Mar/Apr 2009 Newsletter

Passing Shots

The Cupertino Tennis Club Newsletter

March/April 2009 Volume 3, Issue 2

My Spin On Things - Marilee Adams, President

The biggest activity this season has been preparing for the upcoming lighting improvement project.  The project will start in April and the contractors hope to be finished in July.  The construction will reduce available courts for USTA matches and casual evening playing as a couple of courts will be taken off-line at a time.

For those of you playing the upcoming Adult USTA season, we have made a few changes to accommodate the lighting project.   Each team will be given 3 hours and 3 courts to finish their 5 matches.  The exception to this will be weekend matches that begin after 6:00 pm. These matches will have 5 concurrent courts for 2 hours.  With this system, we will need to adhere to a 5-minute warm up, and match tiebreaks will be mandatory in lieu of a full third set.

In the last newsletter, we asked if there was any interest in building up the ladder program.  We only received 2 responses from individuals who said they were interested in Ladder play.  Due to the general lack of interest, the CTC Board has decided to disband the program. See page 7 for information on a new tennis program that the Board is introducing.

We will update you via email as we get more information on the lighting project.  We ask for your patience during the lighting upgrade.  Keep in mind that this will improve everyone's tennis experience at the Sports Center.


-Marilee Adams, CTC President


Tennis Tip of the Month by Dana Gill, Exec, Director, Lifetime Tennis

When's all about location, location, location!

Players at all levels (2.5 to professional) put too much emphasis on power over location.  Andy Roddick may be able to hit through some players, but he would hold serve more against Roger Federer if he hit more serves closer to the lines.

Practice tip!  Place a target 6 inches inside each service box sideline and practice trying to knock them down/over.  Serves that land closer to the sideline cause EVERY player to move 1-3 steps laterally to hit the ball.  This takes time and creates player imbalance leading to more misses or inaccurate returns of serve.  Plus, players that practice with targets tend to perform well under pressure as they can better visualize the target in their minds.


Crime at CSC

Three ball machines were stolen from the ball machine court shed on Saturday, March 21st.  Apparently, the thieves entered through the Stelling Street side fence of the ball machine court, cut the shed lock and proceeded to take 3 Playmate ball machines.  A police report has been filed and this offense has been classified as breaking and entering grand theft.  A $500 reward is being offered for any information leading the retrieval of the machines or conviction of the crime.


USTA News by Bob Larocca, USTA Coordinator

Three of our Senior League teams will be going to Sacramento in April to participate in the NorCal District Playoffs. 

Our two 3.0 women's teams, one captained by Debbie Argabright and the other by Diane Detig, finished 1-2 in the league.  Both teams won very close first round playoff matches and advanced as champion and wild card.

The Adult season starts April 6th and we have a record number of teams participating.  We've grown from 13 teams in 2007 to 17 teams in 2008 to 20 teams this year.  That's at, or maybe above, the maximum number of teams that we can handle.  While it's great that we have a high level of participation, it does cause some court allocation challenges.  General court time will be especially scarce this spring because of the heavy USTA schedule and the planned lighting upgrade.

Our ten Mixed teams survived the winter rains and, if the weather stays clear, will be finishing up their season by the end of March.  We have teams at all 3 levels (6.0 through 8.0) with chances of getting into the local league playoffs.

Reminder: You must be a 2009 CTC member to play on a USTA team.  If you have any questions, please email

Congratulations CTC member Wendy Chow for being chosen USTA League Volunteer of the Year. "In recognition of an individual who has volunteered time to enhance the section's USTA league tennis programs."


APRIL Pro Shop Special:

Buy 1 tennis item, receive 2nd one at 50% off,

Buy 2 tennis items, receive a 3rd item FREE.


Win 40 Cans of Tennis Balls OR a new Tennis Racquet!

Dana Gill is turning 40 on April 1st.  To celebrate his birthday, Dana will play 9 point singles tiebreakers against any interested Cupertino Sport Center pass holder. 

In this format, the 1st player to reach 5 points wins.  If the score reaches 4-4, the pass holder will serve the final point.  Each point won by he pass holder is worth 1 free can of tennis balls. Any pass holder that wins a tiebreaker will win 40 cans of tennis balls or a new tennis racquet!

