood frame from scrapping out low shots, thus breaking strings prematurely.

Well, its that time again, to find your forgotten friend of years gone by, dust him or her off and see if you can enjoy another day together on the courts playing some doubles. If you cant remember where you put your wood racquet, try the closet, attic or basement. Seems thats where most unused items go.

Now if your old friend didnt survive, more than enough old wood racquets will be provided for your use at the 11th Annual Legends Wood Racquet Doubles Tournament, held at the Roughrider Tennis Center, Saturday April 23 from noon to 4 p.m.

The A-B & C divisioned round robin tournament asks you to find a partner, but if you dont have one, call 445-1331 and one will be found for you. Lunch, snacks and old wood racquet presses will be the most unusual prizes for the day to all finalists. The cost is $15 per person. Sign up soon by calling 445-1331.

Millie Ryans Tennis Legacy

A trust has been put together to honor Millie Ryan who recently died in an automobile accident. The trustees are George Reynolds, Betty Greer and Jo Chanaud.

The trust is to help provide funds to improve local public tennis facilities and promote the sport of tennis in the Prescott area.

Some of the objectives are: *Promote public awareness of opportunities for playing tennis in Prescott. *Promote and support the Yavapai College Drop-In-Tennis program. *Support efforts to maintain and improve tennis facilities especially at the Roughrider courts, but also at other public courts in the Prescott area. *Encourage the development of new and enhanced public tennis facilities in the greater Prescott community. *Promote womens tennis programs. *Recognize groups and individuals who make significant contributions to the greater Prescott tennis community.

All of Millies friends and others who would like to contribute to her memory are welcome to send money to P.O. Box 12823, Prescott, AZ 86304.

Lets make Millie ... and Ted proud!

(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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