Originally Published: September 13, 2005 5 a.m.
Hey, what do you know, two tournaments in a row completed without rain, too much wind, hail or snow, while the most unusual prizes at the "Century Tournament" were umbrellas.
Last Saturday, eight teams went through four hours of effort to be divided into two divisions to contest for the rainy weather prizes.
In the A Division, Dinah Lunsford and Orlando Martinez defeated Phil Clayton and Tim Boehm 5-3 to take that championship. Semifinalists were Phillip Matosich and Ron Ryan, and Larry Klemmedson and Barbara Briseno. Third place went to Phillip Matosich and Ron Ryan.
Jean Mannino and partner Candy Ryan took the top honors in the B Division, showing Marty Otting and John Stewert the door, 5-3. Semifinalists were Robin and Toby Fox who lost a close 7-5 tiebreak to Candy and Jean and Larry and Jenny Cobb. Third place went to Larry and Jenny Cobb.
This coming Saturday is the "Prescott Area Tennis Association's" annual mixer and potluck, and all tennis players in the Prescott area are welcome to attend, no matter your ability. It will be held at the Yavapai College tennis courts from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with the food to follow.
All participants are asked to bring a plate of salad, dessert, etc. to share, while the main course and drinks are provided by the PATA. To enter, call 445-1331 by this next Thursday, so we know how many people to expect.
U.S. Open:A champion's final
Being 15 years older than Andre Agassi, I have watched him develop from a blooming, booming, rock-'n-roll kid to the elder statesman of the game of tennis. His entrance into professional tennis was at the end of Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe's career, and during the formative and final years of Sampras, Courier, Chang, and Martin, to name but a few great Americans he began with, but has outlasted.
He's been at the top and he's seen the bottom at times, when just a few years ago he was doubting himself with a ranking that went as low as 141.
At the age of 35 and with a back that hasn't been cooperating, not too many people gave Agassi much of a chance to make it through the first week of the U.S. Open, let alone three five-set matches and into the finals against Roger Federer.
When you say the name Andre or just Agassi, an image comes to most everyone's mind throughout the world. I guess 20 years of magnificent tennis, not to mention the foundation work he does with and for youth in the Las Vegas area, has created a special spot in our hearts for this man.
Did you happen to see the Sampras commercial during the Open where it looks as if he had a need to tell everyone of his accomplishments? Or Andy Roddick's ... "He lost his mojo" whatever that is. I felt they were both pretty bogus commercials personally and it just seems they might have given a bit more thought process before letting those 30-second bits run.
Agassi said of his opponent, Federer, "He's the best I've ever played against." And there are fewer and fewer people who can make an argument against Federer being touted maybe the best player ever. This exceptional player has won 23 straight finals..
Without injury or burnout, he will continue to put up amazing results and numbers, until the bar is raised and another generation pulls out their "best" player.
Hail to Federer and hail to Agassi, two great athletes who have made tennis players around the world proud.
(Chris Howard is a local USPTA tennis pro with more than 30 years in the racquet and fitness industry. He can be reached at 445-1331 or firstname.lastname@example.org)