It's time to accept the York City-County Tennis Tournament for what it is, rather than what it was or what it might be in the future.
The tournament may never draw the huge number of competitors it did in the tennis participation heyday of the 1970s and 1980s, when 100 or more players signed up for the men's draw and 50-plus players competed in the women's bracket.
Contrast that with the 16 players in this year's men's draw and just three in the women's bracket. That's even after tournament officials opened up the event to players living outside of York County.
The field may be much smaller than in the glory years, but that doesn't mean there hasn't been some excellent tennis delivered over the tournament's eight-day run.
Spectators who make their way to Farquhar Park are treated to outstanding shotmaking by players who compete at a high level from the first point to match point.
In addition, this year's tournament features some terrific storylines.
Craig Diehl, after a 10-year absence from the Men's Singles bracket, returned this year at the age of 51.
Injuries and a hip replacement kept Diehl, a 10-time champion, from competing, at least in singles, for a decade. The former Spring Grove High School and Bloomsburg University standout is playing like he's 21, crushing big first serves and pounding his topspin-loaded groundstrokes.
He'll play Phil Myers for Men's Singles title on Tuesday evening.
Diehl wasn't the only one who overcame tremendous adversity to get back on the court.
Nate Gambino underwent three surgeries and had his colon removed, but he entered the Men's Singles draw even though it had been more than a year since his last competitive match. Gambino won two matches before falling to Diehl in the semifinals.
Meanwhile, in Women's Singles, 17-year-old Emily Westenberger achieved a rare feat by becoming the second member of her family to win the crown. Katie Westenberger, Emily's older sister, captured two City-County singles titles.
With the 2012 tournament winding down, co-directors Zach Manifold and Bryan Groupe are thinking of ways to improve the turnout in 2013.
Manifold said one possibility would be to award United States Tennis Association points to USTA players who advance through a draw.
Of course, there's always the possibility of moving the tournament to another venue to see if that attracts more participants.
There are players who aren't thrilled with playing on Farquhar Park's lightning-fast courts. The courts haven't been resurfaced in many years.
However, the tournament and Farquhar Park have a lot of history. The event has been synonymous with the more than 100-year-old park in the city's northwest neighborhood for at least five decades.
Dick VanOlinda is a sportswriter for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at dvanolin email@example.com or 505-5407.