Tennis never stops at Duncan Park; fall sessions and clinics all set to go

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 25, 2001

Ah, September. The unofficial end of summer. But it’s not the end of the traditional summer sport of tennis in Natchez.

Duncan Park Tennis Center begins its fall tennis sessions over the next two weeks with ladies and men’s doubles leagues, a ladies beginner’s clinic and a junior program.

&uot;It’s my busiest time of the year, even more so that spring,&uot; said tennis pro Frankie Spence. &uot;It gets cooler. They been through the hot weather.

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&uot;Everyone’s excited. Everyone wants to get out and play.&uot;

The ladies doubles league serves it up on Sept. 4. The rest of the programs start Sept. 10.

Spence and ladies league president Missy Brown expect good participation this fall. Both said about 80-90 women play in the doubles session. Spence said more than 25 junior players will come out. Fewer men play in the fall because of the hunting seasons. And Spence and Brown hope the ladies beginners clinic brings out more newcomers to the sport.

&uot;We have a faithful following,&uot; said Brown. &uot;Pretty much the same people continue to come back season after season.&uot;

The leagues are set up into three categories according to your skill level. The lowest-level division is the C division, which is for players with skill levels 2.5 and below. The B League is for those ranked between 2.5-3.5. The A league is for players 3.5 and above.

Spence said the skill level used to be high in the Natchez area. It has fallen, but he said it’s back on the rise.

Spence hopes to increase participation at the beginners level by holding the clinics every two years. He expects about 10 women to come out this fall.

&uot;I love it. The beginners (clinic) is fun to watch because you get to see their skills levels grow,&uot; Spence said. &uot;A lot of those beginners play are playing 3.5. They’re in the A league.&uot;

The deadline for registration into both leagues and clinics is Tuesday. There are sign up sheets at the tennis shop at Duncan Park, or people can call 442-1589.