Exciting spring of tennis continues

May 3, 2013 at 12:03 a.m.

What an exciting spring it has been.

The Crossroads has seen a lot of progress in our junior tennis, and we have adults competing in USTA tournaments, too.

The Victoria Tennis Association is active and strong as ever. This is heating up to be a great summer full of tournaments, participation and camaraderie. Please feel free to join in.

The spring high school season was capped off by Goliad's Ryder Billo making it to the state 3A singles final. Unfortunately, he came up on the losing end of a tightly contested finals match, which he lost 6-3, 6-4.

Goliad coach Neal Tolbert said: "Ryder ran up upon a mirror image of himself. They had long consistent points, but at the end of the day, we just came up a bit short. I'm very proud of Ryder and the year he had. We had a really good run going all the way to the state finals. But remember, he still has his senior year to come. I look forward to next year and the challenges that come with it."

Everyone in the community has been so supportive of anything tennis. People are asking questions about the game. Adults are asking about junior results and vice versa.

As tennis players, we tend to stick within our own community of tennis players, like we think no one else will understand "our" game.

Nothing could be further from the truth. And believe me, I've been guilty of having the same attitude in the past. From the casual spectator to the die-hard fan, more and more people have taken an interest in tennis. And hear me clearly, this is the sport of a lifetime.

So, this is where we give thanks and praise to all of the coaches and teaching professionals who give so much of their time and effort to adults, seniors and juniors. Their names are too numerous to mention, but we all are all working hard.

I will talk about this again but do not forget about Lee Durst, who will be competing in the Senior Olympics in July. He's 92 and still hits a mean ball. Adam Garcia, a Victoria police officer, will be competing in the state police tennis tournament in June. He made the semifinals last year and hopes to improve on that result. He is hoping to bring home the first-place trophy this year.

And the momentum continues. See you soon.

Pro Notes

In Barcelona on Sunday, Rafael Nadal defeated Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 6-4 in his clay court run leading up to the French Open. After a seven-month layoff with knee issues, Nadal has made every final in all six tournaments he has entered, winning four of them. Very impressive.

In Stuttgart, Maria Sharapova continued her spring domination by defeating Li Na 6-4, 6-3 in the finals. American Bethanie Mattek-Sands had a great tournament advancing to the semifinals. We need more Americans to step up their game this clay court season. But it's not easy. We're hardcourt players.

Philip Perez is the assistant tennis pro at Victoria Country Club. He can be reached at pperez@victoriacc.com.



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