The El Dorado Park and Billie Jean King Tennis Centers had a lot going on throughout the month.
The USTA BOYS’ & GIRLS’ 14 NATIONAL OPEN was held at El Dorado Park on July 2-4, 2012. Each year, the draws are full with 32 Boy’s and 32 Girl’s from all across the US. These talented young Nationally Ranked players compete in this double elimination tournament for a National Open gold medal and to earn a chance to play in the USTA National Open Championships in August. While most of the players hail from Northern and Southern California, a few players traveled to Long Beach from Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Utah and this year a player came all the way from Brooklyn, New York.
After six weeks, the Junior Summer Camps continue to thrive and be very popular with the youngsters and their parents. All the children are having fun playing and learning about the sport of tennis while meeting new friends. When its time for a break the children are provided healthy refreshments and snacks and when it is too hot, they get to play in some games where cold water is involved and they cool off very quickly. On Fridays the campers earn fun prizes and the tennis pros select the “most improved camper” who receives a brand new junior tennis racquet.
On July 20-22, all the tennis courts at both BJK and El Dorado Park were used for the 2012 USTA/SCTA Adult League Area Playoffs where the winners will earn a secure spot in the Section Championships. Over 200 players from all over Southern California were competing in an adult team format.
Valter Paiva Tennis Academy began the Adult Challenge Ladder on July 16. The purpose of a “challenge ladder” is to bring together and increase the number of recreational tennis players in the Long Beach and surrounding areas. Valter’s Ladder helps players take their game to the next level by providing them the opportunity to play as many competitive matches as possible!!! For several weeks, players challenge each other in order to move up the ladder by earning the most points and eventually becoming the champion of Valter’s 2012 Adult Challenge Ladder.
On July 25, over 50 of our tennis patrons attended a special “Billie Jean King Night” at the World Team Tennis (WTT) event in the Bren Events Center on the UC Irvine campus. The Orange County Breakers staring Lindsey Davenport played the Sacramento Capitals. The Breakers honored our own Billie Jean King and all that attended from our Long Beach group was recognized and allowed to take part in a group photo with Billie Jean King to celebrate her Long Beach roots.
Because we enjoy supporting So Cal’s local professional tennis events, a “party” bus was chartered to drive 56 of our patrons up to the LA Tennis Center on the campus of UCLA for the Farmers Classic. This tournament is one of the only two professional tennis events left in the Southern California area. Everyone met at BJK and had a great time in the bus during the long drive up to UCLA and an even better time being together while watching the singles and doubles matches that evening.