Comments on: County putting tennis center in center court The Newspaper for the Future of Miami Tue, 01 Dec 2015 21:59:47 +0000 hourly 1 By: Rose Haney Thu, 31 Oct 2013 00:27:41 +0000 Crandon park is a public park and we use the clay courts 350 days year. One would think the public’s interest would be considered in the plan. IMG said they needed more “practice courts” for the 12 day tournament.

By: Susan Krupnick Gregorie Fri, 25 Oct 2013 15:29:38 +0000 The tennis center is one of the few facilities in the country that offers clay, grass, and hard courts. It attracts international touring professionals, college and junior players, recreational players, “hackers”, and beginners. Serena and Venus Williams drove down from Palm Beach Gardens daily for a week to practice on the tennis center’s grass courts the year Serena won her first Wimbledon title.

Although the tournament generates significant revenues for the county, the tennis facility is supposed to be for the recreation of county residents. Clay courts are more forgiving on the body and provide slower play than other court surfaces. Chris Evert’s lack of injuries and longevity as a player were attributed to her playing almost exclusively on the surface as a junior.

Clay courts enable
– beginners to learn the sport more easily
– junior competitive players to develop patience and better strokes (by having more time to prepare their shots)
– players who have had injuries to resume play
– older players to continue to enjoy tennis into their 90’s

Miami Dade County has a long history of producing nationally ranked junior players, college players, and touring professionals, including Mary Jo Fernandez, Gabriela Sabatini, the Epstein sisters, Janet Haas, Donna Ganz, Joyce Portman, the Applebalm sisters, Eddie Dibbs, Mike Belkin, and countless others.

To continue that tradition, it is important to maintain public facilities that offer clay and grass courts. Also, with an aging population, it is critical to provide facilities for the “sport of a lifetime”.