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Tennis showcased in LH with new training company

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Tennis showcased in LH with new training company

Posted on 19 July 2017 by La Habra Journal

By Alondra Urizar
La Habra Journal

Tennis players and residents alike were pleased to see the new renovations iTennis has made for the local tennis courts. So much so that they came in droves just to check out the brand new remodeled facility in La Habra at the official opening Saturday.

Emily Jett/La Habra Journal
A quick return: People from all over played tennis and enjoyed the grand opening of the new iTennis La Habra next to Portola Park on Euclid Avenue. The new managers of the former La Habra Tennis Center recently remodeled it to make it community friendly and a place for them to share their passion for tennis. The new courts, clubhouse and pro shop provide a great deal for those interested in the sport.

What was previously the La Habra Tennis Center is now iTennis La Habra with a newly remodeled clubhouse, a tennis pro shop, 12 full-size night-lit courts and two children sized courts.
People of all ages and skill levels were invited to attend the opening ceremony with free on court clinics. They held a raffle with an ultimate prize of a signed tennis racket and games with free tennis gear giveaways. A live band played in the background and the group gave food and refreshments such as pizza, water and cookies to ensure the community could still beat the heat.
The ownership group, iTennis Inc. began in Pasadena by former Stanford All-American and Wimbledon competitor John Letts on only one court back in 1998.
Today, they have expanded to Pasadena and South Pasadena, Arcadia, El Monte, Riverside, West Hollywood and now, La Habra.
“We are a company of tennis lovers, and the last thing we want to see is a nice venue like this, change use, go unused or be empty, so we are going to do our very best to make this be a huge community asset,” Letts said.
The company, iTennis made a bid at an auction for the site and, according to the owners, were pleased to have won. Co-owner Selwyn Brereton then began six-weeks of hard renovations beginning in early June.
The clubhouse was completely remodeled.
“We try to make it look like a living room where you want to come home from work and sit and relax. They can watch their matches, talk to their friends,” Brereton said.
He added that they installed air conditioning, something the clubhouse never had.
Letts and Brereton introduced themselves and shared how excited they were to service the community, hoping to produce many pro tennis players from La Habra in the future.
The former tennis center was beat up, not well cared for and run down, according to several residents and the iTennis staff.

Hundreds of people came out Saturday to attend the grand opening of iTennis La Habra as the new management company of the La Habra Tennis Center. People were able to play and practice their tennis skills.

La Habra Heights resident Jessie Hernandez used to use the courts before iTennis arrived and testified the courts were in bad shape
“It’s a big improvement. It’s like day and night. It looks nothing like it did before. Before, it just looked empty, run down and not taken care of. But now you can see that even just the lobby,” Hernandez said. “It’s very clean, more modern, more activity. You see a lot more people. It looks like they transformed it overnight.”
Hernandez has played tennis ever since he was in high school and now enjoys playing with his wife, two daughters and is excited to introduce the sport to his youngest son when he grows a little older.
The center will provide free United States Tennis Association membership for kids 10 years old and under, group or private lessons for people of all ages and abilities as well as courts for public use so long as the courts are available.
Membership with iTennis also include court reservations, clinic and merchandise discounts and invitations to club activities and events.
“We want people who have never tried the game to come out and try out [tennis] for the first time, and this event is geared to anybody… of all levels. Tennis is a great family sport,” said Letts.

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 Emily Jett contributed to this article

 

iTennis La Habra
351 S. Euclid St.
La Habra, CA

info@itennislahabra.com
(562) 690-5040

www.itennislahabra.com

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Christie Wan’s freshman tennis season ends in record fashion

Posted on 25 November 2013 by La Habra Journal

Christie Wan set a WCHS record by reaching the 3rd Round of the CIF-SS Tennis Individuals, Monday at Whittier Narrows Tennis Center.

Christie Wan set a WCHS record by reaching the 3rd Round of the CIF-SS Tennis Individuals, Monday at Whittier Narrows Tennis Center.

by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

SOUTH EL MONTE – Whittier Christian freshman Christie Wan’s sensational tennis season came to an end in the 3rd Round of the CIF-SS Tennis Individuals, Monday afternoon at the Whittier Narrows Tennis Center.

After feeling little resistance in the first two rounds, Wan was paired with Peninsula High sophomore Ena Shibahara, who helped her team win the Division 1 team championship earlier this month.

Shibahara is also ranked No. 3 in the 16s grouping of the United States Tennis Association rankings.

Despite struggling on serve at times, Wan held her own against Shibahara, but Wan’s woes on the serve allowed for some sharp returns from her opposition.

“I need to work on my serve more and just hitting bigger,” Wan said. “Ena’s a great competitor, she didn’t let me breathe during the match, she kept jamming the ball and it was tough.”

After falling behind 2-0 in the first set, Wan battled back to tie before Shibahara took the final four points.

