Tennis brought Marita Redondo and Terry Holladay together when they were 10 years old; on Aug. 25 they’ll be together again when they are inducted into the San Diego Tennis Hall of Fame.
Redondo, the sports director at Lomas Santa Fe Country Club, and Holladay, a Realtor with Willis Allen’s Rancho Santa Fe office, both lay claim to lengthy careers on the pro circuit having played on the Virginia Slims tour in the 1970s; Holladay continued playing until 1988.
They’ll join Roy Barth, a “world class, college great, junior standout”; Dick Roberson, know as a premier official and for his community service; and former Union-Tribune sportswriter Jerry Magee in the Class of 2012, said Larry Belinksy. A Rancho Santa Fe resident and Canyon Crest Academy assistant tennis coach, he came up with the idea in 2005 for the Hall of Fame that is housed at the Balboa Tennis Club at Morley Field.
Holladay and Redondo both said they are honored to be selected. And they both said one of the best things they gained from tennis was their friendship.
Redondo, who played on the Virginia Slims Tour from 1973 (a year before she graduated from Our Lady of Peace) to 1980 and twice qualified for the Tour championship, says she wouldn’t have had the career she did without the San Diego Tennis Patrons and the Balboa Tennis Club.
Coming from a family of nine, she said she was “so lucky, so fortunate” to have their support and appreciates that the achievements of the local tennis community are saluted in the Hall of Fame.
Most of her brothers and sisters still play tennis; her son John is the head pro at Lomas Santa Fe Country Club and son Gannon is one of the pros on the Big Island of Hawaii, while son Nick is more of a basketball guy.
Redondo hasn’t played much lately because she was “breaking down,” she said, but still loves the game and occasionally watches on TV.
Today’s game, she added, “is more of a business than when Billie Jean (King) and I and Chrissie (Evert) grew up. We traveled a lot on our own and some had coaches. Now it’s a full entourage.”
Noting that she was never pushed to be a good player, she said, “I played because it was my passion. Today it’s a job for many.”
Holladay, her fellow inductee and friend, also started playing when she was “10 or so.” Growing up in La Jolla, she played some at Morley Field, but primarily at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club. She was on the La Jolla High tennis team and turned pro in 1974 just after graduation. That led to a successful career on the Virginia Slims Tour and, like Redondo, she also played World Team Tennis.
Her oldest daughter Tasha, now her partner in Homes by the Holladays at Willis Allen, traveled with her on the circuit from the time she was three months old until she was 5. She has two other children, Louis and Maggie, and her first grandchild was born six months ago.