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Chris Howard, Courier Columnist

Stories by Chris

Learning sports in general teach each of us a world of life lessons, but the game of tennis even more-so due to the fact there are so many ups and downs during a match, and in a close match it ain’t over till the last ball’s been hit.

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A small ATP charity fundraising event held in Tucson in 1975 moved to the Mission Hills Country Club in the Coachella Valley, California, in 1976 as a regular ATP tour event.

Most of the time in this column I try to be upbeat, informative, knowledgeable, and progressive toward life - especially with the aspect of tennis in mind. That particular game has given me a lot of sanity in its own way as well as a living of sorts. It’s been there for me through some rough patches.

Every now and then you run into someone who truly impresses you in a variety of avenues, hopefully for most of us that person is a boss or better yet our spouse, but in this case it’s a man who is truly respected by just about everyone in the tennis industry and beyond - Allen Fox.

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist February 4, 2019

We know who the great tennis players are, or do we?

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist January 28, 2019

I’ve been making the trek over spring break to cover the Indian Wells ATP Masters & WTA Premier combined tennis tournament since 2000, and each year it seems to get better and better. Where else can you get to see most every current professional male and female tennis player compete, practice and workout upfront and personal?

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist January 21, 2019

The Australian Open kicks off the “real” beginning of tennis season for fans of the game even though there have been a few warm up events held in that area to let the players acclimate to the conditions and prepare for battle as best they can already.

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist January 14, 2019

It’s that time of year again where you put the previous year to bed and gear up for what the new one will bring. Setting new goals to be achieved, or at least projected for and while most like to set the bar higher than the year before - that’s not always possible to reach.

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist December 31, 2018

Santa is arriving soon and hopefully if you wanted something bad enough and expressed it in a pleasing manner it appeared.

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist December 23, 2018

You know life has been pretty dog gone good to you when you get near Christmas and you’re asked what you’d like and you really don’t need or really want anything. Well, maybe it’d be fun to be 22 years old and be one of the top tennis players in the world, but that was only a dream then just like it still is today.

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist December 17, 2018

How many of you tennis players have made it through a whole tennis match and not said something that sounded like an excuse?

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist December 3, 2018

What makes a Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, Serena Williams, Steffi Graf? An Agassi, Sampras, Evert or Navratilova - all exceptional champions in the world of tennis.

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist November 26, 2018

Ever had to find a doubles partner to play in an event or league match? It’s like asking someone out on a date, a bit scary and uncomfortable.

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist November 19, 2018
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Alleging voting “irregularities’’ the state Republican Party is launching what it calls its own an “independent audit’’ of practices by Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes - an audit being aided by a law firm that represents the party.

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist November 16, 2018

People like to be able to depend on what’s going to take place and for some it might even seem a bit repetitive.

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist November 12, 2018

Sometimes you just can’t seem to get the answers for the questions you have and for me I have quite a few in the realm of tennis. A few of these questions may never have answers, while others it’ll just take some time yet to get them.

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist November 5, 2018

A week on the road to primarily play tennis in two national tennis events is a pleasure I’ve never taken the time to do - until now.

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist October 29, 2018

There are an awful lot of people playing tennis who have learned much of their game through trial and error. Nothing wrong with that, in fact it’s one of the main learning methods.

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist October 22, 2018

It was a long time coming, but finally in 1968 the powers to be overthrew the old regime of a separated amateur and professional tour of tennis players and let tennis come alive with both competing against one another for men and women.

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist October 15, 2018

This column is not for the faint of heart if indeed you have a child who has a goal of playing top level college and preferably professional tennis. It’s a dedication of time, money, hard work and willingness to give up most of the other things life has to offer and then there are still no guarantees.

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist October 8, 2018
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When you organize and run a fairly large event, there are quite a few unknowns.

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist October 1, 2018

Some people make it with their great play, some organize and work it, some write about it while others teach, some play at it and each part helps create the whole.

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist September 24, 2018

There’s no real reason to go over what happened at the U.S. Open singles final except the fact that everyone seems to have a different take on it. Tennis, like most sports can be very emotional - and even more so because it’s just one person playing another, it falls completely on your own shoulders - you against them.

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist September 17, 2018

It was a crazy women’s final at the U.S. Open, and opinions of what took place are being bounced around like ping pong balls. But under the guise of this column, it’s still the fun events that make the game of tennis what it has become today.

