Hardy souls continue year-round tennis at Cottonwood

Penny Petersen

When it’s 82 degrees at 7:00 a.m. and 110 degrees by noon, it takes hardy souls to venture onto the tennis court. Normal play times for the Cottonwood Tennis Club are 8:30, 10:00 and 11:30 a.m. But nobody in their right mind would subject themselves to heat stroke. So, in the summer, CTC members choose to play at 6:00 or 7:00 a.m. to beat the heat. Afternoons, the courts are bare, and only a few play in the evening after 7:00 p.m. The Mexicans have it figured out… afternoons are for siesta. Early mornings are for working. Yes, tennis can be hard work when it’s hot and sometimes humid as well. Evenings are for eating, drinking and playing: The later the cooler.

About 60% of Cottonwood Tennis Club’s members escape, if not for the whole summer, for at least a month or so. Some members form “regular” groups that play weekly a couple of times. Others sign up for organized play. In that case, a coordinator assigns the court and players based on their individual levels. Often swimming follows the games and refreshes the energy level.

We asked a few of the CTC women who are here either all summer or some of it to pose for a “Here’s how it feels to play tennis at 6:30 a.m. in the summertime.” Yes, it was a joke, but they came in bathing suits, floppy hats, bathrobes, spray water bottles and fans, lots of fans, and, of course, their tennis gear. They all take pride in keeping the club going throughout the summer, and lots of laughs accompanied the request for a tennis-summer-heat photo.

So, if you are interested in learning tennis, join the Cottonwood Tennis Club. In the fall, there are free lessons Monday and Tuesday evenings and free practice sessions on Thursday and Sunday evenings. Although the summer season is slower, and earlier or later, the camaraderie is great, and surviving the summer often creates new and rewarding friendships.