The Friends of Newton Tennis Inc. - THE FRIENDS OF NEWTON TENNIS

Advancing Tennis and Racquet Sports in the Garden City

FALL 2023 NEWS

Update

Nov. 6, 2023

Donations Grow to $60,000 for Tennis Court Repairs

At today's check-passing ceremony at the two newly resurfaced Cabot Park tennis courts, Mayor Ruthanne Fuller accepted this year's $25,000 donation from The Friends of Newton Tennis, Inc. (FoNT). 

This annual installment brings the tennis advocacy group's total donations to $60,000 over the past three years to repair cracks, fix hardware and resurfacing of Newton’s 65 tennis courts

These funds were raised from individual citizens gifts, corporate donations and players fees in connection with the 2023 Garden City Doubles Championships, a co-ed mixed level community tennis tournament and fundraiser. The tournament, which attracted 225 registered players and 12 sponsors earlier this month, is co-organized by FoNT and the City of Newton Parks, Recreation and Culture (PRC) Department.

Without understating the importance of corporate donations, The Friends of Newton Tennis honored Boston-area businesses: 

Boston Ski and Tennis
PerformanceXtra
Cardio High Gym
Bully Boys Distilleries
Stretch Med
Village Bank
Wegmans
Barry's Bootcamp
Coldwell Banker Realty
Wilson Sporting Goods
Tous Les Jour

With these donations as “seeds” of inspiration, the city has appropriated an additional $300,000 dollars to resurface 18 courts to the US Open Championship "center court” standard. The beautiful green-and-blue, slow-to-medium speed Cabot Park hard courts are the latest example.

Singer Family Honored For Its Generosity

Among citizens supporting the Garden City Doubles Championships is the Isadore Singer Family, who are responsible for an annual $10,000 grant to support tennis advocacy in Newton through the New England Tennis and Education Foundation. Funds were used to waive players' fees for deserving high school and college students at this year's tournament.  In addition, FoNT and the City of Newton created the Singer Cup for the top performing doubles team and Good Sports Awards in honor of Isadore Singer, MIT professor, tennis advocate and one-time Newton resident.

Nov, 3, 2023

HIgh School Lights on Until 9 PM Through Nov. 30 

The City of Newton is extending the season at the two high school facilities including leaving on the lights.  At this time, the city Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture is leaving lights on until 9pm through the end of November.  If there is a significant snowstorm or if there is virtually zero use in the later hours, the plan will be adjusted accordingly. The city is seeking feedback on how much the courts are used in November, including how late in the evening.  Please send emails to Nicole Banks, PRC Commissioner at nbanks@newtonma.gov

Oct. 11, 2023

More than 200 Players Competed at Garden City Dubs Championships 

This weekend, we concluded our two-day 2023 Garden City Doubles Championships, a true novice to high performance community tennis tournament (including local D3 and D1 college tennis and former ATP players) with 225 registered players.

This large tournament, held on newly resurfaced ten courts at Newton North High School, attracted players from all over New England and was gender and age blind throughout all draws. We used a Compass bracket format, where we had winners and consolation draws, and a speedy short set format,  It was both fun, social and competitive tennis. 

We raised $25,000 from fees and sponsors for The Friends of Newton Tennis repair and maintenance fund, which will be donated in whole to the City of Newton Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture to fix the city's 65 municipal tennis courts.  Our tournament chair, Dave Fish, Hall of Fame and former Harvard men's varsity coach, designed a "tennis village" to bring together a diverse group of tennis players at all levels.

The USTA was a major sponsor through its New England Tennis & Education Foundation, which allowed us to create entry-fee scholarships for deserving players in the memory of former MIT math professor and Newton resident Isadore Singer. Our tentative 2024 dates are Sept. 7-8.

See photos: 

https://brucehughwshare.myportfolio.com/

D1 Coach Compliments Garden City Doubles Championship

"Thank you so much for having my guys participate on this event. Tournament was great. Awesome players, great facilities, good format, and great company! Please let me know if there are more events like these. I am more than happy to send my guys once again to these fun events. Wish you all the best."

Coach Jorge Isaias Ortiz-Garcia

Former Newton North #1 Girls Player Comments

"Marvelous tournament! I had so much fun! Can’t wait until next year."

