Tennis Beginning to Return in Lackawanna County

Scranton Tennis Club Reopens, Birchwood Tennis and Fitness Club Renovates, Waits for Green

CLARKS SUMMIT, Pa. — The lines are down, the nets are up and the courts are full at Scranton Tennis Club in Clarks Summit, but of course, it’s not exactly business as usual.

“There are still a lot of restrictions,” Scranton Tennis Club Head Professional Joe McNulty said. “If you notice, there’s no benches out to sit down. Everything is sterilized after you play. All the precautions are being taken by club members to make sure everything is safe.”

So they can play a sport many members feel is inherently safe. 

“We don’t feel our sport is that dangerous, really,” Club President John Weiss said. “Playing singles, you’re 78 feet away from your opponent and he only time you every really get close is when you do cross overs. You don’t really have to come close to anybody else.”

“People were anxious to say ‘how come they’re driving around over there playing golf and we can’t play any tennis,’ especially when it’s next door and everybody’s out playing?” McNulty added. “It’s worked out. We were patient.”

Patience has been the key at Birchwood Tennis and Fitness Club in South Abington Township. As an indoor tennis facility, they’re not open yet, but they’re just about done with all of their renovations, including newly, resurfaced courts that no one has played on yet.  

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“It was very unfortunate that the club had to close before our members could really see the result of all the new renovations,” Birchwood Tennis and Fitness Club Director of Tennis Tim Haus said. “The six indoor hard courts were completely resurfaced. We have beautiful, brand new divider nets, curtains, insulation, a sports membrane. We put in a new ventilation system for the clay courts and rebuilt and re-did the three indoor clay courts as well. The club is in brand new condition.”

With brand new protocols. 

“Now we’re in a new phase of figuring out how to apply the new norm,” Birchwood Tennis and Fitness Club Manager Liz Sherman said.

That includes taking temperatures and wearing masks. Plus, clinics will be limited to four players per court, using markers called “french fries” to keep social distancing. It all opens when the county goes green.

“Birchwood is a family, really,” Haus expressed. “So, it’s very frustrating to not be able to see everyone and enjoy tennis and every day, we’re hoping to get good news from the Governor that will allow us to open.”

“We’re beyond eager, Sherman reiterated. “We are just so anxious to see everybody back on the tennis court.”

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