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Courting New Opportunities

In a time where money is tight, Brookhaven continues to grow ina lot of ways.

The recent demolition of the old Gibson’s shopping center, theimpending assisted living facility on Monticello Street, and theHoliday Inn Express by Interstate 55 Exit 40 are just a fewexamples of how developers in Brookhaven continue to drive thecommunity in the direction of the future.

The moves seem to be aimed at distinguishing the city even moreas a center of activity in Southwest Mississippi, and it’s not justabout large buildings. It’s also about smaller endeavors that stillmean big steps forward for the community.

While there are several tennis courts in Brookhaven, clubofficials at Brookhill on Natchez are going out of their way todistinguish its courts from all the others.

Brookhill tennis pro David Misner said while the club has hardcourts to play on, club officials saw an opportunity to offer localplayers an easier way to take care of themselves at the same timethey’re getting in their daily dose of competition.

New clay courts, which are currently under construction atBrookhill, will be the only ones of their kind between Jackson andthe coast except for in Hattiesburg, Misner said. And there are alot of reasons to play on clay.

“Clay courts are so much easier on the body, it’s a lower impactto the athlete,” he said. “It can extend the life of a tennisplayer about 10-15 years.”

Misner said clay has been shown to be easier on the hips, kneesand lower back, as well as offering other perks.

Tennis officials tout clay courts because in addition to beingeasier on the body, it’s a different style of tennis.

During play, a clay court slows down the ball and produces ahigher bounce as compared to a hard court. The loose clay in thecourts grabs the ball, slowing the bounce and accentuating its spinbecause there is more friction from the surface.

“It’s also cooler in the heat because it doesn’t soak up all thesunlight that asphalt or hard courts do,” he said. “It’s just amuch more comfortable style of tennis.”

Misner said the clay courts, like the hard courts at Brookhill,will be lit at night to accommodate those who can’t be there duringthe day, or who just prefer the cooler evenings or the ambiance ofplaying under the lights.

“We have a lot of play at night,” he said.

Brookhill currently offers several different ways for people tobe involved with their tennis programs, with USTA adult teams allyear round, as well as fun singles and doubles activitiesthroughout the year.

“We’re a private club, and we’re hoping this will bring some newmembers even from the surrounding communities,” Misner said. “Iknow a lot of people that drive to Jackson to play on the claycourts.”

Misner said club officials hope the courts will be playable byOctober.