June Court Report

Important Dates:
 Jun 19 Mens/Womens Doubles Tournament


In This Issue:
Co-Presidents' Message
Member Profile - Mike Rodgers
Remembering Levan Gray
Mountain View Open
May Singles Tournament
June Doubles Tournament
Tennis and the World

2010 Tournament Schedule:
Jun 19-20 Mens/Womens Doubles
Aug 7-8 Quad Team Tennis
Sep 18-19 Mixed Doubles
Oct 23-24 Mens/Womens Singles
Nov 13 Grand Prix

Special Thanks
Thanks to all of you who donated rackets and bags for NetGain. We have 50+, enough for the season. Keep 'em coming though.
-- Jere Scheafer

Co-Presidents' Message
 Hi, this is Tony. Paul is out of the country for a while so I'm taking over this space. The big news this month is that MVTC is now an official California non-profit organization. We have a tax ID number which will save us money every year on insurance, help us solicit donations for club events, and let us apply for grant money. (Thanks for getting it done, Tony)

We have 8 MVTC USTA teams for the next season - 2 Senior and 4 Combo - see details below. As a reminder, MVTC will not reserve courts at Rengstorff for any team that has non-resident waiting list members on its roster. Those teams can play out of Cuesta instead. Because of the current waiting list size, we will not accept non-resident applications for membership until January 2011. The Board will continue to communicate with the city of Mountain View regarding non-resident issues and how they effect club USTA participation.

We're trying something new (er, old) and co-hosting a Play Day at Cuesta Tennis Center on Sunday, June 13 from 10:00am - 1:00pm. I hope you are all enjoying the warmer weather and getting out on the courts often.


Member Profile - Mike Rodgers
Mike Rodgers has been a member of MVTC since God knows when and is currently rated as a 4.0.

Canon EOS Rebel T1i Digital SLR Camera with Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS lensPhoto at left would have been of Mike but I couldn't find him to get a photo.

Q: I know you have a lot of interests, but since this is a tennis club, let’s begin with tennis. When and how did you start playing tennis?

MR: I was 14. A friend gave me an old racket with three strings missing and I started hitting against a wall. At the time, since I was switch hitter in baseball, I used both my right and left hands to swing the racket. I was sort of a one-handed Monica Seles. In 1969, I saw Rod Laver on TV, the year he won the Grand Slam, and he quickly became my favorite pro of all time. Watching him convinced me to be a lefty. I had no idea of the advantage it was going to give me in tennis. In fact, I admit I hate playing lefties.


Q: I’ve played with you and against you numerous times and your serve, especially down the middle in the deuce court, remains one of the toughest serves for me to return. I was wondering if that was your favorite tennis shot or do you have another?

MR: Well, I like that one, especially against you, but I’d have to say my personal favorite is a mis-hit frame shot that hits the tape and then dribbles into my opponent’s court for a winner. What I like about it most is that it pisses off the opposition. After all, as Yogi might say, tennis is 110% mental.


Q: You’re a big White Sox fan. Could you tell us why?

MR: In 1963, I moved to Chicago and my grandfather and father took me to Sox ball games. My favorite player was Minnie Minoso, who in my opinion is the greatest major league baseball player not in the Hall of Fame. Did you know that before he played for the Sox, he played in both the Cuban and Negro leagues? Anyway, I remember going to games where we rooted against the dreaded Yankees who always seemed to narrowly defeat the Sox. Damn those Yankees. Also, my wife Wendy’s father was a minor league player in the White Sox system which gives me another reason to root for them.


Q: You’re going to participate in a BBQ throwdown at the upcoming Men’s and Women’s Doubles tournament in June. We’re all looking forward to that competition. I know you’ve cooked for a lot of tournaments and other events and I’ve actually seen you work your wizardry in your own kitchen. When did you start cooking and what do you love about it?

MR: I started cooking with my girl friend in high school. I guess I wanted to impress her.  Then, I worked my way through college cooking and chasing waitresses. And not necessarily in that order. I learned early on to improvise when it comes to recipes and I just really had fun experimenting with different combinations of food and spices. When Wendy, who is quite a cook herself, and I got married we pooled our recipes and began concocting dishes that combined the best of both our versions. I make a mean smoked chicken salad that is mostly her recipe. By the way, today (5/26) is our 14th wedding anniversary. Maybe, I’ll go home and we’ll cook something together. On second thought, I think we’ll go out and celebrate. Let someone else cook for us.


As for the June throwdown, I’m looking forward to competing against Bing Seid and Dana Wyse  for the title of King of the Ribs. Bing hails from Memphis and I hear the BBQ down there is first class, and I know Dana is famous for cooking the top ribs in Southern California, but I have a feeling my Chicago-based ribs will take the trophy. I’m really looking forward to that tournament and I hope we have a huge turnout.


