Mercifully, 2020 is behind us, and with vaccinations for the coronavirus rolling out, it's reasonable to hope for a far better 2021. The Australian Open has found a way to take place, albeit two weeks later than originally scheduled and only by quarantining players for two weeks before the event. The BNP Paribas Open in Palm Springs has had to cancel once again, but the Miami Open is still on track as of this writing and the Delray Beach Open by Vitacost.com just wrapped up after rescheduling to a new date: Jan. 4-11, 2021. Tennis resorts and camps have, for the most part, found ways to cope with the virus. There are still some restrictions with respect to interstate and international travel, but one hopes those will resolve as more and more people are vaccinated and the infection rate diminishes. So what are your travel plans? Please take this poll and let us know. We'll keep a running total at Tennis Resorts Online so you can see what others are thinking.
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Welcome back to Nevis! Enjoy a complimentary third night with every two paid nights at Four Seasons Resort Nevis!, a modern embodiment of the spirit and soul of the Caribbean. Reimagined and revitalized, but rooted in history and heritage, this otherworldly beachfront oasis offers everything you could want in a luxury getaway. Tennis lovers can play at the Caribbean's No. 1 tennis centre, choosing from three different surfaces and programs managed by Peter Burwash International. For reservations, please call 869-469-6238 or visit fourseasons.com/nevis
Roy Barth has spent a lifetime on the tennis court, first as a junior, college, and ATP Tour player and later as the long-serving tennis director at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. His new book, Point of Impact, chronicles his successes and struggles during that lengthy tennis career. It is at once entertaining—read the excerpt below about his first trip to Wimbledon—and inspirational. Barth is deeply invested in communicating the life lessons he learned along the way, and in that sense it's not a typical tennis book. True, there are stories about some of his most memorable matches, and reminiscences of the great players and coaches he's encountered along the way. But each chapter uses tennis to make a deeper point about living a fuller life, so it could as easily be found on the "Personal Growth" shelves of the bookstore as among other sports books. You can't read it without sensing how deeply Barth cares about the subject and how dedicated he is to passing along what he's learned.
In 1968, Roy Barth was playing for UCLA in the NCAA University Division Tennis Championships in San Antonio, TX when he received a telegram inviting him to compete—the next day!—in the main draw at the Wimbledon Championships. With no time to return home, he flew straight to London where, thanks to a day of rain, he had time to settle in and contemplate the next day's match against U.S. Open finalist and French Open doubles champion Clark Graebner. In his new book, Point of Impact, he recounts this introduction to tennis on the international stage and, more importantly from his perspective, the crucial life lessons he learned in a lifetime devoted to the sport.
On that first trip to London, he had booked a room at a small bed-and-breakfast in Earl's Court intending to take the subway to The Queen's Club to practice and have lunch before catching the players' limo to Wimbledon with time to relax before his afternoon match. It did not go as planned. He awoke to discover that the subway was on strike and taxis were nowhere to be found.
I started to walk with all my gear in the direction of Baron's Court. I finally tracked down a taxi and I got a ride the rest of the way to Queen's Club, where the Players' Limousine was already waiting to take me to The All England Club. I didn't have time to practice or eat—I barely had time to change into my Wimbledon whites—and I was an hour late for my match.
I was pretty sure that I had come all this way—geographically, professionally, and personally—to face certain default. How could this happen? How did the other players, including my opponent, get here on time? How did all the spectators get here? I still don't know.
My only hope was to explain my morning to the officials as though they didn't know the Tube wasn't running, which of course they did. They let me play. Clark was already on court 14 impatiently pacing back and forth, not caring at all about me or the Tube strike. The excitement of the morning had taken my mind off playing the match. Now I had to focus. I was nervous and excited at the same time.
[Having been unable to eat much less practice, Barth quickly fell behind two sets to love and was serving at 3-5 down match point.]
Clark needed win one more point to move on to the second round. As crazy a day as it had been, I was not going to give him the match. But perhaps he thought he'd already won because he seemed to lose some concentration. Between our points, he was watching the match on the next court.
I won my serve and then took advantage of Clark's waning focus. He missed some first serves and stayed in the backcourt after his second serve. I attacked those second serves, went on the offensive, and broke his serve. I came back and won the third set 7-5. I think I surprised both of us.
[Rain suspended play at 1-1 in the 4th and when they picked up the next day, Barth again fell behind 3-5.]
Somehow, I managed to hold my serve, break his serve, and win the fourth set 8-6. I really "hung on like a crab" in this match. Allen Fox [an NCAA singles and doubles champion who practiced with Barth's UCLA team and coached Pepperdine University and who'd counseled that perseverance] would have been proud. Going into the fifth set, I forgot all about being in my first Wimbledon tournament. I loved playing on grass and felt very comfortable on Court 14. I found some rhythm in my serve-and-volley combination and, for the first time in the match, I was holding my serve easily.
