Dorcas & Ken Miller Reflect on Senior Slam Success
CONCORD, MA – Dorcas and Ken Miller are mainstays in the New England Senior Tennis scene. Players, organizers, award winners, website managers (Ken) and New England Hall of Famers (Dorcas), this dynamic duo has made a tremendous impact on the sport and is continuously contributing to the growth of senior tennis.
In 2009, the Millers created the New England Senior Slams, a series of summer tournaments for senior players to be played on hard, grass and clay. Highlighted by these efforts, they were recognized at the 2019 New England Tennis Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony with the Irving Levine Award, for a lifetime of service and dedication to the sport.
Now, 12 years after founding the series and watching it grow into a New England summer staple, the Millers are ready to hang it up and pass the torch to the next generation.
Why did you create the Senior Slams?
We wanted to get more people coming in. Tournaments were really deteriorating, and lots of them had low entry numbers. There were no officials, no player gifts or parties – It was a low point for tournaments, and we were just trying to save them.
How much have the Slams grown over the years?
We started by just calling friends and people on teams we played on. We started small but grew very quickly. For these players, we weren’t going to Wimbledon, so we all wanted to see our tennis buddies and socialize as much as we could, and that’s been a big part of it. People just like to hang out and chat, so we’ve had dinners, luncheons, cocktail parties and more over the years. Before COVID, we were averaging about 140-160 players per tournament.
How proud are you of the work you’ve done with the Slams?
We’ve worked hard and it’s been fun and very gratifying. It’s fun to see everybody out there trying their hardest, playing as hard as they can and then going out having a beer together.
Why was it time to step down after 12 years?
We’re both a little tired. We’re in our 80s now and enough is enough. When someone does something for so many years, it’s time for some new Ideas. We hope the new people will hop in and do some new and exciting things.
- Dorcas and Ken Miller have run the New England Senior Slams for the past 12 years.
- Dorcas (left) and Ken Miller have run the New England Senior Slams for the past 12 years.
- Dorcas and Ken Miller (far right) have run the New England Senior Slams for the past 12 years.
What do you hope to achieve in your final year?
We hope for more of the same, re-establishing the Slams and getting them going again following COVID. And not just the slams, but we want to make sure tournaments continue running and the key is that they’re run well. We’ll still be playing for sure, and people are happy to contact us for help or with any questions even though we won’t be involved full time anymore.
Do you have any moments that stand out from the Slams over the years?
We had so many great times. Just watching great tennis and people having fun, each tournament was an individual experience and there was always something. Irving Levine helped us out a bunch and without the New England Senior Tennis Foundation, we never would’ve pulled all this off. We hope they’ll continue making these events happen.
To learn more about the Senior Slams and the New England Senior Tennis Foundation, click here.