Courts in session early this year

Tennis Columnist

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So April Fool's Day came a little later this year. After a few balmy days last week, Mother Nature fooled us all by ramping down the temps from the high 70s to the low 40s. What did we do to deserve this disappointment? Hopefully, this week will bring slightly higher temperatures and the opportunity to bring our tennis games outdoors.

To make matters worse, Oak Park Tennis Club members were notified last week that their courts would be available earlier than usual: All day on Saturday and Sunday April 30-May 1; and Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m.-11 a.m. and again from 4 p.m. to closing. After the official opening day on Saturday, May 7, the clubhouse will be open and courts will be available on a daily basis from 8 a.m. until dark, weather permitting. Season passes for unlimited court time throughout the season can be obtained at the Club at Bonnie Brae & Lake Street in River Forest.

As always, Oak Park Tennis Club is open to the public for an hourly fee. For information on rates, call 366-9652 or see OPTC's website at

Not to be confused with OPTC, the Oak Park Tennis Association has also announced the start of its new season. OPTA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing local tennis players with the opportunity to meet and compete with participants of similar playing ability in singles, doubles or mixed doubles. Each year over 150 players are assigned to divisions according to their skill level, and are then responsible for scheduling matches with competitors in their division. Matches must be played and scores recorded during the OPTA season which runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. OPTA is open to all Oak Park and River Forest residents, as well as members of our three local tennis clubs: the Tennis & Fitness Centre, the Oak Park Tennis Club and the River Forest Tennis Club. Membership in OPTA is a mere $20 per person, which covers organizational fees, trophies for summer division winners and Fall tournament winners, participation in the Fall tournament, and the Winter Banquet. The Winter Banquet is held at the Tennis & Fitness Centre, featuring free indoor tennis with snacks and beverages. For more information and online registration, check out the OPTA website at or contact OPTA President Sorin Dan at 386-2515.

Last but not least, kudos to last year's OPTA champions:

Women's Singles Winner Runner-up

Division 1: Patricia Marshall Michelle Gurgas

Division 2: Dulcie Hill Stacy Shearer

Division 3a: Brook Bailey Kathleen Sullivan Yoluanda Brown Susie Eng Goldschmidt

Division 3b: Katrin Maldre Janet Hanley

Division 4: Sara Buehler Carmen Avcioglu

Division 5: Aubrey Keith Cynthia Maziarka

Women's Doubles Winner Runner-up

Division 1: Mary Elworth/ Michele Gurgas/

Ernie Durkee Mary Hunter

Men's Singles Winner Runner-up

Division 1: Michael Averbach Ryan Stretmater

Division 2: Dylan Dunavan Mike Baron

Division 3: Farzad Khaledan Sorin Dan

Division 4: Jeff DeJohn Anatoli Libgober Brad Schlichting

Division 5: Carl Daun Robert Bloch

Division 6/7: Raphael Bradford John Ragonese


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