Friday, September 7, 2018

Minh Ha - Found the love of tennis after his college years.


We caught up with Minh Ha who plays out of the TennisMinneapolis.com St. Paul / Minneapolis tennis community. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself, for example: What do you do?
I grew up in the Highland Park area of Saint Paul.  I had a humble upbringing meaning we couldn’t afford tennis rackets.  My first racket was a racket my dad had bought at the thrift store. I was a wooden racket.  I played with this racket and it was my first tennis racket.  I remember it was quite heavy, especially for a 10 year old kid.  Then in high school my dad bought me an aluminum racket which was a step up from my wooden racket.  I was never very good but gave it my best.  Our school was not known for a tennis program so everyone made the team.  It was only after I graduated college and had a job where I could say I can buy a racket that I truly loved. I played tennis with my college friends sometimes well past midnight under the courts with lights, but as they have family and kids they are less available these days.  The tennis league have reopened the door for me to contact and play with others who share the same passion for the sport as myself and has rekindled the love of the sport I felt as a 10 year old kid who first picked up a wooden racket.

Which league are you a member of?
My name is Minh Ha and I am a member of Tennis Minneapolis.

How long have you participated in your league?
I participated in the summer league 2017 and continued to fall, winter, then spring and summer of 2018. Minh has compiled a 38-32 record in 2 shorts years. Pretty impressive.  Minh's Player Profile.

How did you first learn about it?
I learned about the league from a fellow friend at a tennis Meetup in Minneapolis.  He said it was very fun and entertaining yet challenging enough so that you can improve your game.

How often do you play?
Currently I play about 3-5 matches each week. On my off days I have been known to schedule 3 matches back to back to back.  It is quite a workout.  My goal this summer was to play 20 matches and I was able to play 21 matches. Minh got a free season for his effort!!

What do you like most about the league?
There are so many things to like about this league but the thing I like most is the ease of scheduling a match and getting out and play and meet new people.  The league is very flexible so that it works around my work schedule which is very hectic.  I think the iPhone app is very good because it has everything I need to schedule matches, submit scores and even find out my rankings.

Tell us about your most memorable match(es)
My most memorable match was summer playoffs 2017.  I have never played in a single elimination tournament in my life but my three playoff matches all went to the third set and feature some of my most intense rallies and crucial points.  One match in particular that I will always remember was my semifinal match against Pooya.  We had a scheduled our match at Saint Anthony High School.  Just as we were warming up, it started to sprinkle and a downpour ensued.  We ran to our cars and I looked at the radar to see if we could move somewhere dry.  We found that Rahn Park in Eagan was dry.  So we both agreed to drive to Eagan to play since it has lights.  When we came there it was dry but then it started to sprinkle.  We kept playing and the conditions did not worsen.  We even saw a double rainbow and it did indeed turned out to be a beautiful night.  I also featured 3 sets of wonderful tennis. 

Who are your favorite rivals in the league? Why?
Two of my favorite rivals in the league and Chan Kek and Nick Ngo.  Both these players play a very similar style to me which is long baseline rallies and often times the margin of error is very slim.  They both challenge me to keep my focus yet also elevate my play to another level.  I first played with Chan in the fall playoff of 2017.  It was an instant classic 3 setter that feature numerous rallies and long deuce points.  I played Nick twice in the summer of 2018.  The second match was an instant classic as it was a 3 setter.  It was also the third match I played that day and took place in between a ominous sky that was very close to storming.  We fought through each point and also the wind and sprinkles.  When the last point was won each of us were drained yet appreciated the challenge our opponent gave us.  It was truly a memorable night.

Do you have any other interesting comments about your experiences with the league?
I am known in the league as the player that records the matches with the gopro.  I run into all kinds of players and oftentimes they can’t remember my name but know me as the player that records the matches.  I find it very fascinating to re-watch my matches and replay the points.  It is very satisfying to relive the moment and capture it for those times I cannot play tennis such as during the winter months.

How did you get started playing tennis?
I started playing tennis at age 10. My dad took me out one day and we both biked to a neighborhood tennis court. I remember asking my dad what we were going to do and he said were going to hit the ball around.  After the first 10 minutes I was hooked.  I asked him to join me almost every single day.  He could not pry me away from the hitting wall.  Later as I grew older I played with my uncle every Sunday after church.  We had many memorable matches at the local tennis courts. 

What level player are you? (NTRP rating)
My current level is 3.25

What do you love about tennis?  
I love the fact that there is so many layers to tennis.  It combines both the mental and physical aspects of the sport where it is like a physical chess match.  Each time I learn something new about tennis there seems to be yet another aspect about the sport that I haven’t known before.  I like that I can enjoy this sport well into my 70-80s and I can still watch these matches on tv and feel the pressure the players who are playing must be feeling. 

Who are your favorite pro players? Why?
My favorite player growing up was Andre Agassi because I loved his tenacious never quit attitude.  I loved his return game and his two handed backhand.  Currently I love Rafa Nadal because of his tenacious take no prisoner attitude and game.  I enjoy watch his endless rallies and his powerful topspin forehands and underrated two handed backhands.  He reminds me a lot of my game since I favor my forehands and like to put a lot of topspin on the forehands.

Anything else we should know?
My other hobbies are photography, videography, photoshop and tinkering with computers and laptops.  I also enjoy stringing tennis rackets for family and friends.  I also like to draw and paint.

