Tom Frain believes he has a deal any tennis player will find difficult to pass up: free entry into the Jan. 20-22 Zephyrhills Tennis Association's annual tournament when a player joins the organization for $10.
"Not only do you get a spot in the tournament for $10, you get a $9 T-shirt, refreshments. Balls are provided, and there's a pizza party at the end of the tournament," Frain said. "I can't think of a better deal anywhere."
Frain, one of two ZTA vice presidents with Ed Holtzhouse, hopes this offer helps recruit new members. The two are directing the tournament and will team up. Frain also will play mixed doubles with his wife, Marsha.
"Some of the best tennis around is right here in Zephyrhills," Frain said. "I especially like the idea of makeup matches and how we mix men and women playing together. Up north at the club where I belong, that seldom happens, and it seems fewer women play. I know my wife likes the play here better."
The Frains are winter residents from Canadian Lakes, Mich., where he serves as the association's president during the summer, when the resort is busy on its eight courts.
"We've been coming down here the last four years, and it was just five years ago I even started tennis," Frain said. "I was still playing golf and basketball. When I reached my mid 50s, I decided I would try tennis to help stay in shape. I played some as a kid, but nothing ever regular or serious. Now I wish I had. It's a great sport."
Players won't be seeded for the tournament.
"Everyone will play four games against each opponent using no-ad scoring," Frain said. "The top four, based on their total score, will meet in a semifinal and play the best two-of-three sets to determine the champion. There may be some flexibility depending on the size of the divisions."
Men's, women's and mixed doubles are offered as well as men's 65-plus doubles at Zephyr Park. The deadline to enter is 5 p.m. Jan. 19. For details, call (813) 779-3329.
NET SHOTS: Local teams at this weekend's combo doubles state championship in Daytona Beach include women's 7.5 East Lake Woodlands, women's 8.5 Royal Racquet Club, men's 6.5 Countryside Country Club and 7.5 men's Racquet Club of St. Petersburg.
Among the winners at last weekend's St. Petersburg Tennis Center Junior Championships were Victoria Tomova in the girls 12-and-under and Rohit Navelker in the boys 12. Finalists included Danielle Day (18), Amber Li (14), Rianna Valdes (10), Brendan McKay (18) and Dilip Kamath (16).
Roy Nyren won the bronze in the 70-74 singles at the state Senior Games last month.
COMING UP: The USTA Junior Rookie Tournament is this weekend at Countryside Country Club. For details, call (727) 796-1136. Cheval Country Club in Lutz hosts the Junior Winter Sectional for boys 14 and younger this weekend. For details, call (813) 948-2282.
News for this column may be faxed to Nancy Morgan, (727) 796-5559; e-mailed to namorgan46msn.com; or sent to 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. Include a phone number.