Monday, March 21, 2011

“Play for Japan” Tennis Fundraiser on Wednesday, March 23, at the Portland Athletic Club

PORTLAND, Oregon (March 21, 2011) — The Portland Athletic Club (PAC), located in the Raleigh Hills district, is hosting a “Play for Japan” tennis fundraiser and potluck luncheon on Wednesday, March 23 from 12:00-2:30 p.m. The cost is $15 per person, with all the proceeds going to Mercy Corps to help aid earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan.

This will be a tennis social fundraiser, with active games and drills for any age and skill level. Participants are asked to bring food or drink to share for the potluck portion of the event. PAC would appreciate participants signing up in advance by calling 503-292-2649, or by e-mailing Alyssa Morrison, PAC tennis event coordinator, at However, walk-ins are welcome.

“This is a way for tennis enthusiasts to help the victims of Japan while playing the sport they love,” said Maureen Harwood, tennis professional at PAC and director of the “Play for Japan” fundraiser. “I hope the tennis community can all come together for a fun event that will generate funds for a country in need.”

Tennis fans that cannot attend the event, but would like to support the cause, are welcome to make a donation through the Portland Athletic Club. Please make checks payable to the Portland Athletic Club. Checks may be sent to 5803 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale, Portland, OR 97221.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Coming Soon to Blackburn Tennis Productions and the Portland Athletic Club:

· High School Pre-District Doubles Tournament, April 29-May 1

-Keep your tennis game sharp and check out the competition early for the high school district and state tennis tournaments.

· Men’s 4.5 Hit Group

-Stay tuned: more information on this to come!

· Portland Tennis League’s Spring Session

-Includes Singles Flex, Aces, Mixed Doubles, High Noon Shoot-Out, Women’s and Men’s Doubles, Lil’ Rascals, and all Junior Divisions.

-Register today at, or call the Portland Athletic Club at 503-292-2649.

Blackburn Tennis Students attend Nike “Clash of the Champions”

EUGENE, Oregon (March 9, 2011) – The many students of Anthony Blackburn of Blackburn Tennis Productions (BTP) and head professional at the Portland Athletic Club (PAC), traveled to Eugene, Oregon, yesterday for the Nike “Clash of the Champions,” held at the grand opening of the Matthew Knight Arena on the University of Oregon campus. Phil Knight, CEO of Nike, Inc., financed the construction of this arena in honor of his late son, Matthew. This momentous occastion brought tennis greats Maria Sharapova, Vika Azarenka, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer for an exhibition match, which included women’s singles, mixed doubles, and men’s singles.

Blackburn’s tennis clients returned with much to talk about, sharing their wonderful memories with Blackburn and the rest of the Portland Athletic Club. Sharapova and Azarenka ended their tight set with a 7-point tie breaker. Mixed doubles team of Sharapova and Federer topped the team of Azarenka and Nadal 6-4. Nadal came back from a 3-5 deficit to beat Federer 7-5 in the men’s singles match, the final event of the evening. To the crowd’s great surprise, there was a guest appearance by tennis legend John McEnroe, who commentated, filled in as chair umpire, and even played some tennis.

“This event was an outstanding moment for tennis in Oregon,” said Blackburn, who is also the head tennis professional at the Nike World Headquarters. “What a remarkable experience for my students. I can tell it has already increased their passion for the game, as I’m sure it has for the thousands of others who attended.”

Blackburn, who was unable to make the trip to Eugene, enjoyed hearing all the stories from this event, and would love for his students to send him any photos they may have. Photos may be sent to


Johnson, Samkutty Clinch Boy’s and Girl’s Singles Titles in High School Kick-Off Tennis Tournament

Alex Johnson, left, and Jason Nguyen were first and second place finishers in the Boy’s Singles draw. Both are members of the Portland Athletic Club, host of the High School Kick-Off Tennis Tournament.

PORTLAND, Oregon (March 7, 2011) – Alex Johnson and Madeline Samkutty, both 14, captured the Boy’s and Girl’s Singles titles in the High School Kick-Off Tennis Tournament, held at the Portland Athletic Club (PAC) last weekend, March 4-6.