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist September 10, 2018
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It’s the day and age of almost anything goes in the world of tennis attire as well as where you change your clothes during a tennis match.

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist September 3, 2018
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Many moons ago when the Scottsdale Princess Resort held both a men’s and women’s professional tournament I had the pleasure of taking busloads of local tennis players down to watch some of the matches and at the same time interview the professionals playing matches there.

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist August 28, 2018
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My wife said to me, “Chris — you need to come watch a little of this.”

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist August 13, 2018
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The most basic parts of playing the game of tennis are taken for granted, things like a racquet, the ball, strings, rules and such.

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Most of us have loved playing sports of some kind throughout our lives, and God knows we want to continue doing what we love and probably have gotten pretty good at.

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There are millions and millions of sports fanatics, and have been for centuries, more now than ever before.

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Every sport that has acquired millions of followers has found a niche in attracting people to either participate, spectate or both for a variety of reasons we’ve found appealing.

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I just finished watching the movie “Borg vs. McEnroe,” and I remember watching the finals with a “Breakfast at Wimbledon” back in 1980 when it was happening, but the movie is less about who won that championship and more about how each person, Bjorn and John, reached that point in their lives.

I personally like hearing success stories, and the one I’m about to tell certainly falls under that category.

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Did you realize that there are over 130 million used tennis balls that could be recycled each year if you and I took the time to get them to the proper locations to help the cause?

When you think of the athletes who have acquired the most wealth over their careers and life-time, you would never imagine that Ion Tiriac would be at the top of that list. Many people wouldn’t even know who you’re talking about. Over two billion dollars later, the 79 year-old from Romania laughs all the way to the bank, his bank.

The majority of tennis courts in today’s world are of a hard surface, concrete or asphalt — but that hasn’t always been the case. Up until the 1960’s, grass and clay courts were prevalent and each of those surfaces as well as hard courts have their own special characteristics.

Tennis has been in my life since the age of 12. During that time most experiences have really been great. But a few things I could have done without, and remember I’m just talking about tennis.

Spending five days back in the area (Newark, Ohio) you grew up and seeing old friends jogs the mind, memory and fun days of past.

The following is an interview with Taylor Johnson, who learned to play the game of tennis here in Prescott as a child at the Prescott Racquet Club.

Today is May 1 and the temperatures are now at a level that tennis players are thinking about playing earlier in the morning to beat the heat or a bit later in the afternoons to early evening and with those thoughts who they’ll be playing against, where and in what organized events or just calling a friendly foe for a match.

Each of our high schools (Prescott and Prescott Valley) have tennis teams for both boys and girls and its quite often, just like all sports, that some of these young adults will become quite proficient and wonder if they just might be able to get a job in this unique field.

It’s begun — clay court season, at least for the men’s ATP and WTA tennis tours. From April 9 to the end of the French Open, June 4th, the top men and women players in the world of tennis will be making their debut on the red sliding clay events throughout Southern USA, Morocco, Monaco, Spain, Hungary, Portugal, Italy, many other countries and ending with the French Open.

Most people during childhood have a best friend, one who for whatever reason you become close to, playing together, going to school together, getting involved in sports, hanging out, and eventually becoming best friends.

Confidence can be described as a belief in one’s ability to succeed. Striking a healthy balance can be challenging. Too much of it and you can come off as cocky and stumble into unforeseen obstacles, but having too little can prevent you from taking risks and seizing opportunities—in school, at work, in your social life, athletic endeavors and beyond.

Dear Roger, I am one of your many tennis fans and would like to give you my two cents maybe not of advice, but certainly of thought through the eyes of what history may hold for you.

In the 144 years that the game of tennis has entertained us there have been some unusual things that have taken place that many players may not even be aware of.

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What can you say about a person who has gone over and beyond in giving of their time and energy to help make what is now the fifth largest tennis event in the world become a destination point of special memories for millions of people.

Back in the days of old when people exalted the three main sports of baseball, football and basketball as the real sports of men (and now women), the game of tennis was sometimes made fun of.

At one time, being an amateur in sports was the difference between getting to play in most sporting events in your chosen field or being left out - playing for personal satisfaction, not monetary gain.

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist February 26, 2018

Wikipedia states from Suzanne Lenglen’s book, “Lenglen was criticised widely for her decision to turn professional, and the All England Club at Wimbledon even revoked her honorary membership.”

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist February 19, 2018