POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Oct 3, 2010
The City & County of Honolulu will receive a $30,000 grant from USTA Public Facility Funding, designated for the Diamond Head Tennis Center.
The popular complex, characterized as "Hawaii's Funnest Tennis Courts" on the non-profit Friends of Diamond Head Tennis website, has been in poor condition the last few years. The "Friends" have been raising funds to help repair cracks and resurface the courts. The bathrooms are also in need of renovation.
The USTA is aiding the effort and will have at least three courts lined with its Quickstart program. It creates a 60-foot court designed for beginners under the age of 10.
According to the USTA's Hawaii Pacific Section, Friends of Diamond Head Tennis will fund part of the project, with the grant and City & County helping with the balance. The hope is that resurfacing can start this year, after a resurfacing project at the Patsy T. Mink CORP Tennis Complex is completed.
Hawaii tennis players will get a taste, and feel, of clay when the Waikiki Tennis Club opens next month at the Pacific Beach Hotel Waikiki.
Two synthetic clay courts will be constructed on the eighth-floor deck. The complex is a joint project of the Pacific Beach and USTA Hawaii Pacific Section.
"Classic Clay" courts originate in Australia and more than 600 have been built around the world. They need no water and relatively low maintenance. The company website advertises a surface that "looks, slides and plays like clay," with the same bounce and the ability to "play immediately after rain."
HPS executive director Ron Romano characterizes it as a "slower tennis court that is unique to Hawaii's typically hard courts." But, he says it is more similar to the faster green clay courts of the southeastern U.S. as opposed to the slower red clay of the French Open.
The courts are expected to be open to the public in less than a month. Romano says the club will have private and group lessons, high performance training, workshops and court rental, for residents ($20 an hour) and visitors ($30).
Former Hawaii Pacific All-American Hendrik Bode is the club's director of tennis. His staff includes former University of Hawaii player Ikaika Jobe and Mimi Kennell, a high performance teaching pro. All have played professionally.
For more information, contact Romano at 585-9526.
American Savings Bank will be the presenting sponsor of the 2011 Honolulu Challenger. The USTA Pro Circuit stop was played at Waikoloa until this year, when it moved to Oahu and was won by top-seeded Michael Russell.
The tournament drew 62 players ranked between No. 90 and 241 in the world, from 24 countries. South African Kevin Anderson and American Ryler DeHeart captured the doubles title.
Next year's Honolulu Challenger will be Jan. 23-30 at the Patsy T. Mink CORP Tennis Complex in Waipahu. Admission is free.
Sponsorship opportunities are available by calling 585-9525 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.