LEFT: Henry Montgomery, who has served 23 years in prison for homicide, serves the ball during a match at San Quentin State Prison. RIGHT: Guards stand watch over inmates in San Quentin’s recreational yard, which now includes a tennis court. © Rick Loomis LA Times


Last year, whilst featuring photo essays (here & here) on the San Quentin Giants baseball team, the photographer Emiliano Granado mentioned seeing tennis matches.

San Quentin sits on a Marin County promontory; every day, in the surrounding well-heeled communities deuce and lemonade are being served, but it was a stretch even for my imagination to envision games, sets and matches playing out inside those walls.

Kurt Streeter – for the Los Angeles Times – went to San Quentin to play a match and profile Don DeNevi, San Quentin’s 72 year old recreation director. DeNevi is largely responsible for the construction of the prison’s tennis court. Read Tennis is serious sport in San Quentin Prison.


Rick Loomis created a photo essay Tennis Inside the Walls of San Quentin of his own; the two works of journalism are a nice compliment.

LEFT: Henry Montgomery, 43, center, laughs with other inmates during a break in play. RIGHT: Raphael Calix watches the activity on one of the blocks at San Quentin. Calix is a regular on the tennis court. © Rick Loomis/Los Angeles Times