Shibahara took control of the second set early, with Wan scoring her point to make it 5-1.

It was the first and only loss for Wan in a season that saw her break a school record when she reached the 3rd Round of the tournament. No player in Whittier Christian history had made it that far until today.

In the first two rounds, Wan swept Gladstone’s Jessica Rosas 6-0, 6-0 followed by a sound victory over Hacienda Heights Wilson’s Vicky Limayo 6-2, 6-2.

“I felt like the first two matches were a bit easier, I was able to control them,” Wan said. “My serve was much better in the first two matches. I’m really happy with my run, I feel like next year I’ll know more about high school tennis and how to get better.”

Wan finished her freshman season with an overall record of 38-1.

Whittier Christian Head Coach Nicole Nicolaides said that Wan’s experience in making it this far in the CIF-SS Tennis Individuals will pay dividends for her going forward.

“We saw a kid who is very competitive, she’s very talented,” Nicolaides said. “I think she was a little intimidated at first, especially in her match against Ena, but she looks at it as a way to grow in her game too. Playing experienced players will only make her better.”

The Lady Heralds also sent the doubles team of Abby Burdick and Klarissa Flores to the CIF-SS Tennis Regionals and the duo made the most of the experience.

After falling in the first set of their first round matchup 1-6, Burdick and Flores stayed alive by winning a tiebreaker to take the second set 7-5.

In the third set, they were outdone 7-10 by Long Beach Poly’s Daniela Gochuico and Rylie Borje.

“They impressed me this season because they only started playing last year,” Nicolaides said. “They played some really good tennis today and fought until the end. I’m proud of them.”

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Athlete Spotlight: Freshman Christie Wan rules the court

Posted on 06 November 2013 by La Habra Journal

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAby Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

Whittier Christian freshman tennis player Christie Wan has put together a season that most others could only imagine in their dreams.

Not only has she finished the regular season with a perfect 36-0 singles record, up until the final Olympic League tournament last week, she hadn’t lost a single set.

In an Olympic League championship match, that mark for set victories fell, but didn’t hinder Christie in winning 6-0, 6-1.

“I just try to focus on the ball and not the opponent,” Christie said. “I’m always playing hard for every point.”

Christie’s tennis career stemmed from a childhood activity when she was five years old, into a passion now at 14 years old.

She’s worked with the United States Tennis Association and says that the level of competition within the organization was a big boost heading into her freshman year.

“I was surprised, because I wasn’t sure how I would measure up against other varsity players,” she said. “The opponents are mainly the same level, but it’s unlike the USTA tournaments, those matches are more intense.”

Despite a ferocious approach on the court, another aspect of Christie’s game gets plenty of recognition from coaches and spectators alike.

“She’s probably one of the best sportsmen I’ve seen in a while and she’s just a freshman,” said Nicole Nicolaides, Whittier Christian head coach. “She’s just so sweet to everyone. She will beat another girl 6-0 and then the two of them will walk off the court laughing together, I don’t know how she does that. She just has a great attitude and she’s really humble about the abilities she has.”

Incoming freshmen coming into a program usually tend to be wild cards when it comes to coaches, because without seeing them beforehand, it’s hard to gauge what each player can contribute.

From the moment Christie hit a ball in practice, Nicolaides knew she had a special talent on her hands.

“The moment I saw her hit the ball, I knew she was going to be a force to be reckoned with in this league,” Nicolaides said. “There are some amazing players in this league too, so I was excited to see what she could do against them. Sometimes you can’t tell what you’re getting in freshmen, but when I saw her hit, we knew she would be special.”

But still, for a freshman to go 36-0 takes an immense amount of concentration and determination, something Christie may have learned from observing her role model.

“I like Roger Federer because his attitude is always positive,” she said. “He never shows much negative energy on the court and I think that’s important because it lets your opponent know that you’re not willing to give a match away, always be perseverant.”

In addition, she spends most of her time working on her craft. Because of the USTA tournaments, she says she practices almost every day.

With the USTA, she developed her skills at the Home Depot Center, which required hard work and dedication just to stay in the program.

The results are certainly showing at the high school level, but the challenge gets tougher with CIF matches already underway.

Christie’s remaining goal is to make the CIF singles tournament to have a chance at competing against some of the other girls she knows from USTA.

But don’t think she doesn’t have the team in mind as well.

“I really want to see the team grow and improve,” she said.

Added Nicolaides, “The other kids love her, she’s fit in really well with this group. We have 10 freshmen and sophomore so they’ve all come into this together and they do a great job supporting one another. In the team room they laugh all the time.”

Christie’s focus in the classroom resembles her alertness on the court. As a freshman, she is enjoying studying biology.

“I like following traits and genes of the human body,” she said.

Following the traits she’s displayed on the court so far this season, she could make a long run in the postseason as well.

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