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Monday, July 29, 2019

The City Tennis Tournament


In second year of ‘revival,’ event steps up the game

Last year was the “amuse-bouche.” A true taste of things to come. Two events where there used to be more than 20. Three days when it used to last an entire week. And 30 or so players where it easily had 200-plus, back in the day.

It was a truncated version of The City Tennis Tournament, an annual event dating back to 1923 that had gone dormant for almost 10 years. That is, before three local tennis enthusiasts (Rick Holland, Todd Killen and myself) banded together, determined to bring it back.

The City was something special. So much more than just another tournament. It was the one time a year the entire tennis community – young/ old, boys/girls, men/women, beginners/ the highly advanced – got together to hang out and celebrate tennis in our area. All of us (Todd, Rick and I) grew up playing in The City, and we felt strongly that our area needed it back.

The three of us decided to first start small. Last year’s City only had two divisions – Men’s Open Singles and Men’s Open Doubles. But this year it’s an entirely different story. There are 17 divisions spread across an entire week with a division for almost anyone that plays competitive tennis. There will be a different food truck every night, water slides and bounce houses for the kids, smoothies, snow cones and tennis, tennis, tennis.

This year’s City is for everyone – from people that have never played in a tournament before to current and former collegiate players and everything in between. A City Champion will be crowned in 17 different divisions, a claim that each division winner will be able to make all year long.

Here’s what you need to know: All matches will be at Bossier Tennis Center. It will be familyfriendly, and there will be no admission to the public. Matches will begin Monday-Friday at 5 p.m. and last until about 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday matches will start at 8 a.m. and last until 5 or 6 p.m.

In terms of the highest-level players, here’s what you can expect:

Following tradition, this year’s City will feature a virtual who’s who of the most accomplished players in our area. This includes last year’s Singles Champion Anthony McMaster, last year’s Singles Runner-Up Todd Killen, four-time State Champion John Gray Pou, former NSU standout Bianca Schulz, and former member of nationally-ranked Virginia Tech Ginger Lowdermilk Morris. This group will have to share the court and maybe a title or two (or three) with the deepest and richest crop of young talent the area has had in years.

The City is back, and if you love tennis, grab a partner and sign up, come and watch or, even better, both.

For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page, “The City Championships.”

Players can register at: https://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=237357

Jeffrey Goodman grew up in Shreveport and learned to play tennis at an early age from his father, Carl, an ex-standout at Tulane. Goodman played at Washington University in St Louis, earning All-Conference Second Team honors playing at the No. 3 position. Goodman loves the game of tennis today as much as ever and still plays whenever he can.


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