Ojai Tennis Tournament back for 103rd time
By Misty Volaski
For more than a century, they
eyes of the amateur tennis scene have focused on Ojai.
As the venue for such events like the Pac-10, Big West and CIF
high school tennis championships, "The Ojai" has seen
some of America's, and indeed the world's, greatest amateur tennis
More than 80 players who have competed in the annual event have
gone on to win a Grand Slam (a U.S. Open, Wimbledon or a French
or Australian Open), including Pete Sampras, Lindsey Davenport,
Arthur Ashe, Jack Kramer and Billie Jean King, to name a few.
Each year, contenders make the trek to Ojai to raise their rackets
against some of today's most formidable players. And each year,
they have been greeted with the hospitality of hundreds of local
volunteers, who put on various events throughout the last weekend
Ever since the first Ojai Tennis Tournament, the women of the
valley have come together to serve players and spectators tea
and cookies. The Ojai's founder, William Thacher, came up with
the idea for the tea tent, "because he just loved tea,"
said tennis tournament committee member Gerry Roe. Over the years,
the tea tent has become a tradition. Now, "Having tea at
The Ojai is like having a hot dog at a baseball game," said
For 103 years, the tournament has united the people of Ojai,
who put on several events for the public throughout the course
of the weekend. These events, such as the annual barbecue and
the pancake breakfast, benefit local causes. The barbecue, to
be held tomorrow from 6:30 to 8 p.m., will be hosted by The Ojai
Rotary Club West and Wilson Sports. Rotary members will be cooking
a tri tip and chicken dinner in the lower Libbey courts.
Tickets are available to the
general public for $7 at the gate. Before the dinner, Wilson
Sports will provide mini-lessons for youth, along with prizes
and games. Dave McKinney and Brian Giffin, tennis pros at the
Spanish Hills Country Club, will join pro Mark McCampbell of
the Oxnard Tennis Center in assisting participants to improve
their game. There will also be a band to provide music throughout
Sunday morning's pancake breakfast, also open to the general
public, is Ojai Boy Scout Troop 504's major fund-raising event
for the year. The troop will serve hot pancakes, sausage, eggs,
coffee and orange juice from 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Chaparral
High School Auditorium.
Tickets are $4 for advanced sales
and $5 at the door. Children under five are served free. The
scouts will use the proceeds to fund their outdoor program, their
Boy Scout summer camp and their trip to Ireland.
Ticket prices for the 103rd Ojai Tennis Tournament are $10 for
adults and $5 for seniors, students and children under 12 for
a Thursday or Friday pass; $15 for adults and $10 for seniors
students and children for a Saturday or Sunday pass; $25 for
a weekend pass, and $40 for a four-day pass.
© 2003 The
Ojai Valley News
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