By Karen Ronney
Pre-opening event held on July 16
Alan Ferguson treasures tennis traditions in San Diego. He launches a new era as the owner and founder of the Del Cerro Tennis Club with a Family Fun Tennis Day on Saturday, July 16, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Navajo area complex. He recently renovated the four-court facility on 4956 Waring Drive with the hopes it will become a new focal point of fun and fitness for the community.
The site of the Del Cerro Tennis Club has a long history with roots dating back to the 1970s, when it was called the Juegos de Juan Tennis Club. It consisted of tennis and racquetball courts, a restaurant, pool, and spa. The club offered memberships, day passes and professional instruction.
Then in 1981, it was renamed Tennis Townhomes Tennis Club led by Head Pro Manny Perez, who served the community with lessons, clinics and social events. Gradually, the racquetball courts were replaced by offices. At this time, Ferguson was a student at San Diego State University and also a member of the club.
“It was like a second home to me,” said Ferguson, a native San Diegan. “There were always people to play with and I could get a court whenever I wanted one. I think a large majority of San Diego players hit at the club during that era. It was a great place to be.”
Gradually over the next 25 years, the courts fell into disrepair. They were closed and considered unsafe. Travelers driving by the abandoned courts on 4965 Waring Drive often wondered about the status of the facility. Ferguson, however, took action and in 2010, he started his quest to make this nook once again a thriving tennis Mecca. He has spent the last six years making gradual improvements. On July 16, it will be ready for the Family Fun Tennis Day, and then on Aug. 1, it will be open to the public.
The Del Cerro Tennis Club will host a USTA Oncourt Training for 10-and-under tennis from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This event is open to anyone who wants to learn the latest coaching tips in working with beginners of all ages. The fee is $15 for this national training. Check in is at 8:45 a.m. To register for the USTA training, go to coachyouthtennis.com.
The public is invited to stop by the Del Cerro Tennis Club from 1 to 3 p.m. to participate in a free Family Fun Tennis Day for adults and kids of all ages. Also, the general Open House will be from noon to 5 p.m. for food, drink and giveaways for anyone who wants to stop by and say hello or just take a look around the club.
“Progress has been steady and there was so much to do to make this once again a great place to play,” said Ferguson. “The transformation is amazing and I think people will enjoy it.”
The four courts have been completely rebuilt and resurfaced in the striking colors of U.S. Open blue and green. The roads have been repaved and cobblestone pathways now grace the entrance to the club. The facility includes a grandstand court for featured match play and an inviting outdoor patio for social events. Ferguson converted a condominium into a clubhouse with a lounge and television viewing area. Future improvements include the renovation of the pool and building a gym for member use.
Ferguson said he is striving to create a small tennis community based on a monthly membership for a boutique atmosphere. Other offerings will include day passes to the public. Lessons and programming for adults and kids are just around the corner.
The Del Cerro Tennis Club will be a family affair. Ferguson’s daughter, Anne Marie, a graduate of Valhalla High, will be the club manager. His son Adam, a graduate of Steele Canyon High, will be an instructor.
“I’m so happy to be a part of the family business and I want to help build it into something great,” said Anne Marie. “I look forward to getting to know the members of the community. We hope people will stop by and say hello.”
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to DCTC.com.
—Karen Ronney is an award-winning national tennis coach and author of “Proud Parents’ Guide to Raising Athletic, Balanced and Coordinated Kids, A Lifetime of Benefit in Just 10 Minutes a Day.” Reach her at email@example.com.