Monday, October 5, 2020

Player Profile: Alberto Sutton - 10 seasons, 100 matches and counting

We caught up with Alberto Sutton from Tennis-Seattle.com.  He's played a nice even 100 matches in his career so far and this is what he had to say:


What do you love about tennis?  

Is it ok to say "everything"? I like watching, studying, playing, dissecting stats. The details, of choosing a racket, shoes. The GOAT debate and the tour results. I like the rhythms, the strategies, the rituals. I just hope to have enough time to keep learning, and closing this "gap" between all internalized knowledge and the externalized playing/performance :-)


Which league are you a member of?

Seattle Tennis League

 

How long have you participated in your league?

I started in the Spring of 2018, currently playing my 10th season.

 

How did you first learn about it?

In short, Google. With more context: I had just picked up tennis again after a long hiatus. At first, was just taking lessons, and looking to hit. And then came the impulse to play more regularly and competitively. I signed up for a couple of partner matching and flex-league websites. Tennis-Seattle was the one where I found more active players, giving me the chance to play as frequently as I wanted.

 

How often do you play?

I try to "protect" a sacred once a week cadence, yet aim to get two, sometimes three matches per week. And that is even during the rainy, dark days during our fall and winter in Seattle. For those seasons, I got into a rhythm of pre-booking indoor courts and actively inviting the players that seem to play more regularly, in any give season.

 

What do you like most about the league?

There is so much to like. First, from an angle of "tangibles", I like how easy it is to invite players, track the standings, and browse your own match history. Then, from a "community" angle, I like the "high-liquidity" matching, and how easy going, cordial, fair the great, great majority of the players are. From a more "personal" angle, I feel the league plays an important role in my staying fit, competitive, sensible. Ah, I simply love the protocol/tradition of bringing 2 cans of balls and winner takes the sealed "trophy". Such a trivial detail, but I just like it.

 

Tell us about your most memorable match(es)

The ones I remember more vividly: a) the very first one, taking a beating from a player, nominally at same rating, but clearly much better - not so much for the beating, but because of the "newness" of competing, and learning the league etiquette. I played that guy many other times and we are still in touch. b) The match when I won my first deciding TB. c) a match when, “just because”, we decided to make it a best 3 of 5 sets - it was long! Ah, it was the same player from that "first won TB".

 

Who are your favorite rivals in the league? Why?

I've played a several players for more than three, four matches. It's even weird to call them "rivals". The very reason we played often is because we had cordial, fun, tight matches, and like to play over and over again. I guess they are the "regulars" – more applicable term.

 

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

Because of the league, I became an expert in court scouting. I can probably name the number of courts in each location, where are the courts with lights, which ones have unplayable cracks. I also subscribed to the majority of local parks and recreation facilities that rent indoor courts in Seattle area.

 

How did you get started playing tennis?

My dad is a big fan, and player. I grew up watching Borg x McEnroe matches, and my dad on clay courts in Brazil. I would hit against the wall with a wood racket, while he played. He was an avid “racket switcher”, so I always inherited great new rackets! Later I picked up again in College, and even organized some tennis tournaments. Lessons back then taught a very different style of tennis, flatter, lower shots. Had to re-learn the "modern" style when I got back to it, a couple of years ago.

 

Do you play to compete, or for fun?

The first verb, or motivation, that comes to mind is actually "to improve". I like studying, watching, playing. Competing helps to reinforce and measure progress. And when all that falls in place, yes, that is fun.

 

What level player are you? (NTRP rating)

3.0

 

What do you love about tennis?  

Is it ok to say "everything"? I like watching, studying, playing, dissecting stats. The details, of choosing a racket, shoes. The GOAT debate and the tour results. I like the rhythms, the strategies, the rituals. I just hope to have enough time to keep learning, and closing this "gap" between all internalized knowledge and the externalized playing/performance :-)

 

Who are your favorite pro players? Why?

I tend to like the "one-hand-back-handers". Guga was an all-time favorite. Federer is my pick among the Big 3. And I just like following Thiem and Tsitsipas. My kids are 5 and 7. They are already playing and we all cheer for Thiem. I like his style of play, and his balance of exposing emotions. Never really liked the extreme firecrackers, or the too subdued.In the WTA, I became a big fan of Naomi Osaka, having been present at the stadium when she won Indian Wells and the first US Open.