My God I can win this match!
Word got around the tournament grounds that Graebner, a top-ranked U.S. player, was in a dogfight on Court 14. Suddenly the walkways around this small outer court were packed with spectators. Things were heating up. Clark was asking advice from well-known agent and lawyer Donald Dell from the sideline (which was against the rules) and calling me names as we changed ends of the court. I started walking around the other way to avoid him.
At 5-5 in the fifth set, Clark was serving and lost the first two points, giving me my first opportunity to break his serve and then serve for the match. I hit a great return to his feet, and he mishit a half-volley over the net for winter. What a lucky shot! I would have been up triple breakpoint with a great chance to break his serve if he had missed that. Instead, it was 15-30, the momentum shifted, and he held his serve. We stayed even until I served at 9-10. We split the first 4 points: "30 all." I needed two points to stay in the match and Clark needed them to win it. He played them by hitting the two best returns he hit the entire two-day, five-set contest. He won. I was out.
I shook hands with Clark and with the umpire and left the court. Amid the crowd of spectators, I felt alone. The pro tennis tour can do that. I was still in college, which at the time was considered young for the tour, even among amateurs. And I really was alone, on and off the court. No family, no coach, no partner—no one to share my tough loss with.
As I walked by myself from the court to the locker room, someone touched my shoulder. I turned around.
"Roy, you know you have what it takes when you play well at Wimbledon," she said.
It was Billie Jean King.
Pickleball and padel are popular alternatives to traditional tennis, but not if you live on Barbados. There the game is road tennis, a cross between ping-pong and tennis, where the field of battle is a 21-by-10-foot rectangle painted on the road, the 8-inch high net is probably a piece of scrap wood supported by cinderlbocks, and racquets are home-made out of wood or hardcover book covers or whatever works with pieces of inner tube as grips. The man to beat is current world champion Mark "Venom" Griffith. Read on
The iconic Rosewood Little Dix Bay on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands shut down for renovations in 2016 and just as it was about to open, Hurricane Irma slammed into it, its 200-mile-per-hour winds wreaking havoc across the 500-acre property. Thoroughly rebuilt so as to unobtrusively blend with its surroundings, this 80-room Caribbean gem finally began receiving guests again early in 2020 only to have to close once more, this time for the pandemic. It reopened again in December, which is great news for tennis players looking for an intimate Caribbean getaway that is likely to once again vie for a place among the Caribbean's great tennis resorts.
Six tennis and two pickleball courts bracket a low, stuccoed pro shop. Jason Kesselman presides over the complex. He played college tennis for Salisbury University in Delaware before going on to a 30-year career in teaching and coaching, most recently at the five-star Anantara Resort in the Maldives. At Little Dix, he runs a variety of programs, including specialty clinics and round robins, while also offering private lessons and player match-ups.
Hidden Dunes Beach & Tennis Resort in the Florida Panhandle has hired Charlie Fischer as director of tennis. An Air Force veteran (he was Champion and USAF All-European Tennis Team Champion), USPTA Elite Pro, and certified pickleball instructor, he adds his expertise to that of head pro Renee Broxson, who has been an integral feature of the tennis center for more than 15 years. Together they have plans to strengthen an already tennis-player-friendly club, with solid game matching, seasonal clinics, and private lessons, while continuing to offer their "You, Me and a Pro" option, which is well-suited for groups of three and provides casual instruction during the match. … Cliff Drysdale Tennis has installed Tom Fey as Director of Tennis at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, in Rancho Mirage, CA. He has 45+ years of tennis management experience, most recently as Director of Tennis at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden and Tournament Director of the Oracle Challenger Series. He inherits a program that focuses on two-day and three-day camps, drawing individuals, couples, and small groups to the 23-court multidimensional resort. … Peter Burwash International pro Daniel Harden now manages the 15 Har-Tru courts at Naples Grande Beach Resort in Naples, FL. Originally from Georgia, he played Division I tennis for Georgia Southern University, where he earned a degree in marketing and sales. His tennis career took him to Florida and South Carolina, teaching and directing adult and junior programs at private clubs and municipal tennis centers before becoming the director at Naples Grande. In any given week, guests can look forward to daily clinics, cardio tennis, group and private and group lessons, monthly member and guest events, and a full-time tennis attendant to see to all their needs. … Beginning in February, Cliff Drysdale Tennis will take over management of the nine courts—one of them grass—at Baha Mar in the Bahamas. Jim Tessler will direct the programming.