Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Vijendra Singh - He loves playing players with so many different styles

Which league are you a member of?

Tennis Tampa Bay

How long have you participated in your league?

This is my second season. I joined TennisTampaBay in November, 2021 for the first time and this actually is my first league ever.

How did you first learn about it?

One of my friends, Raj Anne, introduced me to this league. 

How often do you play?

3-4 times a week. If time and body permits, my mind and heart asks for it everyday :-)

What do you like most about the league?

The best part is getting to play with a lot of different styles of players. Some love being aggressive, some would just love to keep building rallies. It really developed me better as a player. Before this, I have never played with these many different styles. And of course the flexibility to meet people and play. I never run out of people to hit with. It has given me many new friends and I would love this community to keep growing further. 

Tell us about your most memorable match(es).

I would think of 3 matches which really stood out and stay in my memory. One was last season's semi-final with Tom Foran where I won but I loved playing with Tom since we kind of have a similar style of playing, we both have decent top spins and good serves (Tom has better than me of course, balls were kicking 2-3 ft over my head almost every time).

Second was the one I played with Chritopher Conte (I'm sure he is 4.5 or up) and lost 0-6,0-6 ( In my opinion, he is the only opponent I faced ever where I could not handle the pace of the shots). 

Last but not the least was with Alexander Damjanovic, lost 5-7,5-7. Both sets started with 0-2 and I took the lead to 3-2 on both and I was 2 points away to level the first set (at 5-6 down) and 2 points away to win the second (at 5-4) but couldn't convert it. Alexander really has great slices and flat top spin shots with wide angles. I was really happy with the way I competed in this match knowing Alex plays 4.0 and 4.5 level.

Who are your favorite rivals in the league? Why?

I would not say rival but I would love to play with Andrew Epperson again and again, even though he beat me badly in both the matches, I see him as the most consistent player with the best defense. I wish I could get only 50% of his consistency.

Do you have any other interesting comments about your experiences with the league?

Well, when I started playing this league I used to get frustrated initially with few unconventional styles of tennis and would just give away the match in frustration. I slowly learnt to focus on my game rather than the feed and I can proudly say I'm getting better. With only 15 months of tennis in my life, without any professional coaching, I feel I came a long way and thanks to this network of players as well who really shares great feedback after every match.

How did you get started playing tennis?

I was out of work for a few months during 2020 and finally October, 2020 started with one of my friends just to kill some time but never knew that this would become my obsession (in a positive sense).

Do you play to compete, or for fun?

Right now, I am playing to improve and learn. Playing great and losing gives me more pleasure than playing bad and somehow winning.

What level player are you? (NTRP rating)

3.5 

What do you love about tennis?

I just love every aspect of it. The mechanics behind how a contact should be made to mental toughness. 

Who are your favorite pro players? Why?

Rafa. He has got the best shots either forehand or backhand. I think the only player with no bend in his arms while contacting the ball gives him the most spin and power. 

What do you do? Where did you grow up? What are your hobbies (besides tennis)?

Mechanical Engineer in Application sales. I grew up in one of the Himalayan towns, in north India and came to the USA for a Master's degree and have been here since then. I love working out in the gym 5 days a week if time allows and love hanging out in the mountain sides. Just have one beloved wife :-) and one kid. 


Antonio Marcelin - He's loving TennisFortLauderdale.com

I've been a member of TennisFortLauderdale for almost 3 months now. I've played other leagues which I enjoyed very much but TennisFortLauderdale is the best so far in terms of self-scheduled matches, incredible tennis players with different style of plays, the professionalism that is shown with each individual meeting for their first match is off the charts.


Back home in Haiti, I've always played soccer and ping pong growing up, I kept those 2 hobbies here in the United States convincing myself I'm never gonna let go untill 10 years ago, a co-worker, who herself did not know how to play tennis but was so concerned about me driving 45 mns back and forth for a soccer game, has invited me to play tennis and i must say "there's no other sport better than tennis. Since then, I took it upon myself to make it a challenge where the sky is the limit. I teach myself from day 1 and had the opportunity to play or practice at least 5 days a week by spending countless hours online watching videos, learning from anything that's helpful to help elevate and move my tennis game forward weather it's footwork videos, forehand/backhand/serve/ slice videos, you name it.


I'm always online learning, relearning something old or new. I discovered TennisFortLauderdale through a tennis friend who was playing a scheduled match, and as I watched the two of them going to each other's face with skills, consistency, great shot selection, anticipation and the ability to cover the court almost from all angles. I said I should try, so he sent me the link, I joined the same day and I played him in the finals during the playoffs to become a champion. I will never forget the last point of that match, the emotions, and the joy I experienced.

