DESERT TENNIS CLASSIC
Womens Doubles Tournament
The Desert Tennis Classic traces back to 1990 when PDTC homeowner and club member Jean Kardon originated the event as the The Palm Desert Tennis Club Ladies Invitational. Each November for the next 18 years Jean organized and presented the tournament. The event attracted players from all over the Desert, Southern California and sometimes even as far away as Kansas. Along the way Jean acquired the help of her good friend Suzy Hurst, whose computer skills made easy work of creating the entry brochures, address lists, name tags etc. With Suzy attending to these details, more time was available for Jean to work on acquiring the door prizes that she was famous for presenting in a drawing at the player luncheon. By the time the tournament was last presented at PDTC Jean was soliciting 48 prizes. whew! In addition to every participant getting one of these prizes.. Champions, Finalists and Consolation Winners were also presented cash awards.
As for me, I was introduced to this tournament in 2002 when I first started wintering in the desert. I was asked by a friend of mine to replace her partner who had to withdraw at the last minute due to an injury. It took me about 5 minutes to get hooked on this event. Every September I would anxiously await for my entry form to the tournament to arrive in the mail. I learned very quickly that if I wanted to be sure to get into this event I best return my entry immediately. The event was always oversubscribed. In 2009 Jean passed the tournament over to PDTC tennis director, Ken Kuperstein, Jean of course remained involved in the event as a consultant . In 2010 as many of us were watching our mail boxes for the arrival of an entry form to the tournament, we learned that Ken's tennis director duties prevented him from devoting the time necessary to successfully continue the event .
There were so many of us that had grown to love this event, in fact some of us would gear our return to the desert for the season around the dates of this tournament. We were saddened to think that it would exist no more. The event had such a wonderful reputation. Knowing that decades of energy and effort had gone into making this event the success it was, made it even harder to accept that it was being retired.
Knowing that I was involved in other tennis events a mutual friend of Jean's and mine suggested that I contact Jean to see if anyone had expressed an interest in continuing the tournament. Following my friend's suggestion I phoned Jean to see if anyone had expressed an interest. Having had no one indicate an interest, Jean welcomed my idea to continue the event. Her encouragement and support will be forever appreciated.
In 2010 the tournament was relocated to Rancho Las Palmas CC. where the court availability allowed for more matches and the format of the tournament was adjusted to allow for 72 participants. 2011 found the event evolving again. Now designed to allow four separate divisions and increasing the total number of participants to 96. That same year the name of the tournament was changed to the Desert Tennis Classic. In 2012 the tournament continued playing over the course of two days, using a Compass Draw format which allowed every team whether they were winning or not to play multiple rounds.
2014 found the event evolving once again with the tournament locating to the Springs Country Club in Rancho Mirage,
CA. and the length of tournament being increased to three days. In 2015 the tournament included a benefit for the FIND FOOD BANK. A dinner, complimentary to the tournament players is offered on Wednesday evening. Guests are welcome to attend the dinner, but must arrange a reservation and make payment ahead of time.
I believe this event was originally created to bring girls together in a social environment where healthy competition and friendships embrace each other. It is my intention to present this tournament for many years to come with that same philosophy. Jean continues to be a fountain of information and support and she will remain involved in the event as an adviser. It is my honor to continue this November tradition.