In the Boy’s Finals, Johnson, a member of PAC, defeated fellow PAC member Jason Nguyen, 17, in two sets. On the girl’s side, Samkutty prevailed in a gripping three-set semifinal match against seventeen-year-old Jennifer Kearns en route to the finals, where she topped Arielle Bradford, 18. Fifteen-year-old PAC member David Govshtein was the Boy’s Singles Consolation winner, while Christina Truong, a senior at Benson High School, took the Girl’s Singles Consolation round.

According to tournament coordinator, PAC’s Alyssa Morrison, it was a jam-packed three days of youth tennis with more than 50 high school players from all over the Portland and surrounding areas participating. “I saw some real high caliber tennis matches this past weekend,” tournament coordinator Morrison said. “I look forward to hearing a lot more about these kids as their high school tennis seasons unfold.”

Since this was a non-sanctioned USTA event, coaching was allowed, and many took advantage of the opportunity. As one of the largest pre-season tennis tournaments in the Portland area, this event offered a great preview of the competition that coaches, players, and teams can expect during the upcoming high school tennis season.

“I started this tournament because I wanted to see a large, non-sanctioned USTA event that provided high school kids with an opportunity to play in a high-quality tournament without having to worry about their ranking or position on their high school line-up,” said Blackburn. “I think this tournament provided these kids with a great warm-up for their high school tennis season.”

To acquire the full tournament results, visit or call the Portland Athletic Club at 503-292-2649.


The Portland Tennis League’s Winter Flex Singles Division is a “Smashing” Success

PORTLAND, Oregon (March 14th, 2011) - The Portland Athletic Club, host of The Portland Tennis League (PTL) announces that the Winter Session of its Flex Singles League has been well received, attracting nearly 30 players, both male and female, in almost every skill level, starting with 2.5 and up through 4.5 NTRP ratings. This league has become one of the winter’s most popular and competitive tennis groups, drawing players from all over the Portland, Beaverton, and Vancouver areas.

“This league is perfect for any type of tennis player,” said Anthony Blackburn, head tennis professional at PAC and coordinator of the PTL’s Singles Flex League. “Whether you’re just trying to get back into this sport, or whether you’re looking for some high-level singles competition, the singles flex league accommodates any and all of your tennis-playing needs.”

The PTL is designed to give players of all ages and skill levels an opportunity to play numerous matches in any event. Using a round-robin format, participants get an opportunity to play a different opponent each week for eight solid weeks.

Registration is now open for the Spring Session of the Portland Tennis League. For more information, visit the PTL website,, or call Alyssa Morrison or Anthony Blackburn at the Portland Athletic Club, 503-292-2649.


Portland Athletic Club’s Junior Academy Tennis Team Travels to Salem for First-Ever Exchange Match

Portland Athletic Club (PAC) Junior Academy tennis players gather around Academy Tennis Professional, Anthony Blackburn (center left), and his assistant Nathan Ramos (center right) on the courts at Willamette University last August. Photo by Cindy Hill.

SALEM, Oregon (August 22, 2010) – The Portland Athletic Club’s (PAC) new Junior Tennis Academy Traveling Team of 15 players traveled to Salem, Oregon on Saturday morning to play a first-ever exchange match against the junior academy players at Salem Tennis and Swim Center (STSC).

It was an all-day affair, starting with the Junior Academy members playing both doubles and singles against the juniors of STSC. After that, PAC’s Academy team drove to Willamette University, where they challenged each other in some more fun competition. They ended their evening by going to a video arcade, eating pizza, and playing a round of bowling before arriving home late in the evening. All participants received their own personalized T-shirt, with a special nickname written on the back, made especially for the trip.

PAC’s Junior Academy tennis teaching professional, Anthony Blackburn, planned, organized, and executed this trip with the help of his assistant, Nathan Ramos. “We had such a great time, and the kids represented PAC tennis very well,” said Blackburn, who intends to make this a regular end-of-the-summer trip for the PAC Junior Academy players. “I am already looking forward to next year.”

Blackburn wishes to send out a special thank you to the chaperones on the trip, Jeff and Kathryn Nuss and Cindy Hill.