The challenge will take place on Tuesday, March 31st from 4:30-6:30 PM on Court #1.

Come out and cheer or jeer for your "favorite" player.


Lifetime Tennis Employees of the Month

Cyril Macasero and Michael Leopold are two of Lifetime's best instructors.  During the week, they work to improve the skills of young tournament players and adult class participants.  On he weekends, they serve as our program supervisors.  They are doing a great job of helping player's games and we thought you should know.


Meteorological Musings – More Than Just an Icon – by Jan Null

Not only are people watching the skies for rain to fill our reservoirs, but also almost as important they want to know if they can play tennis the coming weekend.  These days most people seem to watch their local television weathercaster or go to an Internet site (i.e.,, or The Weather Channel) for the forecast.  And what they get for next Saturday is usually just a single icon with a cloud and some rain drops.  Does this give you enough information to know if you'll be able to play that 11 AM match on Saturday?

Probably not, as a single icon to represent an entire day (and evening) can mean lots of things.  It might mean that the day will be cloudy and then it will rain.  Or that it will be cloudy with periodic showers.  Or that there is a 20% chance of rain, which also means that there is an 80% chance that it will not rain.

But there are other resources to help you make a more informed decision.  The source of most of the weather information and forecasts that you see, read and hear is actually from the National Weather Service (NWS).  This can be in the form of a local forecast for the Santa Clara Valley, radar and satellite images showing the current conditions or computer models that show what the weather will be like next weekend.  These forecasts are made locally (Monterey) and are actually produced by real people and not just an icon-producing computer program.

And to make it easy to get to the best forecast, here are a few good sources to link to:


      Golden Gate Weather Services,

      NWS Santa Clara Valley forecast,

      Cupertino Sports center (current weather),
(weather station right across the street at De Anza College)

While none of this will help add topspin to your backhand, it will hopefully ease the frustration of knowing when to get to the courts! -Jan Null

(Ed. Note--Jan is a Certified Consulting Meteorologist with Golden Gate Weather Services, and often serves as an expert witness in weather related litigation. He's an Adjunct Professor of Meteorology at San Francisco State University and former National Weather Service Lead Forecaster.  You can also check out his home page and subscribe to his fact-filled daily weather column on  Send question or comments to

The Rules Corner by Jean Hassoun
QUESTION #1: One of our own balls rolls back in the playing area.  Could I request a let?

RESPONSE:  NO. You are expected to ensure that all balls are accounted for and at a safe location.  This includes a ball that is pushed back in by the wind.  Of course, this could become a safety issue and while you cannot request a let for the ball on your side, your opponent would be expected to allow a let in most such situations. This is a situation where the rule is defined to prevent abuses, but good sense and safety should guide your actions.  Just be aware that your opponent can deny you a let.
WHAT TO DO: Be proactive and always check that a ball in your opponents' area could not become a danger to them. 


Question #2: In a tiebreak, in doubles, when the server serves out of turn, what should we do?


RESPONSE: (team A&B vs. team C&D) If player A served one point out of turn, the point stands as played, and player B serves the next point.  If player A served a complete turn (either the first point of the tiebreaker or a turn of 2 points) then the service sequence is now altered and player B will serve when the serve comes back to the team.


Remember: In tennis, any point played in good faith stands and never gets replayed.


QUESTION #3: While serving, what are "let" and "net"calls and when should you use them?


RESPONSE: A "net"call is used to indicate that the served ball has touched the net.   If the ball subsequently lands out, it should be also called "out".  A "let"call stands for "Let's play"and in this situation indicates that the ball touched the net and then touched the ground in the proper area--an "in"ball.

A "net"call doesn't tell us what to do next until we learn if the ball is in or out so that call alone is confusing and doesn't give any real information. To keep things simple, just call the "let"in or out.

Remember that it's called the Game of Tennis, so have fun playing it!

Jean Hassoun

USTA NorCal 2008 Referee of the Year

About this column: This is your opportunity to ask questions about rules and/or court situations and get reliable, up-to-date answers. Please send your questions to

Please note: The CTC Ladders Program has been canceled.  See the Ladders page on the website for a description of the new tennis program that will take its place.

This month's recipe is Belinda's Super Moist Lemon Cake. If you want the recipe, go to the .pdf version of the March/April newsletter online or email

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Last updated: March 26, 2009