BY FERNANDO RODRIGUEZ
For years, tourists would ask if there was any place in Cabo where they could play tennis online, and the answer has always been, no place that is open to the public. Anyone wanting to play tennis had to be staying at a resort hotel with tennis courts on site.
A public tennis court area will be available soon, as the MexTenis corporation, known for organizing the annual ATP 250 tournament, has struck a fantastic deal to donate two tennis courts for free public use. This comes as part of an agreement in lieu of the tournament fees they usually pay to the city government.
The two courts will be located at the Don Koll Sports Complex in the Congrejos neighborhood, 4 miles from downtown Cabo San Lucas, not far from the old lighthouse. The Don Koll facility is one of only two places that feature an all-weather tartan track with an artificial grass soccer field smack dab in the middle. The other locale is at the Delegation Sports Arena next door to the Red Cross.
Construction of these courts is set to start in early 2024, with heavy equipment operators already moving dirt and clearing the land where the courts will be built.
The tennis courts are a long overdue necessity for those who love the game and cannot ante up the $140 it used to cost to rent the courts at the Cabo del Mar Sports Center in El Tezal. “It’s a school that lends its facilities to the tournament,” said Monica Lizarraga.
Gone will be the days of an abundance of tennis courts all over Los Cabos that have always been exclusively for the hotel or residential developments they are in.
And while it’s mostly older adults who are most passionate about tennis, there is nothing to say that Mexican youngsters who live in the Congrejos neighborhood will not flock to the public tennis courts to learn and improve their game.
The tennis courts are expected to be available all day and into the evening, the same as the basketball courts, and everything else at the Don Koll facility, where men and women walk the track during the early AM hours and also in the evening under the lights.
Rafael Osuna (1938-1969) was a former world No. 1 tennis player, the most successful player in the history of Mexico and an Olympian. He was born in Mexico City and is best remembered for his singles victory at the U.S. Open Championships in 1963, winning the 1960 and 1963 Wimbledon Doubles championships, the 1962 U.S. Open Championships doubles, and for leading Mexico to its only Davis Cup Final round appearance in 1962. He is the only Mexican to ever be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1979.
Rodrigo Pacheco, a local star, who is supported by Mextenis, was the number one ranked International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior world player in 2023 and won the junior doubles tournament title at his second Grand Slam appearance a season ago at the French Open. It earned him an invitation to participate in last year’s Los Cabo Open (July 31 – August 5).
“I think it’s an incredible opportunity,” said Pacheco, at his Cabo Open debut. “I’m going to try to take every advantage and enjoy it to the fullest. Sooner or later, you have to compete against the best to realize what you need to improve.”
And like retired Los Angeles Fireman and founder of the No Borders Academy, Mike Henry, once said, “You never know what talented kids are out there. The next big singer could come right out of Cabo.”
That statement can also apply to the youngsters of this town who will be honing their tennis skills at Don Koll.