DIXON - Suzie Hubbs drove from Omaha, Nebraska to Dixon to see her mother's legacy celebrated on the court.
Monday marked the third anniversary of the death of Emma Hubbs, the local tennis icon who would spend summers going over the finer points of the game with her students before sending them out on the court for one week each July for a tournament.
As the 30th Emma Hubbs Tournament got underway, her daughter was there courtside to watch.
"It was important to Emma for this to continue," Suzie Hubbs said. "I'm just really happy that it's continuing to flourish and that we're even having it this summer."
The first players out on the court Monday were the youngest, a group of 11 players in the 5- to 8-year-old division, who got their introduction to the game.
"That was always [Emma's] favorite, was the little ones, so we've got to keep that going," said Sarah Kent, whose daughter Amanda Kent now organizes the tournament.
One of those younger players on the court was Dixon native Harper Toms, who has been playing the game for a few weeks now after starting lessons with the park district. She said that serving is one of the areas she's been working on.
"I'm still really bad at it," she admits.
Instructors like Avery Meyer walk them through some of the fundamentals of the game.
"In this tournament we do a lot of different drills," Meyer said. "We do forehands, backhands, just the basics. We don't play matches with the 5-8 year olds, we just try to have a fun time, make it light."
One game involved players having to balance a tennis ball on their racket while playing tag. If the ball falls off your racket, you are out.
"We do that a lot in classes and in the tournament," Meyer said. "We play tennis tag. It's just about hand-eye coordination and having fun."
Meyer grew up on these courts, having played in the Emma Hubbs Tournament for years and volunteering alongside Emma when she was 14.
She was once one of those players learning the basics from Emma before growing up to become the No. 1 singles player at Newman and a qualifier for the state tournament.
She is still out on the courts, passing along that knowledge to the next group of tennis players. That younger generation got to learn the basics, but also got to be part of the tradition of the Emma Hubbs Classic.
"That makes me really happy and I know Emma's happy about it," Suzie Hubbs said. "It just really feels good that her legacy is continuing."