My memorable match: I played against Carlos, one of the great players in the league, he was up a set, 5-0 second set and 40-30 match point. He hit a backhand crosscourt shot in the open and I was lucky that it went wide. I started walking towards the net to say " great match" but the ball landed (way-wide). We fought for another 3 mns till somehow he got broken. Well, that was a story in another story, surprisingly i happened to win the second set and went on to win the match. Ask me how I did it , I got (lucky). There's no other way. Sometimes luck is better than skill.

But it was not easy during the regular season and the playoffs. I met a bunch of great players who showed me what it takes to be part of the advanced level group, how much harder I have to work to get a point, a set, never mind a match.

Jessie, Tony, Luke, and Jeff just to name a few are some of my rivals, very challenging opponents whom I learned a lot from during warm ups and matches played. My game is very simple, nothing special in particular and that is why I admired those 3 players (Hsieh Sue-Wei, Iga Radwanska, and Ons Jobeur). No big power, no big groundstrokes but figured out a way to play smart and get the W. Lastly, the websites with players information and records are spot on and updated as we go. Hats off to TennisFortLauderdale crew.



Thursday, October 21, 2021

Player Profile: Raj Anne - Tennis is a sport where we need to be mentally strong

We caught up with Raj from TennisTampaBay.com and here's his story.

Which league are you a member of? 

TampaBayTennis 

 How long have you participated in your league?

From June 2021

How did you first learn about it?

Got to know about this league from a friend (Sandeep Kolluri)

How often do you play?

2-3 times a week

What do you like most about the league?

Flexibility in scheduling, court selections, incentives, meet and learn from new players

Tell us about your most memorable match(es) –

Match played with Greg H in Sep 2021, it went ~3 hours, have enjoyed it fully. We know each other's game so well that our rallies and games are long. We became good friends and discussed a lot of other things.

During recent doubles finals in a different league, we were 0-4 but came back strongly to make it 6-4 and set two with 6-1 [won 11 games in a row] – This was possible only by being mentally strong and never give up attitude

Who are your favorite rivals in the league? Why?

None so far, yet to find one

Do you have any other interesting comments about your experiences with the league?

I Love the way it is organized, like the various kinds of incentives, Friendly admin, Flexible and Competitive - it's all in one Package.

Love the mobile app – it's super friendly ! The web site is also very easy to navigate and has all details like courts, player profiles, complete stats, rules, pics and a lot.

How did you get started playing tennis?

Informal games with colleagues/Friends

Do you play to compete, or for fun?

Started with fun but now liking competing

What level player are you? (NTRP rating)

We currently have Raj at 3.5. 

What do you love about tennis?  

It feels like I miss a lot if I don’t play tennis at least twice in a week, I get a sense of satisfaction.

Meeting interesting people in different professions from many different places and making new friends, learning from their experience and discussing various other topics.

Tennis is a sport where we need to be mentally strong, we can run for 2-3 hours all over the court but if we are not mentally strong and if no proper strategies, we will end up on the other side of the fence. During recent doubles finals in a different league, we were 0-4 but came back strongly to make it 6-4 and set two with 6-1 [won 11 games in a row] – This was possible only by being mentally strong and never give up attitude

Who are your favorite pro players? Why?

Rafael Nadal, like his game, attitude and consistency

Tell us a little bit about yourself, for example: What do you do? Where did you grow up? What are your hobbies (besides tennis)? (Feel free to share any interesting details about your life.)

I am an IT program manager by profession. I grew up in a small town in India and never played tennis during my childhood/school/college days – started a few years back for fun and slowly developed love towards tennis and it feels like I miss a lot if I don’t play tennis at least twice in a week.

My other hobbies/activities: running (I have done 4 half marathons so far), I also play Volleyball and Pickleball but Tennis is my favorite sport.

Love spending time with family and friends

 

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Player Profile: James Pudner - How you play 106 matches and counting in a year and a half.

We checked in with James Pudner out of the Jacksonville league.  He's already played 106 matches in 16 months. That's amazing.

Which league are you a member of?

JacksonvilleTennis League

 

How long have you participated in your league? ​

June 2020.

How did you first learn about it? ​

Google

 

How often do you play?  ​

When I'm not fighting some little joint tweak, I try 3x per week. 

 

What do you like most about the league? 

The flexibility. When I have a slow week I can play 5 times, if I'm out of town I cannot play for 2 weeks. 

