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Our Story...

Tennis in northern Solano County has a rich history. The sports clubs at Rancho Solano, Dover,

and Green Valley in Fairfield and Browns Valley in Vacaville have been home to our tennis

families for decades; their USPTA tennis directors built strong programs for all ages and levels of

play to nurture and grow the sport. City programs in Fairfield, Vacaville, and Dixon offered

instruction on public courts. Allan Witt Park in Fairfield hosted USTA league team play from

2007 to 2014. The Cello International Tennis Academy (CITA) has been challenging young players

since 1986.


USTA adult league activities were limited to Adult (18+) and Mixed (18+) by rating and gender

until 2000. Senior (50+) was offered for the first time in 2000, Super Senior (60+) in 2010, and

40+ in 2013. 


Minimal USTA league offerings through the early 2000s meant that the opportunity to play

organized tennis was small. That void was filled by the Solano County Tennis Association, the

original SCTA, with its motto - Support Community Tennis. This group of enthusiastic volunteers

built a robust organization that scheduled monthly tournaments at all the local tennis facilities

and awarded Grand Prix points to participants. Their operational scope, professionalism,

dedication, and involvement were exceptional. SCTA activities dominated the tennis scene in

Solano County until the organization faded away in the mid-2000s as the opportunities to play

USTA league tennis multiplied.


With expanded league play and motivated USPTA professionals at the clubs, tennis continued to

flourish. Our players did well when challenged. The Browns Valley ladies’ 18+ 3.0 team won the

USTA National Championship in 2017. The 2018 NorCal Hawks won the men’s Super-Senior 65+

3.5 championship at the BNP Paribas Senior Cup at Indian Wells. Phil Cello brought the ATP

Men’s $100,000 Challenger to Rancho Solano in Fairfield in 2015, where we met Taylor Fritz,

Francis Tiafoe, and Dustin Brown. That tournament now continues annually on the courts at

Solano Community College.


Then, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, everything changed in 2020. In-Shape

management restricted access to their clubs and dropped their Tennis Director positions. Our

tennis community lost three home bases and the complexion of the sport in our area changed

dramatically. Only Green Valley CC had a committed USPTA pro and courts for league play.

 

In March 2021, USTA announced league play would return in April-May. With their no-guest

policy, the In-Shape clubs were not an option to host teams. We needed another place to play.

Centennial Park in Vacaville was the only public four court complex in Fairfield and Vacaville that

met the USTA/NorCal requirement for a restroom available during league play. City staff

expedited the process with USTA and NorCal to get the courts approved for league play before

team registration closed. Since we were not organized at the time, court reservations were

treated as facility rentals by the team captains. Eight teams represented Centennial Park in the

league seasons ending in September; four won their league playoffs and competed in the

NorCal Sectional championships. Tennis still had a heartbeat in northern Solano County.

 

But many players were joining out-of-area teams; our USPTA pros were limited in their ability to

develop and grow the sport; court amenities were sparse; and we had to organize to negotiate

with outside agencies.


In June-July of 2021, we began the process of creating a Community Tennis Association (CTA).

We needed a local single voice for the sport in our area, an organization that could pull together

the disparate segments of our tennis community. The first big decision was agreeing to a name.

SCTA was an early favorite because of all the positive 20-year-old memories. But Solano County

Tennis Association would be inappropriate as a name because Benicia and Vallejo now have

active CTAs of their own. Thus, the Solano Community Tennis Association was born – the new

SCTA.


The foundation pieces came together rapidly. Mission statement, incorporation, by-laws,

installation of directors and officers, application for tax-exempt status, website, and agreement

with the City of Vacaville for court usage. 


The future is uncertain. In-Shape may once again embrace tennis or sell its clubs to someone

who will. Our ability to improve current city courts or build a new tennis complex is not a given.

Can we rekindle the feeling of family among our players? The challenge is there. We will take it

one day at a time and base every decision on our Mission Statement – To promote and develop

the growth of tennis in the northern Solano County area. 

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