Q: I know you’re a music lover.

MR: Growing up in Chicago, I was lucky enough to hear a lot of blues. I would go pretty regularly to a lot of the clubs in the less-than-fashionable neighborhoods like Teresa’s and the Checkerboard and hear acts like Buddy Guy and Junior Wells for a dollar cover charge. Once in a while, blues rockers like Clapton and Jagger and Richards would walk into the clubs to hear the sounds. I guess that got me excited and now I continue to worship the blues, but I’m also a member of the San Francisco Jazz Festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival, and the Healdsburg Jazz festival. That last is one of the best-kept musical secrets in the Bay Area. They have some amazing shows.  After all, jazz is one of the great American art forms, one of our best gifts to the world.


Q: I’ve seen you at the Mountain View Open sporting a camera with a lens the size of Shaquille O’Neal’s right arm. What draws you to photography?

MR: I got an Instamatic 104 when I was nine years old and that sold me on photography. In high school, I had access to a dark room  and actually experimented with developing photos. I produced a lot of strange effects that I later discovered were called Rayograms after the great twentieth century artist Man Ray. I now probably have 50-100 cameras, my favorite being the large, unwieldy 8X10, which allows me to frame pictures in unusual ways that I can’t achieve with other cameras, much like those wonderful thirties classic, Hollywood-like photos. I really like shooting landscapes. I once took thousands of pictures in Japan around Xmas time.  I really like the aesthetics of photography, really like looking at things with an artist’s eyes.


Q: Care to comment on the Mountain View Tennis Club?

MR: First, it was an honor to serve the club as President. I guess I see the club as not just about tennis, but also about community. Tennis is a social sport and the club helps us to get to know others, to share social experiences with others when we attend general meetings, play in tournaments, or volunteer to serve on the board. We get many of the benefits of private clubs . . . at a fraction of the cost. 

Remembering Levan Gray
Levan Gray, one time MVTC member and friend of many, passed away peacefully on Monday, May 10, 2010 after a two year battle with bile duct cancer.  She will be remembered for her grace, style, warmth, and love of all things purple. A beautiful service was held for her on May 17 at the Mountain View Buddhist Temple. Many of her tennis friends were in attendance along with her family and friends from other areas of her life.  Donations may be made in memory of Levan to Johns Hopkins Bile Duct Cancer Research: http://www.bileductcancerwalk.org/donate.htm. The following words were written by Levan's close friend, Grace Haig.

Levan was a woman with a magic wand.  Whoever she met, she managed to thread them together and showered them with story and food; like watering plants, the blossom of friendship grew and grew.

She opened the door of Vietnam for me.  Through her, I saw a culture of gentle people with great hospitality and a cuisine blended with Chinese and French influence.  Through her, I saw the struggle of refugees and the success of immigrants.  In her, there was a passion for art, fashion, food and great compassion toward people.

I loved watching her dressed with all colors coordinated to get blood tested, to go to the doctors' office... She kept her fashion spirits alive.  Whenever she felt better, there she was in the kitchen whipping up delicious dishes for friends and family.  She fought hard the last few years battling bile duct cancer.  Watching her beloved daughter leading a college life and her son soon to join was the most important mission of combating the illness.  The year in refugee camp made her stronger; the struggle with cancer empowered her to treasure every moment.  Her body is no longer with us, but her spirit is with family and friends forever.

Mountain View Open

The week began with Rain, Rain, Rain,… but the tradition was successfully continued. Friday morning May 28, players from the past and present showed up in the beautiful park setting in the middle of the city of Mountain View.  Around 11:00am, 84 men’s singles players arrived to sign in with the tournament director, David Panconi – Mountain View Tennis Head Professional at Cuesta Tennis Center.


This year’s tournament hosted 128 participants from locations all over California and a few from our own city of Mountain View.   There were 20 women who competed in the women’s singles; 16 men’s doubles teams and 10 mixed doubles teams who brought a lot of excitement to the four day event.  This year's event was shortened from five to four days but was very well managed by the tournament committee which was led by Glenn Louie. Glenn was ably assisted by MVTC's Jere Schaefer and Chris Dateo.


The final day, Monday May 31, the singles semifinals began at 8:30am where Brad Weston defeated Eugene Muchynski and Xavier Smith defeated Jay Wong.  Brad and Xavier met at 12:00pm on court one blasting shot after shot resulting in the first set tiebreaker and the second set went to Xavier crowning him the 2010 men’s singles champion.


The women’s singles match ended in a very exciting second set where Samantha Crister, our local Mountain View player, fought hard to win and came close losing 7-5 to the 2010 women’s singles champion Romana Tedjakusuma.


