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Tucson’s Top Tennis Fans

October 22, 2011 02:49 PM
Bill enjoying 3.0 Adult Nationals in Tucson, AZ.
Frank strolling the grounds enjoying the 3.0 Adult Nationals.
By Matt Birch, Special to USTA.com

TUCSON, Ariz. --- If you have ever attended a tennis event at the Jim Reffkin Tennis Center, you will likely have seen Frank Iaccino and Bill Commings sitting in the stands.

Frank, 83, and Bill, 93, have been coming out daily to the tennis complex in Tucson for over 25 years to watch the action, which has ranged from youth practices to National Championships.

Frank has been a part of the tennis community in Tucson for most of his life, having played on the tennis teams at Tucson High School, as well as at the University of Arizona.

He began playing for the Wildcats in 1945, and was one of the youngest players on the team. World War II had just ended, and many military men had just returned home and enrolled in college. As a result, he was teammates with, and competed against people much older than him during his time in college.

"We had a good team, and very few kids got on the team right out of high school," he explained. "I was 17 years old when I started and they were 25-26, and were all better than me. It was a different tennis style then too. Serves and volleys were the game back then, and now there are a lot of groundstrokes."

Frank continued playing tennis throughout his life where he would work for the Howard Hughes Aircraft Company and Raytheon as a mechanical engineer. He even competed at a USTA League 5.0 National Championships in Florida, while representing the Southwest section.

Bill got started in tennis much later, but has quickly taken to the sport and now enjoys watching people of all ages play the sport.

Frank and Bill also enjoy watching the University of Arizona’s tennis matches across town, but their favorite events are watching youth tennis events.

"I like the youngster tournaments the best," Bill said. "The little kids and the 12-14 year olds are so good for their ages these days."

Regardless of their ages, and the ages of the people they watch, Frank and Bill love watching people play tennis and have countless stories and memories about events that have happened in the Tucson tennis community over the years, with new memories created every day.
Frank Iaccino (bottom right) on the 1945-46 University of Arizona Men's Tennis Team.


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