Friday, November 9, 2018

Shannon Yee and Kelly Keegan - Making life friends through their local league.

Shannon Yee backhand
We caught up with Shannon Yee and Kelly Keegan out | Twin City Tennis League. They have both developed some great friendships in the league.  Shannon won her first ever championship during the Summer Season. Kelly is a two time champion. Photos were taken by Shannon's friend Xi Chen.   We are looking forward to Shannon and Kelly joining us on Nov. 30th in Miami for the 10th annual East Coast National Championship.

- Story updated 11/13/18 adding in Kelly Keegan's comments.

What do you like most about the league?

Shannon:  Flexible location and schedule, the opportunity of playing different lady with different level and styles, the opportunity of playing with the favorite opponent multiple times. 

Kelly:  I love that the league has all levels of players, that the schedule is flexible for those of us who are unable to dedicate a specific time and day each week, and most of all, I really enjoy the fun people I have met! I have made friends through this program and am so glad I joined.

Kelly hanging with Shannon
Tell us about your most memorable match(es)

Shannon:  I call my friend Kelly an "emotional" player.  Because on a good day, she will serve big, make opponent move like a dog, she's consistent on the base line, and approaches net, do all the tricks that only advanced player would do. On occasions, she rips out this scary overhead smash.  When I first played Kelly, I felt the only way I can get a game out of her is counting on the mercy that she might have an off day, which appeared to be the case.

On Sept. 8th, Kelly and I played the summer season championship against each other; it was a sunny day with a little autumn wind.  Like always Kelly started strong with very powerful serve, long deep baseline shot, sharp angles,  some aces.  I was pushed in defensive mood and struggle to hanging there, game is so close that our score walks like climbing stairs  1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4 .. all the way to 6-6.  It was so long that 2 hours has passed and the wind became a little stronger, we feel we'll be on court forever .. Instead of full set, we decided to change to 10-games pro-set so we can eventually finish.  Kelly and I took a water break, 2 hours of non-stop run has consumed us pretty badly.

The wind was blowing even stronger after our water break, Kelly started to lose her concentration after we came to 7-7.  As a pusher I was exhausted and all I have is energy to give the ball back to her court .. Kelly’s aggressive nature showcases at that point she starts to hit very hard, too hard just slightly over the baseline, she gets to the net, and that little timing off caused by wind and exhaust made her miss, anxiety and a desire to make a quick win somewhat did the opposite.  Another hour later, we finished at 10-7, total of 3 hours for a 10-games match!!  I have to admit that tennis is such a thing that combines skill, physical and mental strength, strategy, and honestly some unpredictable good or bad luck.  In the end we were both glad to finally get over the longest match.

Kelly: The most memorable matches of mine are the league championships I've played, both won and lost. That and the matches that have been so close. Once Shannon and I played a match for two hours and we had to stop when it was dark at 6-6 in the first set. 

Julianne S.
Who are your favorite rivals in the league? Why?

Shannon:  Julia Ann for sure.  She is a USTA rated 4.0 player, super athletic, serious and passionate about tennis.  She brings the best of me and I feel each time I play her I get slightly better.

Kelly: Shannon Yee is my favorite for sure! She and I are closely matched, she is a delight and has the best quips.

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

Shannon: The friend I made from Tennis Minneapolis is the best, it is so much easier to build friendships among people with similar interest.

Kelly:   I was nervous to join because I thought I would be outmatched and not very good. Instead, I have seen my game improve and the league has provided me a source of pride - not only for my play, but the fact that had the courage to put myself out there.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Why doesn’t my elbow feel better after rest? - Dr. Scott Glidden

Why doesn’t my elbow feel better after rest?
By Dr. Scott Glidden, DC
Lateral epicondylitis, or tennis elbow, is one of the most common injuries experienced among tennis players. What might start as an ache or a “twinge” at the outer elbow eventually grows into persistent pain. Rest, straps, cortisone, dry needling, and stretching are all commonly recommended treatments that may work for a bit, but then the symptoms come right back in days or weeks. Why doesn’t anything help?

What exactly is going on?
When looking at this problem, you need to consider a few things:

-What is under the spot that hurts?
-Where do the things under that spot go?

When it comes to an overuse injury like tennis elbow, its often either the muscles that rotate the forearm or those that extend the wrist and fingers at fault. If a muscle is used more than it is trained to do, your body’s response to that use is adhesion.  Adhesion is a glue-like substance that sticks to overused muscles and ligaments in order to stabilize them so they don’t tear.  Unfortunately, adhesion also limits strength and range of motion as well. You will slowly lose strength and endurance as well as become more symptomatic with continued use.  “No pain no gain” does not apply here!

What is the fix?
The first thing I do with my patients with this problem is I have them grab my wrist and try to twist my forearm in both directions like a door knob. When the twisting is resisted, the effected muscles are challenged—reproducing the pain if it is indeed tennis elbow. If that test confirms it, finding an expert in finding and fixing adhesion is your best bet to eliminating the problem.  Once resolved the muscles will stay healthy as long as you maintain a healthy load.  Typing and texting use the same muscles, so keeping this in mind for proper load is key for avoiding injury. You can’t work at a computer all day and expect to be as prepared as you would on the weekend. If the pain isn’t reproduced or isn’t better with rest you should seek an orthopedic specialist for the problem since it likely isn’t a muscle or ligament problem.

Dr. Scott Glidden is a soft-tissue specialist in Milwaukee,WI. His practice focus is chronic unresolved muscle, nerve, and joint problems. You can find more information on him and his practice at

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Ron Novak - 10 year veteran playing out of

We caught up with Ron Novak out of | Metro Cleveland Tennis League. He's an amazing 10 years into participating in the program.  That's simply amazing!!!!   He's joined us in Miami for a previous national championship and we hear he might be coming again this.  

Which league are you a member of?

How long have you participated in your league?
10th Year

How did you first learn about it?
A friend

How often do you play?
3-5 times per week

What do you like most about the league?
Great competitors and overall nice people.  Everyone is competitive, and most are respectful.

Tell us about your most memorable match(es)
Most memorable are the close 2 and 3 set matches where you know both competitors left it all on the court.  Both battling to the very last point.  Disappointing when you lose.  Great feeling when you win.  And, matches where you come back from being several games down, had to win a few match points to stay in the match.  Knowing that you didn't give up and your competitor, while disappointed they lost, respects you for not giving up.  Losing those are memorable as you the opportunity to figure out how you can/should close out a the next time you do.   

Who are your favorite rivals in the league? Why? 
The guys that are hard to beat.  Mentally prepare for those matches and realize that you have to play mistake free tennis from the first point.

Do you have any other interesting comments about your experiences with the league? 
Recommend to anyone looking for...outdoor tennis, 3 set tennis vs. USTA, great competition, and FUN. 

How did you get started playing tennis? 
Started to increase my level of exercise.  

What level player are you? (NTRP rating)

What do you love about tennis? 
Has turned into a the game, play in numerous leagues and tournaments, love the competition, lots of great exercise and many new friends. 

Who are your favorite pro players? Why? watching the big names play each other.  Watch their style, what they do during points, fight 'til the end.  I find that I play better when I am watching/learning from visually seeing how to improve.

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.) 
Born and raised in Houston.  Lifelong Astros fan.  Graduated with a Marketing degree from Texas A&M.  Love college football.  Worked for Sherwin-Williams for 27 years.  Traveling and spending time with my family.

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 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.