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Sun, June 16

Column: '09 predictions on the tennis scene

Don't we all wonder what the New Year is really going to bring? Swing that question toward a tennis column and you'll get the skinny on what just may become reality on and off the courts in 2009.Faith Blair, Candy Howell, Jane Pickett and Jolene Preston will all decide it's time to play in a tournament again. All will end up with the following excuses. Faith got invited to take a trip, Jane will have to watch grand-kids, Jolene will say she got called in to work and Candy just won't find anything to wear that looked right.The Prescott High School boys' tennis team will win their regional division again, make it to the final four in the state team standings and have all six starters qualify for the state individual competition. Sterling Fetty will repeat as coach of the year.Dinah Lunsford and Susan Korte will win every local grand prix they enter ... in singles and doubles. "COME ON!!!"Ted Harris will be clocked hitting one of his groundstrokes 178 mph while playing with the Yavapai Hills Drop-In group. Unfortunately he'll be arrested for manslaughter as the ball lands in the Costco parking lot hitting a woman getting out of her car.Local USPTA pro Nick Cristea will start a new fad in the world of tennis. He'll enter all of this year's tournaments playing with the old but famous T-2000 Wilson racquets Jimmy Connors played with until 1985. (Nick may have to get an elbow replacement in 2010.)George Reynolds, Dave Justice, John Stadnick and Ron Campbell will decide to come out of retirement due to the poor economy and start their own tennis court construction company. Their slogan, "If it's old, cracked and faded and you're not in a hurry, we're your men."Larry Klemmedson will be banned from the courts for six months for letting some loose language fly once too often while searching for the perfect game during tournament play. Professionals Russ and Gail Wagner do a work-up on him and find he has a mild case of Tourette's syndrome. They counsel, medicate and now say he's good to go. His soul mate Barbara Briseno insists much more psychological help is needed.Esther Brown will come out of retirement to once again be the PHS girls' tennis coach.Dick McGaw, with his new bionic knee will surprise even himself with his winning results and new mobility. Even though he qualifies for the 65's he'll play down and win a couple 55 age group divisions before tearing through all four major nationals - clay, hard courts, indoor and grass. Doesn't it just make you want to mess up a joint for the fun of it?Yavapai College will get grant (matching funds) approval to replace their six tennis courts, have six more built on the hill above the current ones with funds obtained by the Prescott Area Tennis Association and now be able to run a men's and women's tennis team, regional and sections USTA tournaments and begin a new associate's degree program in marketing and business with an emphasis on tennis and health club management.Promoter Tom Winker will bring the Jonas Brothers to Prescott for a tennis fundraiser concert for the project listed above. Billie Jean King, Ilona Kloss, Faye Matsumoto and Jan Hasse will play a tennis exhibition, and Wayne Bryan, Nick Bollettieri and Vic Braden will put on the clinic of clinics showcasing the Mile High City as the new tennis Mecca to retire to.Bernie Adam and Steve Waples will enclose courts 3, 4 and 5 at the Prescott Racquet Club. Then a battle ensues between members as to who gets to use those courts when the others are down with snow accumulation. (Some times you just can't win.)Lisa Cook will find she's too busy to play tennis anymore since she's become a USTA umpire, PATA board member, Southwest USTA League representative, promoter and activist for United Animal Friends where she and her husband foster, rescue and adopt animals and other various organizations.As for myself, 51 more columns will be coming your way to keep you thinking about the wonderful game of tennis.(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@q.com)
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