 

Tell us about your most memorable match(es) 

Two matches stand out, against Ingan and Ziki. Both matches went 6-7 / 7-6 and very competitive 3rd set tiebreaker. Against Ziki no one broke serve until the last 2 games of the 2nd set. Extremely competitive and high quality tennis (for my level). 

 

Who are your favorite rivals in the league? Why?  

I really have enjoyed everyone I play, but I really like people who can push me and force me to be aggressive. Ingan and Ziki both come to mind, but there are many more. 

 

Do you have any other interesting comments about your experiences with the league? 

When I finished college I thought my competitive sporting days were over. I was ecstatic when I learned about the local adult soccer and basketball leagues, but nothing has compared to the tennis league. I just love the flexibility, frequency of play, the people and the exercise.

 

How did you get started playing tennis? 

When I was in middle school I started playing on the neighborhood team. I played through HS and then stopped for 15 years until COVID cancelled all my other sports. From my first match I instantly fell back in love with the sport and its now the primary one I play.

 

Do you play to compete, or for fun? 

Both. I'm internally a competitive person so I try very hard to improve and win, but ultimately I'm out here for fun and exercise. You won't catch me arguing any calls I disagree with or using gamesmanship. I want people to enjoy playing me as much as I enjoy playing them.

 

What level player are you? (NTRP rating) 

I'd call myself a "weak 4.0"

 


Who are your favorite pro players? Why?

Musetti, Federer, Thiem and Dimitrov. I love all anyone (except Tsitsipas) with a good one-handed backhand. 

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I grew up all over, but went to Auburn University and have lived in Florida working as a CPA since finishing my Masters. I enjoy all sports but am best at soccer and tennis. I have 3 awesome kids (2, 4 and 6) and an even better wife who lets me abandon her to play sports several nights each week.

 

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Player Profile: Arul Josely - He's improved from 3.0 to 4.5 with the help of TennisDC match play.

We caught up with Arul Josely who has been playing with TennisDC since 2012.   He's amazingly talented with the racquet and has won a couple of championships over the years.   Here's his story.


Which league are you a member of?

TennisDC.com

 

How long have you participated in your league?

9 years, since March 2012

 

How did you first learn about it?

Google search

 

How often do you play?

Once a week, these days. 

 

What do you like most about the league?

Friendly, Flexible and Competitive

 

Tell us about your most memorable match(es)

A Playoff Match Against Keith Mcmicheals in 2013. The loss of the first set at 1 inspired me to play great tennis to take the second set at love. However Keith was a fighter and we had a very close third set. The momentum swinging both ways. I was playing at my best, the only time I had a back spinning volley come back into my court. Yet Keith held firm at the end and won the match deservingly. 

 

Most matches against Vipul Chawla are memorable. Being buddies, we know each other's game so well that our rallies and games are long. Irrespective of form and fitness, we always have a good match. This year, all of our matches have been a 3 setter. 

 

Who are your favorite rivals in the league? Why?

My recent favorite rivals are Taylor Lewis, Vipul Chawla, Virak Nuygon and Chris Purdy.

 

Our matches are always competitive with great rallies irrespective of the scoreline. These competitors also bring out the best in me. 

 

Do you have any other interesting comments about your experiences with the league?

This league provides flexibility, competitiveness and fun, a perfect all in one package

 

How did you get started playing tennis?

Played as a 10 year old and occasionally in my early 20’s. Tennis DC is the platform that enabled me to actively play tennis in my life. I started off as a 3.0 and improved to 4.5. The variety of talents in the league helped me to become a better tennis player. 

 

Do you play to compete, or for fun?

Both 

 

What level player are you? (NTRP rating)

4.5

 

What do you love about tennis?  

The love for tennis was inspired by watching Wimbledon as a kid. It’s a personal experience that I share with my father, we used to watch Wimbledon on the weekends. Still vividly remember Martina Navratilova’s tough loss against Conchita Martinez. Also the challenge of figuring out the best combination against your opponent is a reward on its own. Additionally this is the only workout I love. One of my friends used to say that the way to kidnap me is to just invite me for watch or play a tennis match and I would willingly go anywhere.

 

Who are your favorite pro players? Why?

Rafael Nadal. Only player to consistently win against Roger at his peak. 2008 Wimbledon Finals and 2009 Australian Open Semi-finals were some of his best matches. It’s amazing to watch him turn defense to offense. He made tennis competitive during Rogers' great run in the late 2000s.  

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself:  

I am a software test engineer by profession. My job gave me the opportunity to travel the world and to end up in DC. Grew up in a small town in the outskirts of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. I also enjoy playing ping pong, cricket and reading some books (mostly listening in audible). Also trying out my first garden this summer.