Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Sun, Aug. 18

We needed moisture but ... ; Aussie coming

Okay, the lakes are full, the ground is more than saturated, the streams and washes are running to full capacity, not to mention the holidays pulled most every one out of their normal schedule.

So isn't it time now for it all to go back to normal so your local tennis professionals can make a living?

Gosh, if this keeps up someone with more money than smarts is just going to have to build an indoor tennis complex in the area ... even if it isn't financially wise.

Anyway, good weather is just around the corner from what I've observed on TV, so find your tennis racquets and ready yourselves for another great year of local tennis events.

Listed below are the up-coming one-day tennis events and weekend tournaments open to the public for your fun and competitive participation.

"One-Day Round Robin Tournaments Held at the Roughrider Tennis Center 2005"

(Held at the Yavapai College Tennis Facility, includes snacks, lunch, most unusual prizes to finalists and all the tennis you can handle in one day. By ability, not gender...$15 per person.)

•Call 445-1331 and sign up the Thursday before each tournament or earlier.

1. Sunday, Jan. 30: "New Year A-B-C Doubles"; noon-4 p.m.

2. Saturday, Feb. 12: "Presidents Day Luck of the Draw"; noon-4 p.m. (Sign up individually and you will be placed within your ability level.)

3. Saturday, March 12: "Spring Fling Mixed Doubles" (A-B-C divisions); noon-4 p.m.

4. Saturday, April 23: "Legends 11th Annual Wood Racquet Tournament" (A-B C divisions); noon-4 p.m. Dress in whites if you can....racquets provided if you have a need.

5. Saturday, May 21; "Men's Singles 4.0+ Invitational"; noon-4 p.m. Sunday, May 22: "Women's Singles 4.0+ Invitational"; noon-4 p.m.

6. Saturday, June 18; "Men's 3.0-4.0-4.5 Doubles Invitational" (5 teams of each); noon-5 p.m.

7. Saturday, July 30; "Beat the Heat A-B-C Doubles".; 5-9 p.m.

8. Sunday, Aug. 14; "Back to School Family Doubles" (A-B-C divisions); noon-4 p.m.

(You need to play with a family member...or at least a kissin cousin.)

9. Saturday, Sept. 10; "Century Doubles" (A-B-C divisions, where your ages must add up to 100 years or more/if you are 30 or less-you are considered 30); noon-4 p.m.

10. Saturday, Oct. 22; "Halloween (A-B & C) Costume Doubles"; noon-4 p.m.

11. Saturday, Nov. 19; "Turkey Trot (A-B-C) Doubles"; noon-4 p.m.

12. Sunday, Dec. 4; "Holiday Cheer (A-B-C) Doubles"; noon-4 p.m.

"Prescott Racquet Club Public Events Tennis Schedule"

•Call 778-0708 for more information.

Jan. 29.....PRC Grand Prix Singles.

Feb. 26....PRC Grand Prix Doubles.

March 19.....PRC Grand Prix Mixed Doubles.

April 2.....PRC Jr. Grand Prix.

May 14.....PRC Grand Prix doubles.

May 28-29..... PRC Memorial Day Open/NTRP non-sanctioned.

June 4.....PRC Grand Prix Mixed Doubles.

June 24-26.....PRC Mile High (Sanctioned) Tournament.

July 9....PRC Junior Open.

July 16....PRC Grand Prix Singles.

Aug. 5-7...Prescott Junior Satellite Tournament.

Aug. 27...PRC Jr. Grand Prix.

Sept. 3-5...PRC Labor Day Open.

Sept. 10...PRC Jr. Grand Prix.

Sept. 24....PRC Grand Prix Mixed Doubles.

Oct. 15...PRC Jr. Grand Prix.

Nov. 5...PRC Grand Prix Doubles.

Dec. 3...PRC Grand Prix Mixed.

"Australian Open Celebrates Centennial"

Monday, Jan. 17 kicks off the 100th year of the Australian Open, quite an achievement for any event.

Back in 1905, the first Aussie Championships were played at the Warehousemen's Cricket Grounds in Albert Park, where Melbourne's Rodney Heath became the tourney's inaugural champion.

It's been 29 years since any native men (female Chris O'Neil was victorious in 1978) have won a championship on their home turf, when Mark Edmonson upset John Newcombe to win the men's title in 1976.

Their best shot in 2005 would have to be Lleyton Hewitt, who is seeded 19th in the men's draw, and there are no women Aussies that are to even be mentioned.

Where are the Margaret Courts, Evonne Goolagongs, the likes of what coach Harry Hopman put together in the 50's and 60's with Lew Hoad, Ken Rosewall, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, Tony Roche, and John Newcome?

It's too bad that players like Pat Cash and Patrick Rafter were on the injured list before their time should have been up. So it seems to all fall on Lleyton Hewitt's shoulders in 2005 to pull off what Virginia Wade did at Wimbledon on it's centennial in 1977 and make all his former mates envious.

But then there's the likes of Roger Federer who in the back of his mind wants to win all four majors this year. A feat of much magnitude, a little luck and lots of unequaled play in this day and age.

It will be fun to watch.

(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 choward4541@peoplepc.com)

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