This league have allowed me to do the two things I love the most, which is playing tennis and watching youtube videos of myself playing a tennis match.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Zachary Worthington - Getting better by the match.


 
We caught up with Zachary Worthington out of the TennisLosAngeles.com franchise.

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 grew up in Cleveland, always a big basketball fan. I guess my second choice for Lebron would've been LA. I work for HIP Investor, in the ESG investing space. We seek to help investors do well financially while also doing what's best for the world around them.
I'm married and had my first kid this year. My wife and I love to garden, currently fighting to keep the rats from eating our tomatoes. We also love to cook, grilled home-grown zucchini has been our seasonal standby this month. I'm an avid backpacker, this year headed to Grand Tetons in Wyoming.

Which league are you a member of?
TennisLosAngeles, D/V Advanced.  He's quickly improved his game and is currently 23-4 over his short career. 

How long have you participated in your league?
Since Spring 2018

How did you first learn about it?
My friend Kevin H. in San Francisco is in a similar league and told me to find one similar in LA

How often do you play?
1-4 times/week

What do you like most about the league?
Getting to meet and play against a variety of player and personality types.

Tell us about your most memorable match(es)
1) My first match with Brett Reese this past spring. We played for about 3 hours in 100 degree weather battling back and forth until I finally lost in a tie-breaker. I had trouble walking the next day, but totally worth it.

Who are your favorite rivals in the league? Why?
a) Brett, for sure. See previous answer. We have a similar background of learning tennis later in life and similar defensive styles. What we lack in fundamentals we make up for with hustle. We typically end up with some exhausting sets. I've also never beaten him, something to aspire to...
b) I recently played against Shahin and Bas. Both guys have great service games and above average power (at least at the level I'm accustomed to). I hope to get some more matches against them because their styles force me to get better and react faster. I foresee some great matches with these two guys.

Do you have any other interesting comments about your experiences with the league?
Feels more like a community than a league.

How did you get started playing tennis?
My best friend started playing again, and he got me on the court a few times. I realized if I was able to get over a few obstacles (serving being the key one) I might enjoy tennis a lot more. I've finally gotten to a point where my skill-set limitations no longer inhibit my overall enjoyment.

What level player are you? (NTRP rating)
I'm not sure. This league is my only adult playing experience.  We have 27 results from Zachary and currently have him at a 4.25 level. 

What do you love about tennis?  
I love that it reminds me of growing up playing ping-pong with my dad. 
I love that it's a sport that I will hopefully play for many years to come.
I love the feeling of hitting a shot that goes where you intended!



Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Arthur Wood: Importance of Mental and Physical Fitness in Tennis and Life.



Importance of Mental and Physical Fitness in Tennis and Life.



Recently in the news I've been hearing about NBA players having panic attacks and depression issues. Playing tennis is no different if anything since it is not a team sport except Davis and Fed Cup Mental Fitness is of highest priority. If  I let emotions take over and beat up on myself over errors I'm making. I will definitely lose focus and not have fun or success. You just have to have positive coping skills to get into a better frame of mind. Be mindful. and  try to stay in the moment and not think about the past or future while competing.  I admit mental and physical fitness are linked. It's important to have a balance between both in life.

Which league are you a member of?
Tennis New York 3.25, 3.5 on a good day

How long have you participated in your league?
Started in April 2012

How did you first learn about it?
I found it online.

How often do you play?
I try to play 2-3 times a week, sometimes more

What do you like most about the league?
I love the competition and rivalries that the league provides. You can play as little or as much as you want. I've played over 740 matches since April 2012.It gives me a sense of accomplishment because of my endurance.  Through the league I've gained my closest friends. It gives me an opportunity for positive social interaction.  I also like you can play people with different styles. You can even challenge yourself by competing with players slightly better.  This allows you to get better.  The league allows you to track your progress and legacy scores against different opponents.

Who are your favorite rivals in the league? Why?
My favorite rivals in the league are David Romero, Jeremy Lin and Greg Mc Donald. I have other rivals or should I call them nemesis because I struggle against them are extremely challenging for me.

Do you have any other interesting comments about your experiences with the league?
I actually have met and played a set against Steve Chagnon. I lost 7-5 but I know I can beat him now. lol. Next time you're in NY bring it. One of these days I plan to play more career matches than Steve.  One can dream.

How did you get started playing tennis?
As a kid I loved ping pong and it translated to tennis. I watched it on TV and adapted my game to what I observed and through players I admired like Borg, Andrea Jaeger just to name a few.

What level player are you? (NTRP rating)
Advanced 3.5

What do you love about tennis? 
Nowadays tennis is a proving ground for my self-confidence, mental and physical fitness. I've faced a lot of challenges in life. Being diagnosed with Bi Polar 2, and Borderline Personality have provided me with some setbacks in dealing with people and having fun in the game of tennis. I'm doing better now. I'm trying not to beat myself up on the court and try to enjoy every moment mindfully. Playing tennis like anything else in your life can be troublesome if you are struggling at a certain time. If I lose focus and let emotions take over I will definitely lose focus and not have fun.  I'm getting better at this.

Who are your favorite pro players? Why?
Francis Tiafoe. He gives his best effort at all times. He's young, fast and determined. I think he has a great upside ahead of him.