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Chris Howard, Courier Columnist

Stories by Chris

The third annual “Laver Cup” just concluded this past Sunday in Geneva, Switzerland, with Team Europe taking yet another but closer match title – their third in its three-year history.

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist September 23, 2019

Originally I was quoted as saying I wanted the Top 3 ranked men in the world of tennis to lose early at the U.S. Open, well ... one made it through, Rafa Nadal who defeated Daniil Medvedev in a five-set thriller 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 for his 19th Grand Slam singles title.

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist September 9, 2019

While in Cincinnati, I spent some time talking with Laura Marttinen who was working the booth for a company called “Grand Slam Tennis Tours” that has its main office out of a restored barn in Stowe, Vermont.

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist September 3, 2019

There’s nothing like sitting down at almost court level to get the full impact of how the top tennis professionals are really hitting the ball during a tournament.

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist August 26, 2019

Being from Ohio there’s some extra enjoyment in covering the final Masters/Premier 5 men’s and women’s tournament prior to the U.S. Open - the Western & Southern at the Lindner Tennis Center across the road from Kings Island in Mason, Ohio.

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist August 19, 2019
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It was an unusual couple final matches at the Canadian Open, first in Toronto where 19-year-old Canadian Bianca Andreescu won the title from Serena Williams after a 3-1 lead in the first set and Williams retiring from the match. The problem was a muscle spasming upper back that started in Serena’s previous semi-final match.

By Chris Howard, Courier Columnist August 12, 2019

Many people don’t realize that the Canadian Open is the third longest running tournament in the world. It began in 1881, not long after the very first U.S. Championships were held in Newport, Rhode Island, that same year.

There are hundreds of tournaments run on a professional basis for both men and women held on every continent around the world that lend to year-round tennis excitement, beginning in January and ending in December.

Every now and then you are thrown an opportunity that you don’t see coming, and when Jack Smith, now former-county supervisor/district 5, stepped down from that position and someone who lived in that area would be appointed, I thought, “Why not me?”

Probably 90% of the people watching the men’s final of Wimbledon around the world were rooting for the great 37-year-old Roger Federer. The crowd at Wimbledon were definitely having a love fest for Roger, and No. 1 seed Novak Djkovic knew that would be the case.

Coco Gauff the fifteen year old tennis phenom, going into the 2nd week at Wimbledon, the fourth round to be exact, had the run most players only dream of.

Women’s tennis on the WTA tour currently is open season. By that I mean there are about 10 good female players and a few dark horses that could jump in and win any of the grand slams, unlike men’s tennis where Djokavic, Nadal and Federer still have a firm grasp on most of the major titles on the ATP tour.

Being a student of the game of tennis, I’ve read about practically every tennis player in the history books since the humble beginnings of modern tennis started in 1874.

Tennis is an athletic game taught and made up of many repeated sayings. Repeated because the same mistakes are frequently made and it seems saying it just once or twice to a student makes little headway.

Tennis in Prescott would be stagnant if it weren’t for the likes of a few very important volunteers working with and some for the Prescott Area Tennis Association and some on their own.

Here and there some of the rules of tennis and other oddities that infrequently come up when you’re on the court may throw you for a loop. Would you know what to do?

With the new technology within our grasp building or rebuilding a recreational facility can be done in a manner that makes so much more sense in regard to: longevity, safety, long term costs with less strain in upkeep, building costs, being user friendly, security and future add ons and/or change of use situations.

What will the game of tennis be like in 20 years? I saw this question posed lately and it’s interesting how the evolution of a sport that is popular or becomes such unfolds.

Many people remember Arthur Ashe, the first African American to win a Grand Slam tournament; you might remember Jackie Robinson, the first black to play Major League Baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, but how many tennis players even know the name of Althea Gibson, a woman of color who had so many firsts that it’s tough to even keep track?

This past weekend, I had a couple relatives of mine and more than a few friends playing in a “Pickleball Tournament” at the Prescott Athletic Club - a well attended event and fundraiser for the Yavapai Humane Society called “Pickle for the Pets Charity.”

A couple weeks ago I had a column that went into the aspect of dealing with a health curve-ball of a bad hip situation that had taken me from not only being able to compete, but to not even being able to stand in one place and teach tennis for an hour at a time.

To make a long story short I went to the doctor the other day to see why my right hip has been bothering me so much lately. After a couple months of being two steps short of reaching balls on the court and a toothache pain that hurts more when I’m sitting than standing, it became more than I wanted to endure any longer.

When players drop off the professional WTA tour where once their names were widely known to the point it’s unusual to hear anything about them I wonder what the next chapter in life for them was.

Charlie Pasarell said, “The bigger the challenge, the harder I try.” “True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.” Arthur Ashe.

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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