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A look at the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex

The Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex.
A Tennis Block Party at the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex.
A Tennis Block Party at the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex.
By Erin Bruehl, USTA.com

Hosting a Fed or Davis Cup tie was something John Austin, the manager of tennis at the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex, was thinking about from the facility’s first opening in September 2007.

With 25 courts made with post-tension concrete and deco turf surfacing that include 17 with lights, as well as a large clubhouse, pro shop, locker rooms and indoor racquet ball courts, among other features, it is a world-class public facility in Surprise, Ariz. and won the 2008 USTA Outstanding Facility Award.

And in early December, the USTA announced the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex had been chosen as site for the 2009 Fed Cup World Group Quarterfinal tie between the U.S. and Argentina.

“The city built a big facility with really the intention of bringing tournaments in. I am a big advocate of what the USTA does. I have been floating the idea of Davis and Fed Cup since day one,” Austin, former ATP player and brother of two-time US Open champion Tracy Austin, said. “The bid for Fed Cup came up, we looked at it and decided to go for it and put a bid in. And we were fortunate enough to get it. It is a great facility.”

The facility is perfect for hosting tournaments and has had many already ranging from ones for the USTA Southwest Section (Austin is also the former Executive Director of the Southwest Section), as well as junior tournaments and one for the Outback Champion Series in November 2008 that was on nationwide TV. In April 2009, it will also host the USTA League presented by Chrysler Super Senior National Championships.

For the Fed Cup tie to be played February 7-8, 2009, a temporary 4,000-seat stadium will be built and U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez will visit the site in January 2009. A sponsor village will also be set up. And with recently having the Outback Champions Series event, the facility has experience hosting professional events.

As a public facility, any one is welcome to play and it is one of the largest public facilities on the west side of Phoenix. It has been extremely popular amongst the local people as all its teaching programs for both adults and juniors are full. Winning the award from the USTA was also a tremendous feeling.

“It is a huge honor. I was really, really pleased,” Austin said of the award. “We are fortunate to have done a lot of USTA programming and a lot of USTA tournaments here. The facility speaks for itself - it is an outstanding facility. The city really did a world-class job on it.”

“If you think tennis, this is the place to come,” he added. “We have a lot of tournaments, we have several USTA leagues play out here, we are starting a Junior Team Tennis league in March. We are becoming a real active tennis facility and we view the USTA as true partner in what we do.”

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