Sophie Wax, Tufts University Women’s Co-Captain and former #1 player at Newton North High School

TOURNAMENT RESULTS:

UTR 1.0-2.99 Division
Winners: B. Li  & W. T
Runners Up B. Stuart & W. Callahan

UTR 3.0-4.99 Blue Division
Winners: M. Lindner & H. Carneiro
Runners Up: B. Li & W. T

UTR 3.0-4.99 Red Division
Winners: V. Suarez Casanova & M. Sesma
Runners Up I. Metivier & A. Ho

UTR 5.0-6.99 Gold Division
Winners:  R. Bhatia & K. Bhatia
Runners Up:  J. McGaffigan & N. Tarpey

UTR 5.0-6.99 Silver Division
Winners: D. Young & A. Gelman
Runners Up: C. Blasco & S. Schuermann

UTR: 7.0-8.99
Winners: I. Rodriguez & V. Harith
Runners Up: R. Bhatia & K. Bhatia

UTR 9.0+
Winners: J. Vassel & J. Bianchi
Runners Up: T. Nystrom & A. Martinez

Revitalizing City Courts 

The City of Newton resurfaced Newtonville’s two Cabot Park hard courts this summer and is in the midst of resurfacing four courts and filling cracks of eight other at Newton South High School.

In the past year, Newton has resurfaced 18 tennis courts.  The 10 courts at Newton North High School were repaired and resurfaced last July and two Lower Falls Community Center courts were resurfaced last September. 

In cooperation with The Friends of Newton Tennis, the PRC has developed championship-level specifications for court repairs and resurfacing, with the goal of matching the famous blue and green center court at the US Open.  

August 1, 2023

FoNT Shares 2023 Annual Court Audit Results 

The Court Management Committee presented the annual audit to Nicole Banks (PRC Commissioner), Stephanie Lapham (PRC Tennis Coordinator) and Derek Mannion (City Grounds Superintendent) in late May. 

During the audit, FoNT surveyed and took photographs of all 67 public courts and rated each court location along the following dimensions:

  1. Nets – condition, straps, anchors

  2. Cleanliness – drainage and mildew

  3. Surface condition – deterioration, cracks, line conditions

  4. Fence and gate condition

  5. Accessibility for disabled players

  6. Potential for allowing pickleball on tennis courts given the need to site pickleball courts at least 180 feet from residential dwellings because of noise concerns

According to Commissioner Banks, PRC’s Grounds Department uses the FoNT audit for planning and prioritizing expenditures for court work. The audit legitimizes FoNT’s role as a working partner with the City.

Not surprisingly, our audit shows that the recently resurfaced courts are in the best playing condition. The courts in the worst condition (excluding the Halloran Complex (Albemarle) courts scheduled to be removed this fall for the pool expansion) are:

  1. Pellegrini Park

  2. Burr Park

  3. Memorial Playground

  4. Weeks Playground

  5. Angier School

 

Newton South Courts Require Renewed Attention

The FoNT audit called for urgent action to address the safety hazards due to worsening cracks on the 12 courts at Newton South High School. 

Built in a watershed area and over a swamp in the 1960s, the current court complex is unstable and has required frequent and expensive maintenance, repair and rebuilding over the years.  This includes a total asphalt repaving in the 1990s and more recently in 2017. To make matters worse, the 2017 repaving of all the courts produced weak seams, leading to more than 1,500 feet of cracks.

At present, courts 1 and 7 (closest to Brandeis Road) have longitudinal court-length cracks and are in such dire shape that the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) decided not to use these courts in the 2023 finals of the state tournament. 

 

Update:  This Fall’s Garden City Doubles Championships

More than 40 doubles teams at all levels have already signed up for this year’s Garden City championships. Last year’s championships featured 75 teams from lower intermediate to high-performance players.  The championships are scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 30 - Sunday, Oct. 1 at Newton North High School.

To expand the advanced and Open level divisions, FoNT has invited many area college teams to compete against top-ranked New England adult players.  Brown University, Salve Regina College, Brandeis University and Tufts University have expressed interest. In 2022, Eastern Nazarene College and Colby-Sawyer College sent multiple doubles teams. 

For more information or to register at any level from beginner to college player, go to bit.ly/2023GardenCityDoublesChampionships

 

Tournament Sponsorship Opportunities

The 2023 Garden City Doubles Championships has raised close to $15,000 in sponsorship toward its goal of $25,000. Early sponsors include USTA’s New England Tennis & Education Foundation, Boston Ski & Tennis, PerformanceXtra, The Village Bank, Wegman’s and Barry’s Bootcamp. Sponsorship levels range from $250 to $10,000.  The funds will go toward fixing Newton’s tennis courts. 

