Long-running local tennis tournament cancelled for second straight year.

Published 1:44 pm Tuesday, May 18, 2021

NATCHEZ — Last year would have been the 41st year for the Natchez Community Cancer Tennis Tournament, but former co-tournament director Noreen Pyron said it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year would have been the 42nd year for the tournament that’s held each year at the Duncan Park Tennis Courts, but the recent retirement of Henry Harris and the subsequent hiring of Johnny Whalborg as the tennis center’s new manager in addition to concerns about COVID forced the three-day event to be cancelled for the second straight year.

“Suzan (Hogue) and I retired after 40 years (in 2019),” Pyron said. “Tate Hobdy and Betsy Iles were going to try to have it last year, but it was cancelled because of COVID-19.”

Hogue shared tournament director duties with Pyron for much of the tournament’s first four decades. Pyron said that she asked Whalborg last Sunday if this year’s tournament was going to take place.

“He said it’s probably too late because it takes place around June 1,” Pyron said. “Anyone who wants to pick up the tournament, feel free to.”

Duncan Park tennis and pickleball director Frankie Spence said they may play the tournament later in the year in possibly early fall. With COVID and masks mandates changing Duncan Park was unsure if they could hold the tournament. He said the next time they meet about the tournament will be in a few weeks and they will discuss holding it later in the year.