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Letter: Inside Glen Ellyn's tennis time capsule

Published: Thursday, July 24, 2014 3:38 p.m. CDT

To the editor:

Tucked away in the western edge of Glen Ellyn's scenic Lake Ellyn Park is possibly the oldest recreational facility in all of Glen Ellyn: nearly century-old clay tennis courts.

Upon entering the gated facility with a membership key, one is transported back to a bygone era when tennis was played on clay or grass instead of the hard surfaces developed in the modern age. The packed green clay forms a subsurface topped with a gritty material, which gives the courts their soft, natural feel.

The ball bounces higher on clay, slowing down the game and extending rallies well past those possible on hard surfaces. Surrounded by abundant trees and shrubs, one forgets about the fast-paced modern world lurking just yards from the old-time tennis action.

The feet and knees take less of a pounding and if you fall, you're more likely to wind up with dirt stains rather than cuts and abrasions.

No matter how exhausted one is after a couple of hours of competitive tennis, both players must take up the roller and brush implements to smooth out the now-gouged court surface and clean off the white court lines. That is part of the special ambiance experienced playing the game as it was in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Walt Zlotow

Glen Ellyn

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