To learn about sponsorships, contact FoNT President Tom Friedman, at thomasharoldf@gmail.com or at (617) 259-0989.

 

Proposed UMass Mt. Ida Campus Racquet Sports Complex

With the closure of popular local indoor tennis clubs, FoNT is leading an initiative to launch a new all-season multi-racquet sports community center at UMass Amherst’s Mt. Ida Campus.  

As currently envisioned, the center would include six indoor tennis courts, four indoor pickleball courts, four to six outdoor platform tennis courts and four indoor/outdoor padel courts.  

Lead by longtime Newton residents Stan Mescon (Tenacity board member, former president of Longwood Cricket Club and Brookline Paddle Club); Rob Miller (girls coach, Wellesley High School, and former Coach of BU and BC varsity tennis teams) and Mark Goodman (Cardio High founder and padel enthusiast).

To learn more, please contact Tom Friedman at thomasharoldf@gmail.com.

 

High School Tennis Season Wrap-Up

Newton South Girls

Coach: Noura Guermazi

Final record: 11-7 (includes state tournament)

State Rank: 6

Highlights: “The girls developed really nice friendships. For me as a coach, I enjoyed every practice, and the fact that Varsity players were willing to try new things at practice and then apply them during matches. JV players improved a lot; some of them had never played before.”

Newton North Girls

Coach: Kate Mannelly

Final record: 8-11 (includes state tournament)

State Rank: 21

Highlights: “The first round win in the state tournament against #12 Needham i was definitely the season highlight! After having lost to Needham twice in the regular season, we were definitely the underdogs going into the match. We have a very young team with a lot of rising talent.”   

Newton South Boys

Coach: Matt Timmons

Final Record: 2-13 (includes state tournament)

State Rank: 24  

Highlights: “Our 3rd singles win versus Cambridge Rindge & Latin, because everybody was done with their matches and this created a stadium-style effect for the last match. I think there are positives for next season. We've got some good young players who will improve their skills in the off season.”   

Newton North Boys

Coach: Phil Goldberg 

Final Record 9-8 (includes state tournament)

Final State Rank: 10  

Highlights: “We finished strong against a tough St. John’s team in the state tournament.  We lost 3-0, but were winning first singles handily, when the rain stopped play. Our #1 singles player Duncan Naylor (a senior) had his best match of the  year.  We split sets at second singles, where Johnny Wastcoat (a freshman) played very well. We grew as a team, worked hard, and got as far as our talent could take us.  I thoroughly enjoyed this season.”

 

Pickleball Update

The FoNT Pickleball Committee and the PRC are discussing how to accommodate more pickleball players with minimal public expenditure.  The committee has recommended:

  • Providing City-owned portable pickleball nets at Auburndale Cove (in addition to those at McGrath Park)

  • Increasing reserved time for pickleball at the Cove

  • Converting underutilized basketball courts to hybrid basketball/pickleball courts 

  •  Having FoNT representation in the planning efforts for the six pickleball courts planned forAlbemarle Field.

To learn more, please contact Committee Chair George Adams at georgegadams@gmail.com .

 

City Tennis Lessons with JXS Academy

To see the program offerings or sign up, visit Newtonma.myrec.com. If you have any questions, email Joe Smith at jxstennis@gmail.com.

 

Newton Clay Court Memberships Available

The five public Har-Tru clay courts at Newton Centre Playground are available for play from 9 AM to 6 PM Monday to Sunday through October 31. 

To become a member (with full 24x7 court reservation privileges), go to https://newtonma.myrec.com/info/default.aspx (click on Register and then Memberships). 

 

Improve Your Mental Side of Tennis 


FoNT board member Brian Lomax Ed.D, a top-ranked player and menal performance coach, has expanded the offerings of his popular Tennis IQ Podcast series.  The new benefits include transcripts of his weekly podcasts (including interviews), a quarterly Zoom book club and monthly online master classes. Initial master classes covered important topics such as  “between-point routines” and  “self-talk during a match”.  To learn more, email tennisiqpodcast@gmail.com .


Join Now (click blue button)

The Friends of Newton Tennis, Inc. - a 501(c)(3) non-profit invites you to become a full, active member. Your 12-month membership benefits include advocacy among city officials, fundraising for repair and maintanance of the city's 67 tennis courts, regular updates about the state of all public courts (including Newton Centre Clay Courts), alerts about latest decisions by Newton Parks, Recreation and Culture Commission, and discounts to city tournaments and roundrobins. PLUS+++ a branded, first-edition "The Friends of Newton Tennis" T-shirt,