Over 100 tennis fans came out to Cheviot Hills Park last night to meet with the Cheviot Hills Tennis Center’s new management team and watch the LiveBall exhibition by former tennis professional from Los Angeles Derrick Rostagno and his hard hitting friends. New concessionaire Steve Bellamy, noted LA tennis and TV personality was on hand to answer questions. He showed his excitement about the Cheviot Hills location. “To have that beautiful facility smack dab in the middle of Century City, Cheviot Hills, Beverly Hills and West LA is a dream for tennis.” Bellamy’s Cheviot Hills Manager Mike Thoeresz organized the on-court activities for young and old, while busily organizing Pizza and stocking the pro-shop with the latest tennis equipment and fashions.
All photos are uploaded and available as slideshow. Please click on the picture that says Slideshow to see the photos.
Cheviot Hills Tennis Center is a well maintained pay-as-you-go tennis facility owned by the City of Los Angeles, with 14 lighted courts located on 2601 Motor Avenue between Beverly Hills and Culver City. Some of the players attending the Open House have been coming to these public courts for decades and remember the way it was a long time ago.
Tennis player and Cheviot Hills patron Jutta Ruehl had discovered the courts in 1983 when the facility was still called Rancho Park. “I was asking people where to play tennis in Los Angeles and many pointed me to Rancho Park. It was apparently THE public place to play tennis in Los Angeles.” Ruehl recollects that it was here when a lady introduced her to USTA Adult Leagues and asked her to join her team. She adds, “I remember there were always tournaments here you could sign up for. And there were always people looking for a match or for a player for a competitive game of doubles tennis.”
It appears that over time this status of Cheviot Hills as a “happening” tennis center had gone by the wayside. Dr. Allen Fox remembers that he did play at Rancho occasionally when Jerry Teeguarden was the pro there, “…and he was a classy gentleman who taught in long white pants.” Fox is a former professional tennis player and three times All-American who became a college coach, sports psychologist, and author.
Steve Bellamy was very pleased with the crowd coming to his Open House.”We are so appreciative and enthused to have such an outpouring of support from the local community.” Cheviot Hills fits well into his portfolio of facilities he manages including the Palisades Tennis Center, Westwood Tennis Center, and the LA Golf Academy. The founder of The Tennis Channel and founder / CEO of The Ski Channel adds, “I can’t believe how many tennis players live in walking distance from the tennis center. Every other person I met said they lived around the corner.”
Wikipedia writes: The Ski Channel is a Video on Demand Cable, Satellite and Telco television network distributed on Comcast, Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, Verizon FiOS, Brighthouse Networks, Cablevision, RCN, AT&T U-Verse and Cox Communications. It features mountain oriented sports, activity and lifestyle content and is devoted to year round mountain activities such as skiing, snowboarding, hiking, biking, backpacking, climbing and other mountain sports.
The LiveBall exhibition with Derrick Rostagno and many top notch LA area tennis players turned out to be a hit with visiting tennis fans. The sheer pace of this game is so amazing, amplified by the caliber of players on the court. Within minutes everyone was drenched in sweat, proof that LiveBall seems to be one of the best workouts a player can have on a tennis court.
Steve Bellamy started LiveBall in the mid 1990ies, trying to maximize fitness, enjoyment and efficient use of peoples’ time on a tennis court. The Tennis Channel called it in 2005, “Tennis meets aerobics with a rock-n-roll attitude.” They added, “LiveBall” is the toughest two hours of exercise you will get on a tennis court and the best investment that a tennis player can make in their game.”
Other courts were busy with LiveBall games for kids. The activity attracted so many kids, Mike Thoeresz had to divide them into two groups and play LiveBall on two different courts. The level of tennis those kids (age 10-14) displayed was so amazing, it was a pleasure for adults to watch them volley, lob, and drop shot to their hearts’ content. Pro-supervised LiveBall seems to be the ideal vehicle to entice kids to a tennis workout that is fun as well as educational.
According to the comments of some players at the Open House it appears that the tennis playing community around the Cheviot Hills Tennis Center is hoping for some much needed change at the park. Tennis programming, a well stocked pro shop with racquet stringing service, customer friendly hours, and professional teaching pros are all parts of the management services Steve Bellamy is used to providing, and that may just be the right strategy to restore Cheviot Hills Tennis Center to some of its past glory.
Did you enjoy this article? Receive e-mail alerts when new articles are available. Just click on the “Subscribe” button above.