 

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Player Profile: Arthur Wood - NYC - back to playing 4-5 matches a week

We caught up with Artie Wood yet again out of the TennisNewYork.com franchise.  It's refreshing to have Art back to playing at levels he use to play at several years ago.

What league are you a member of?

Hi my name is Arthur Wood.  

I play in B-Q B division.   

How long have you participated in the league?

I have been a player in Tennis NY since 2012

How did you learn about the league?

I first learned about Tennis NY from the internet.

How often do you play?

This season I have been playing 4 times a week and 1-2 doubles matches.

What do you like most about the league?  Do you have any interesting comments about your experience in the league?

I like that you can play as much as you want. I used to play a lot and then the last few years, not as much.   Now I've played 36 singles matches and 5 doubles matches. Tennis NY is perfect for me because it keeps me busy.  I especially have enjoyed referring people to the league and helping them get acquainted with the league. I met Brian Jones at Lincoln Terrace. I gave him a card.   About a week later I invited him out to play.  2 other players Virginia Ofer and V. He is very much enjoying the league and I've heard him refer people to the league as well.  I also have been honored to be player of the year a few times.   It means that I'm passionate about Tennis and I have perseverance. It feels nice when players first meet me, they say wow you've played so many matches.  I've played 880 matches to date. I recently won my 300th match.   

Tell us about your most memorable matches.  Who are your favorite rivals?

I've had many memorable matches.   This year I've had fun playing new people.  The interesting thing I usually do well the first match, but the second match players sometimes figure out what you're trying to do.    I have a lot of slice, drop shot, lob and decent net game.  I've had really good matches with Virginia Ofer and Vinacek Behl. I would say my most memorable matches this year was when I played Jeff Rosenbloom.   The first time I played him he was rusty and I managed to hold him off 10-7.   I felt that it would be that way the next time. We played a few weeks later and he blew my doors off.   Another player I beat the first time, Kevin Doong   I pulled out a 10-8 win.   The next few matches he's blown me out.  I liked his game so much I chose Kevin to be my doubles partner.  Another player Cristian Jerez, I also beat the first time 10-9.   I haven't been able to beat him anymore.    I need to come up with some new tricks to even up the playing field.  

How did you get started in playing tennis?

I played ping pong first.   Then around age 17 I started playing tennis.   I got my family into the sport.   Unfortunately I didn't get much instruction so I taught myself.   I am a very unorthodox player so I can confuse players for awhile.   I need to be able to adjust when they've caught up.


Do you like to compete or play for fun?

I do play to compete.   It feels good when you're in the right frame of mind.   If you aren't mindful while playing it's difficult to compete to your fullest.   Lately, I've been playing fun doubles and singles at night. When you don't take tennis so seriously it has its good points also. 

What level player are you?

I used to be a 3.25.   Now I'm at 3.0.   I want to be a 3.25 player again.   I've been working with coaches to work on my follow thru.   It's hard because I have trouble utilizing it in a game situation.  To have better results, I have to hit with more depth

Who is your favorite pro tennis player?

My favorite player now is need to hit with more depth. Juan Del Potro. He's had major wrist injuries and he's managed to compete well. I can identify because I've had similar issues in the past.

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I used to be a teacher and site director.    Now there aren't as many outlets to keep me occupied and fulfilled. Tennis keeps me alive and doing things. I've met some friends from the league.

 

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Player Profile - Fernando Vidaurreta - Wow 39 matches in just 3 months of play

We caught up with Fernando Vidaurreta playing out of ChiTownTennis.comHe's currently in first place for Player of the Year and has amassed 39 results in only 3 months. Yes, you read that correct.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, for example: What do you do? Where did you grow up? What are your hobbies (besides tennis)?

I was born in Spain and grew up in Sweden. My father's job brought us to Florida when I started High School. I have lived in Pennsylvania; New York and Puerto Rico too. Chicago is home now. I love this city! I currently work Managing Implementations for a global enterprise application software company. When I am not working or playing tennis, I like going out on bike rides, long walks with my furry friend Roger (yes, I named him after Roger Federer) and always looking for new recipes to cook - yes, I like cooking things from scratch. Overall, I enjoy living a healthy balanced life.

