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Society Whispers: Bond, Bill Bond, the '007' of Tennis Retires

Thursday, August 18, 2005 | He has the car – a Corvette with bullet-hole decals. He’s got the girl – Suzie, his very pretty and devoted wife. And he has the career, actually, he had the career. Bill Bond Jr. made the big decision to retire and enjoy the island life with his wife. Kauai is the destination. Where else can you go after years competing on the world tour, and years of teaching as the Club Head Pro at the beautiful seaside La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club?

Bill Bond is a second-generation legend and gentleman in tennis. A student, a teacher and so much more. Like his father, Bill Bond Sr., Bill Bond Jr. took on a life of tennis, with the net result of a 34-year career: a three-time Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American at USC; three consecutive NCAA title teams; winner of the NCAA doubles title in 1964 with Dennis Ralston; 11 U.S. National Titles and three Foreign National Titles. Bill Bond Sr. and Bill Bond Jr. were also a five-time winning combo as the United States Tennis Association’s National Father and Son Hard Court Champions. Mix in Wimbledon and a national ranking that had Bond listed in front of such greats as Jimmy Conners, Michael Chang, Stan Smith and Pete Sampras. Well, you have a winner!

Suzie, meanwhile, ran the bustling tennis shop at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club and added her smooth operation skills to club tournaments. And Suzie did it with grace. Grace Kelly grace.

After years of competing and teaching thousands the finesse and grace of tennis, Bill is retiring. Suzie, too. But, not without fanfare. The La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club celebrated Bill and Suzie, two of one kind, with a big splash cocktail reception Aug. 4.

Among the many wishing Bill and Suzie Bond well were so many San Diegan tennis greats mixed with regular tennis folk. In the dressed-up crowd were – Terry Holladay, she was No. 8 in the world years back in women’s tennis, Paula and John Holladay, Paul Schwab Sr., Scott Johnston, Desdy and Tony Baggott, Kathy Holladay and Mary Ann and Dr. Kent Holladay, Bill Bond’s brother Dennis Bond, and Suzie and Bill’s daughter Cindy was there with her family, including little Bill Bond III., Elita Murphy, Joe and Mary Annino, Suella and Dr. John Steel, Bettan Laughlin, Diane Brown, Paul Strange, Betty Dow, Berneice and Dempsey Copeland, Gerry and Chuck Scribner, Barbara Majure, John Steel Jr. (who was tops in the collegiate world), multi-talented Pierrette Featherby, Cher and Glenn Conner, Albertine and Rene Stuyck, Tiffany and Shawn Worst with little Calvin in tow, Darcy and Scott Smith, and Cynthia and Jon Roseman (they own the famed surf destination Tavarua Island in Fiji; Tavarua now has a tennis court ,too).

Also there were Lois Driscoll, and Ann and Paul Brenner, Joanne and Tom O’Dea, USC tennis great Dick Leach, Blair and Brian Moses, Mary and Bob Porter, Jean and Barry Schuyler and Betty Hagey, matriarch of the Hagey family. Betty has had several of her eight children play professional tennis, including Susie and Chico.

More reflections on Bill Bond’s brilliant career. With movie star Sean Connery looks, Bill’s accolades in tennis also include being chosen as the USPTA Master Tennis Professional and later the USPTA “Pro of the Year” – an honor relegated to the best of the best.

More there enjoying delectable appetizers of smoked salmon and cheese and oceanfront ambiance and honoring the two bonded Bonds were Nancy and Ted Ten Eyck, Ginny and Joe Patridge, Cathy and George Hunt, Sue Clark, Jo and Stan Griffin, Monique Gray, Marilee and Steve Warfield, Lew Grinnan, Bev and Capt. Robair Mohrhardt, Karen and Bob Bowden, Kim McKellar, Laurie McKellar, Jackie Geller, Marie and Pete Hill, Robby Hill, Nick Arthur, Ann and Walt Merdinger, Judith and Duke Johnson, Royce and John Campbell, Leslie and Rick Evans, Marc Van Buskirk and his sister Amy Van Buskirk, Susan and Hughes Hill, tennis instructor and tennis official Nelson Alapi, Rosemary and Russ Lanthorne (Russ was coach at La Jolla High School), tennis instructor Charlie Warner, Yvonne Gallagher, and Lorne Kuhle. Lorne was Jimmy Conner’s coach back in the day as well as the late and fabled Bobby Riggs’ best friend.

More there enjoying poignant remarks from club President Bill Kellogg and his wife Tricia were Karen and Rod Susman, Patty and Quique Hambleton, Hillary Jacobson aka “the Pretty Redhead” and Patricia and Bill Lo. The Lo’s son, Jonathan, established himself as a rising young national tennis star at the age of 8! Quite a lot of Jonathan’s rise is due to his father Bill’s persistence, and Bill Bond’s guidance. Also there were Liz and Oscar Harper, Jane and Nick Wyer, Fred Kellogg and his brother Bob Kellogg, and Dodo Cheney. Cheney, at a young 80-plus years, has won more USTA tennis championships than anyone in the world – more than 300. Dodo was just one of so many unique individuals who made a point to come and wish Bill and Suzie Bond a happy and deserved retirement. Suzie and Bill, “game, set and match” – you are winners always!

For photo coverage on this fun “ace worthy” event, please visit

Margo Schwab, an alumna of the University of San Diego’s graduate business school, reports on social/charity events, celebrities, restaurants and from time to time breaking scoops.

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