January 31, 2023

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Royal visit helps inaugurate Westwood’s ‘court tennis’ effort

Courtroom tennis is identified as the “sport of kings,” so it was fitting that Westwood Region Club’s gala for its new court-tennis facility in early November showcased a guest visual appeal by British royalty.

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Forfar, frequented the Vienna club Nov. 4 and 5 and took component in the celebration and an instruction session on the exotic activity.

“Prince Edward is a passionate court docket-tennis player who has played on each court docket in the entire world,” claimed Bryan Stone, Westwood’s basic manager and chief running officer.

“The video game dates back hundreds of several years and is thought to have originated in monastery cloisters and medieval courtyards, which shaped today’s [court-tennis] courts featuring angled partitions and roofs,” he reported.

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There only are about 50 lively court docket-tennis courts throughout the world and only a dozen in the United States, he explained.

Westwood officers created the club’s courtroom in collaboration with the U.S. Court Tennis Preservation Basis just after each corporations wanted to meet worries.

A wind storm on Thanksgiving Day 2019 collapsed Westwood’s 4-court docket indoor tennis bubble, necessitating extra than $250,000 truly worth of repairs and causing the framework just about to be uninsurable, Stone claimed.

The club’s extended-selection prepare identified as for design of a permanent indoor facility, but this very likely would not have occurred right until at least 2026, he claimed.

But as luck would have it, a club member who is a fervent courtroom-tennis player and a member of the Global Tennis Club of Washington (ITCW) mentioned the organization was looking a new host internet site for its court.

ITCW about two decades back crafted a courtroom-tennis facility at Regency Activity and Health Club, which now is Onelife Fitness McLean. When that club prepared to convert the room to other uses the moment the lease expired, the U.S. Court docket Tennis Preservation Foundation actively started pursuing new host websites for the courtroom-tennis facility.

Pursuing months of negotiations, Westwood State Club’s customers voted to lover with the basis and carry court tennis to the club, located at 800 Maple Ave., E., in Vienna.

The partnership accelerated construction of the new facility and revised the unique style from four indoor tennis courts to a few, plus a viewing mezzanine and bar, a baseline viewing deck, professional shop, two viewing galleries and a court docket-tennis court, Stone mentioned. The club held a grand opening for the new racquet facility Oct. 16.

Prince Edward has a good marriage with the preservation basis and was pleased to accept an invitation from the team to visit Westwood and attend its black-tie gala, Stone explained. The prince also witnessed some of the weekend’s festivities, like a donor luncheon, book discuss and signing, a junior courtroom-tennis clinic and a experienced exhibition match.

Vienna Mayor Linda Colbert attended the Nov. 4 gala with her partner, Mike, and reported Prince Edward gave a speech through the meal and chatted with a smaller team afterward.

“He was extremely charming, sincere and experienced a excellent perception of humor,” the mayor stated. “The prince plays the activity and encourages other folks, particularly the youth, to engage in.”

The prince was “remarkably personable,” Stone claimed. “All of us were a little bit anxious to be showcasing the club to royalty. He couldn’t have been a lot more gracious with his time and [was] exceptionally cozy and conversational, just a wonderful individual to be close to.”

Even though the prince – the youngest of four small children of the late Queen Elizabeth II and brother of recent King Charles III – did not engage in a match all through his take a look at, he hosted a junior clinic with Westwood’s head courtroom-tennis experienced, Ivan Ronaldson, and struck a ball across the net for a photograph possibility marking the court’s official opening.

Stone claimed he was excited right after using a quick lesson from Ronaldson, and hopes to perform courtroom tennis yet again before long.

The sport’s tools only vaguely resembles that of conventional tennis. To make the balls, court-tennis industry experts crush wine corks, hand-sew them into a bladder and then hand-sew fabric all-around the bladder, Stone explained.

“It has a emotion which is much more like a baseball than a tennis ball,” he claimed. “It’s a tougher surface area.”

Each and every player uses a pretty tightly strung wood racket with a head about fifty percent the size of a tennis racket’s.

“So the ball actually zips off the face of the racket,” Stone stated. “Some of the greater gamers can hit it 140, 150 mph.”

The policies of court tennis, as with cricket, are “pretty elaborate,” while the scoring is similar to the 15-30-40-recreation of tennis, he said. But due to the fact the two finishes of the courtroom are not identical, gamers usually serve from just one facet of the court and have to play off of an angled roof.

A series of lines on the court’s area – the actual meanings of which are “beyond my comprehension,” Stone mentioned – denote several issue scores dependent on wherever the ball lands on its next bounce without having getting hit.

Court-tennis courts range in physical appearance and roof components employed, but the angles of the roofs and “tambor” – a buttress-like space that juts on to the actively playing area – are standardized, he claimed.

All of Westwood’s services, which include the court docket-tennis region, are aspect of the club’s personal facilities that are accessible to customers and guests, Stone mentioned. The courtroom sometimes will be available for introductory clinics to boost fascination the game, and it will host uncommon tournaments and worldwide competitions featuring gamers from about the U.S. and the globe.

The courtroom throughout its initially thirty day period of operation has been booked solidly from 7 a.m. until eventually 10 p.m. every working day with every thing from friendly matches and competitions to lesson and clinics, Stone said.

“Not only is it a excellent put for the preservation foundation to retain the match, but also a genuinely special amenity for the Westwood associates to appreciate,” Stone reported.