How long have you participated in your league?

I'm a freshman to this league. I joined earlier this year and started playing in June. 

How did you first learn about it?

One of my tennis buddies I usually play with has been asking me to join the league for a while now. And, with the USTA flex league being affected by CoVid, I finally accepted the challenge and joined.  

How often do you play?

Honestly, I ALWAYS want to play. As long as the weather allows and my body holds up, I would play every day - even twice a day if I can.

What do you like most about the league?

Its flexibility! I enjoy being able to set and accept matches at my own time. Also, the variety of players and the responsiveness of people in the network. The fact that it's part of a Nationwide network and that i can test myself to qualify for a national tournament is BIG.

Tell us about your most memorable match(es)

Wow. Tough question. But there is one that recently comes to mind; I am not a fan of late evening matches. Working full time and also squeezing a workout during the day every now and then drain me. So, if i have to play at night, chances are my energy levels and focus will be very low. Anyways, i not long ago accepted to play a night match in the suburbs of Chicago - which I had to drive in traffic for 90 minutes to make it there. Long story short, my match started close to 8pm and I lost the first set 3-6. In the second set I was down 2-5 - I was ready to let go and go home. But I remember telling to myself: "YOU DID NOT COME ALL THE WAY HERE TO LOSE!!" So, I had to dig deep. I saved 2 match points, managed to win that second set and an hour later. Coming into the third set, I ran out of water and was hungry, since I did not have time to eat dinner before I left home. I won the third set 6-3. 

I can proudly say that, that match, pretty much sums up how I take a stab at tennis and life as a whole. "I always give it ALL in everything I do".

Who are your favorite rivals in the league? 

I don't have rivals. Only good match ups! Why? We are here to have fun, meet people and enjoy this amazing sport.

How did you get started playing tennis?

Growing up I tried playing pretty much every sport. Tennis happened to be the one I am not too bad at and found joy playing. 

Do you play to compete, or for fun?

Both! I have a lot of fun playing. But I am very harsh on myself when at it.

What do you love about tennis?  

What I bring to every match is what the result ends up being. And to me, as much as I like working and collaborating in teams, coming out from a tennis match and winning it or losing it on my own is BIG. 

Who are your favorite pro players?

So many. Federer for sure very high up on my list. But I am a big fan of Gael Monfils and the now retired David Ferrer. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself, for example: What do you do? Where did you grow up? What are your hobbies (besides tennis)?

I was born in Spain and grew up in Sweden. My father's job brought us to Florida when I started High School. I have lived in Pennsylvania; New York and Puerto Rico too. Chicago is home now. I love this city! I currently work Managing Implementations for a global enterprise application software company. When I am not working or playing tennis, I like going out on bike rides, long walks with my furry friend Roger (yes, I named him after Roger Federer) and always looking for new recipes to cook - yes, I like cooking things from scratch. Overall, I enjoy living a healthy balanced life.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Player Profile - Ginal Shah - Loves the people he meets up with on the courts

We caught up with Ginal Shah who plays out of the TennisBaltimore.com league.   He's played 54 matches since June of 2019.   And he's currently one of the top players of the program.   https://www.tennisbaltimore.com/110622/profile


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

I grew up in Connecticut and have two sisters, one being my twin. The town I grew up in had a pretty big tennis community (indoor tennis locations and tennis leagues) and my twin and I found ourselves both playing tennis eventually playing competitively in high school. Outside of tennis, I am a huge sports fan overall. I went to UConn for college and experienced a championship in men's basketball while I was there which is a memory I will never forget. I am also a big fan of football, grew up as a Patriots fan so enjoyed all the superbowls. I also have been playing fantasy football for many years. I love to travel and have been to a bunch of places, some being India, Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Italy, Mexico, Jamaica, and Costa Rica. I have a beautiful wife and both of us are in the healthcare field. She is a physician and I work in administration. We are both foodies and love Thai food. I am obsessed with my puppy who brings a lot of joy into my life. Lastly, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. 



Which league are you a member of?

