Rosie Casals keeps tennis alive in the desert
USTA Southern California | May 15, 2019
People change. They mellow with age. They adjust to their surroundings, rather than forcing their surroundings to adjust to them.
And then there is Rosie Casals.
She is 70 now, has lived in the Southern California desert since 2000, says she loves it—“especially when the high season ends and I see all those vans and trucks with people’s stuff heading back out of town”—and has dedicated herself and her time to making it better. That dedication takes the form of a foundation she began in 2015 with former tour player Tory Fretz. It is called the Love & Love Tennis Foundation, and its title fits both the competitor Casals was and the crusader she has become.
From almost the moment that a teen-age Casals stepped onto the public courts at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and fell in love with a game where you could hit something and be rewarded rather than punished, Casals was a rebel with a cause. ADVERTISEMENT Her childhood and personality needed tennis.
She had come to the United States from El Salvador with parents who soon decided that Rosie and her sister were more than they could handle. A great aunt and great uncle stepped in, found Golden Gate Park for some recreation for their new wards and the Rosie Casals story had begun.