Jean Fox and Tennis in the ’90s: Part 2

Donna Gillen

Back in 1998, there were men’s and women’s tennis groups. Many of these fine players are still actively playing today.

The groups back then were not as formal as they are today. There were no computers, just the log book and fun play. The original tournament court with stadium seating was located where the current bocce courts are today. This court was below ground level. Whenever there was heavy rain, the court would fill with water, making it unusable and not very conducive to the needs of the club. Also, at that time, courts one and two were “carpet” and had the feel, look, and consistency of a clay court. The ladies definitely did not like these courts, as it was very messy and ruined many a pair of white socks and tennis shoes, according to my interview with Jean Fox.

Jean went on to reflect that back in the early days, teams were formed simply by knowing who played well together. The ladies played at 3.0 and 3.5 level. The games were arranged by the ATA and were played here in PebbleCreek, as well as at Thunderbird, Scottsdale, and Arrowhead Country Clubs. The games were just fun, no tournaments.

Jean fondly remembers the special occasions they had off the courts. At Christmas, Nancy Kyle would have a luncheon at her home. There were the birthday luncheons, these would be at Eagle’s Nest, or they would venture out of PebbleCreek and try out local restaurants. Each year in the springtime, Jeanne Cross would host a luncheon at her home. Jean also reflects on how Warfield, the tennis pro, worked with them; he had such patience. He really improved their game. He drilled them and drilled them using a point system. For example, if you served, you better have moved up towards the net! If you didn’t, you lost a point.

I asked Jean what the pros and cons were for how we do it today versus back in the day. She responded, “I can only relate to how it was in yesteryear! So relaxed with everyone having fun with no pressure, or great expectations. It was always nice to win, but it ‘wasn’t the end of the world’ if we didn’t; kudos to the winners.” I truly thank Jean for all her insight and willingness to share this with all of you.