The men’s doubles champions Eugene Muchynski and Spencer Talmadge played two exciting matches on their way to victory.  They battled top players Eric Johnson and John Lamble from Eagle Fustar Tennis Academy in the semifinals in a three set match. After the win on Sunday, Eugene and Spencer began Monday afternoon with their finals match against the number one seeds Denny Fafek and Singles Champion Xavier Smith.  The two teams made shots that created a whisper among the crowd…. How do they do that?  The fans cheered and enjoyed the match.


The tournament ended with a three set changing of tides.  Kevin Pope and Romana Tedjakusuma started off with a 6-1 win in the first set.  Then Marisue Jacutin-Mariona and Pablo Schurig found a way to win the second set in a tiebreaker and continued to make the shots to win 6-4 in the third.  All players showed great sportsmanship and made the end of our event memorable.


Mountain View Tennis would like to thank everyone who attended this years event and those volunteers who helped make our first Mountain View Open a success.


Written by: David Panconi

May Singles Tournament Review
Small, but worth it...

The May tournament had the smallest draw in recent memory.  In danger of cancellation, Tony Serksnis suggested a one day tournament, the players agreed and that's what we did on Saturday, May 22.  We had 8 players in Div I and 4 players in a combined Div II/III.  The weather was perfect.

The results: 
  Jonah Harley defeated Tony Moy in the final, 6-0, 7-5.  This was both player's third match and they really played hard!
  Jimmy Areias won over Bernie Paragas, 6-3, 6-3 in the consolation final.  Jimmy, a great sportsman, called a ball out against himself.
  Peter Ivanoff won the Div II/III round robin with Lexing Yang coming in second.

The other players included: Scott Lowe, Catherine Puzon, Robert Inocencio, Tony Serksnis and Teddy Park

Many thanks to Michael Puzon for helping to warm Robert Inocencio up after a late withdrawal.
Many thanks to Perry Lim for helping me out at the tournament desk!


Kathy Wheeler, TD

June Doubles Tournament

Date: June 19th, 2010 - 8am to 4pm

Location: Rengstorff Tennis Courts
Entry Fee: MVTC members: $15; Non-members: $22
Entry Deadline: June 15th at 5pm online
Participants: Open to all adults
Tournament Directors: Bob Dickerson
Food Leads: Mike Rodgers, Bing Seid, and Dana Wyse

The June tournament is a one day event of Mens and Womens Doubles. Teams are limited to a total of 24 entries and divided into 3 divisions - Division I, II and III for a fun filled day of competitive tennis featuring a barbeque throwdown where Mike Rodgers, Bing Seid, and Dana Wyse will compete to determine who cooks the best ribs! FULL Consolation draws - every participant is guaranteed two matches.

Division I is 4.0 and above

Division II is 3.5

Division III is 3.0 and below

Please specify if you wish to play "up" in the comments section of the sign-up form. If you have a doubles partner, please fill out the information for Partner 2 in the signup form. If you need a partner, just indicate the rating desired for Partner 2.

Signup here.

Rajeev Kelkar is our new USTA Coordinator as Bing Seid and Kirby Drumm have decided to step down. MVTC has 2 teams registered for the Senior season (women's 3.0 Patsy Duke and Men's 4.0 Mike Rodgers). We also have 4 Combo teams registered (Women's 6.5 Eileen Gann, Men's 7.5 Qiao Chen, Women's 7.5 Kathy Wheeler, Men's 8.5 Paul Chen).

As a reminder, MVTC will not reserve courts at Rengstorff for any team that has non-resident waiting list members on its roster. Those teams can play out of Cuesta instead. Because of the current waiting list size, we will not accept non-resident applications for membership until January 2011. The Board will continue to communicate with the city of Mountain View regarding non-resident issues and how they effect club USTA participation.

Current standings for the 6 Adult league teams are below. It looks like 4 of the 6 teams will make playoffs!

Women's 3.0 A (Patsy): 6-4, 3rd place
Men's 3.0A (Douglas/Douglas): 6-2, 2nd place
Men's 3.5A (John/Mike): 9-2, tied for 2nd place
Men's 4.0A (Qiao): 2-8
Men's 4.0B (Dana/Louis): 9-2, 2nd place
Men's 4.5A (Tony/Paul): 3-6

Tennis and the World

June recommendations.


The Royal Tennebaums (recommended by Mike Rodgers): A quirky movie about an eccentric family of dysfunctional geniuses, one of whom, played by Luke Wilson, is a former tennis pro.  Directed by Wes Anderson, who brought us the recent The Fantastic Mr. Fox. Also stars Gene Hackman, Angelica Huston, Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow, Danny Glover, Bill Murray, and Owen Wilson. Quite a cast.


The Tennis Partner by Abraham Verghese (recommended by many of our friends): A bestselling, award-winning memoir about friendship and tennis. Verghese, who teaches medicine at Stanford, recounts his relationship with medical student David Smith.