Tennis court under renovation

With TCU football, there comes an end in the winter. With TCU basketball, there comes an end in the spring. With TCU baseball, there comes an end in the summer. With TCU tennis … it never ends.

TCU students looking to play a sport, whether it may be for recreation or competition, can look no further than their own Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center, where collegiate tennis is played during the fall and spring. Horned Frog tennis players often hit the amateur circuit during the summer months.

The center, roughly adjacent to TCU baseball’s Lupton Stadium, has much to offer to TCU students.

Craig Smith, Director of Tennis, said students should be getting excited because the tennis center has been under renovation since early June.

“We’re getting a nice facelift, Smith said. “We’re getting new fencing and new surfacing for all of the outdoor courts.”

Smith said he wishes he could give an exact date when the courts will be finished, but weather and construction company problems have caused a delay. Only four courts can be redone at one time.

“So for the meantime we can only operate on 12 outdoor courts,” Smith said.

Pro shop desk assistant Kate Bailey said TCU students can play for free only on the outdoor courts with a valid TCU student ID. Otherwise, it costs $4 per person, but $24 buys 90 minutes on an indoor court, regardless of student affiliation.

Bailey said students do not need to reserve outdoor courts because they can play on them for free, but they can reserve indoor courts up to a week in advance with a credit card guarantee. No penalty is assessed to cancel 24 hours before the reservation.

Students worried they can’t play because they don’t have equipment won’t need to fret, she said. The tennis center can loan out rackets and balls to students who use their ID as collateral.

Bailey warns that between 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, students risk coming during the center’s busiest hours.

“I see most students taking advantage of playing time on Friday afternoon and the weekends,” Bailey said.

Bailey again warns that send-home is not an option if students wish to purchase items. Lessons are also available from four on-site pros, she said.

Lessons range from $45 to $50 per hour depending on the pro. Students can get a lesson at anytime during business hours, except Sundays, but if it’s a specific pro requested, students have to abide by their schedule, Bailey said.

Amy Beck, an athlete for the TCU women’s tennis team, said the center is a top class facility.

“Having seen many college tennis facilities, I think our tennis center is certainly the nicest one I have seen,” Beck said.

She said the landscaping is “absolutely beautiful” and enhances the classiness of the tennis center.

According to TCU’s athletics Web site, the tennis center was dedicated in May 1976 with the completion of its outdoor courts for $2 million dollars. In 1980, the tennis center added Fort Worth’s first climate-controlled indoor courts for roughly $500,000.

In 1990, Tennis Magazine cited the complex as one of the top 25 tennis facilities in the country.

TCU’s athletic Web site also said the facility was named after former chair of the Board of Trustees at TCU and mayor of Fort Worth, Bayard H. Friedman, in 1999.

Smith said the tennis center had previously been named the Mary Potishman Lard Tennis Center.