BY BROOKE WEBB

Are you looking for an easy way to get outdoors this summer?  Do you enjoy tennis?  Want to meet new people?  Might we suggest you dust off your tennis racket and join a league at Washington Park.  The Wash Park Tennis Club has been around since 1965 and is still going strong. You can join the Wash Park Tennis Club for a cool 32 dollars per year, the league dues aren’t much more than that.

Washington Park is one of the best places to play tennis in Denver, Colorado, and even the country.  Blue skies, puffy clouds and mountain views are all to be soaked in over a friendly match of tennis.  If tennis is not your speed, there are also basketball, volleyball and running clubs.  The bottom line is, there is something for everyone at Wash Park.

If thinking about joining a league gives you a headache, you can just play for fun.  On any given day at Wash Park you can see a myriad of skill leveled players hitting tennis balls.  You will see kids with a bucket of balls learning to play with their parents at South High School, and you can bet you’ll see some serious hitting in a nail biting match, under the lights late at night.

Each spring the teams begin to form and the United States Tennis Association and Colorado Tennis Association release their schedules.  Matches are played starting in April and continue through June. Fall leagues play well into September.  There are also mixed doubles, daytime and 40+ and 55+ leagues.  Find more information at the USTA website  http://www.intermountain.usta.com/

Once a week you meet with your team to play another team of eight ladies or men from around the city.  The USTA has a rating system with a 2.5 level a beginner and a 4.5 level advanced. Once a level is assigned then you will be paired with players within your same level.   You can play singles or doubles, and matches usually last around 1 hour.

You may have to learn to serve and keep score, but once you have mastered these skills, it is time to join a league. Get tennis lessons or find a backboard to get started.  Learn as a family, or call a friend and start hitting balls back and forth.  Tennis is a sport for all ages and can provide many benefits to your life.

After the match (the best of three sets), the home team hosts an after party of sorts.  This includes appetizers and sometimes wine or beer.  You will meet interesting people with interesting stories and maybe you’ll even tell one yourself.

Pairing wine for your next match:

Check out this South African Brut; a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir called Graham Beck Brut.  Retails for $15.99 per bottle.  Delicious yeasty and tropical fruit notes with a creamy, smooth finish.  Your new tennis friends will thank you.

Just give it some thought, carrying on the tradition of a neighborhood tennis club that has been around since 1965 just might land you your next big deal or a new friendship.

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