Men's elite 4.25 Division A: Spring season and Summer season of Baltimore Tennis League. Also doing summer doubles (all skill levels)


How long have you participated in your league?

I started in summer of 2019 and have been playing ever since.


How did you first learn about it?

I have always loved playing tennis and wasn't playing nearly as much as I wanted to not knowing too many people who play in the Baltimore area. I just did some research online and came across the Baltimore Tennis League and it ended up being what I was looking for to get back into playing tennis.


How often do you play?

I play about 3-4 times a week. 


What do you like most about the league?

I love just being able to schedule matches to play almost at a moment's notice. I actually just sent an email out to the summer division looking to get a match in tonight! Before this league I never had this option to play so much tennis with similar skill levels and competitiveness. I also like how friendly everyone I have come across is. I have met some awesome people and have made friendships through this league. An example is getting drinks with one person I met through the league, we have played each other eight times throughout the past year and became doubles partners. 


Tell us about your most memorable match(es)

My most memorable match was against Patrick Martel in October 2019. We had a match of a lot of long rallies and was very competitive. I lost the first set 4-6 so knew I needed to do some work to get back into the match. I ended up winning the second set 7-5, so barely got it. We mutually agreed on doing a 10 point tie-breaker due to how intense the first two sets were. It was a good idea because it was not a quick tie-breaker. It ended up going to 10-10 and we just kept going back and forth until I luckily got two points in a row to win the match. The tiebreaker ended up being 17-15. It was such a fun and competitive match and Pat and I play often together and always have fun matches. I also have a great memory of my very first match in this league last year I was so rusty and lost 0-6 1-6 or something close to that. I remember thinking I have a long way to go to get back to a skill level I used to be since I haven't played competitively in a long time. That season I kept playing and kept improving which felt great. I ended up playing in the playoffs and beat the person in the finals that I lost 0 and 1 to my first match in the season. 


Who are your favorite rivals in the league? Why?

Patrick Martel, Brooks Thaker, and Jason Morstein. I have played a good amount of matches with each person (ex. Brooks 8 times and Patrick 6 times) and I always have fun and competitive matches with them. My matches with these rivals and friends usually go down to the wire (three setters usually) and have a lot of fun playing.


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

Just that this league has really become part of my weekly routine. I look forward to getting matches in and playing tennis. I am glad that tennis is a sport that allows social distancing during this pandemic and can get matches in almost whenever I would like. 


How did you get started playing tennis?

I started playing a little in middle school by taking some lessons here and there and hitting around, but never played competitively in middle school. I became serious with tennis when I started high school, joining my high school tennis team freshman year and playing all 4 years. I fell in love with the sport when I joined the team. I improved every year and played doubles my first two years and singles my junior and senior year. 


Do you play to compete, or for fun?

Both, they are equally important to me. I love getting out to play tennis for fun, meeting new people and being active. It is a great sport. I have always been a competitive person as well and love to win so will also play to win. If I lose to someone, I will definitely try to get a rematch with them at some point and love playing people more skilled than me so I can continue to improve my skill set. 


What level player are you? (NTRP rating)

TLN's Player Rating:Men's Elite2 4.25


 What do you love about tennis?  

I love how there are so many different styles someone can play the game (top spin, flat, play at net, different strengths like forehand or volley, etc.) With that, I always try improving the things I am not as strong in. It also makes it a mental game, in singles, you are the one that decides if you will win or lose versus a team sport. So I enjoy playing someone and trying to exploit weaknesses. I love doubles also, working with a teammate and how it is more net focused. Communicating with someone on the court and working together is a lot of fun. Lastly, I think that tennis is just a fun sport that all ages can play at different skill levels. 

Who are your favorite pro players? Why?

My favorite players are Federer and Nadal. Federer just seems so humble about himself and his game while being the greatest to ever play the game. His game is just so smooth. Nadal as well, he plays so hard and it is so impressive how good he is on clay. What I like the most is their friendship and rivalry. They are such big rivals and have had great matches but have become such good friends and have done awesome things together such as charity events. Recently I have also liked Kyrgios just because he is entertaining and funny. I don't agree with some things he has done but he definitely brings an entertaining aspect on and off the court.