Friday, January 6, 2017

Player Profile - Luca Marazzi takes his passion for tennis from Italy to London and now Miami


Which league are you a member of?

How long have you participated in your league?
I started playing in December 2015, so it has been exactly one year. Over the past year Luca has won 44 matches while only losing 21 and he plays in our top Elite Division.  His Profile Page.

How did you first learn about it?
I was looking for tennis leagues, but not in a very convinced way, until my wife found Tennis Miami online and told me: “you are getting bored playing socially, join this league!” In London, I used to play matches regularly, at least once a week throughout the cold and rainy season, and the less cold and less rainy season (once I played for 2 hours under the rain and another time it was snowing during a match, on a February morning in Hackney Downs!). So thank you, Efe, for finding this great league!

How often do you play?
On average, I played 1.5 times a week last year, typically once in the evening during the week and once at the weekend. I try to playing mostly when I really want to so that I am motivated enough, a key for having more fun! I keep myself reasonably fit with light gym workout and running so I can get to as many balls as possible and put them above the net & inside the lines.

What do you like most about the league?
I used to play with the same 5-10 players over and over again,but in the last 12 months I competed against 31 different tennis players in 61 matches! Amazing, because confronting guys with different style, ball pace and personality on the court does enrich my game. Tennis Miami is a very well organized league that really stimulates you to get out there to challenge yourself and great opponents. I feel pushed to get to clear goals, such as winning a tournament, beating better ranked players, or being among the top 5-10 players of the year (POTY). And the league values the more you win, but also the more you play, it’s about having a lot of fun in the end! and it’s easy to make new friends too.

Tell us about your most memorable match(es)
The 1sttime I played Giampaolo Guarino, we had such a tight match: I won 6-4; 5-7; TB 12-10, after almost 3 hours (March 2015). Ups and downs, attack and defense, a true roller coaster! More recently, I played another memorable match at Kings Creek South (nice courts, but bring your chair: no benches) against Luis Jimenez.He battered me 6-1 in the 1st set with his formidable forehand, but I hung in there, made my game more solid, and managed to come out of a close breaker 10-8 (I think) after saving match point, and then won the championship tie-break. One other time at Biltmore, I was winning 6-2 5-1 against David Rodriguez, and then tennis showed me what it’s all about: my opponent came back with some great shot making from the baseline, including Djokovic-like passing shots (not kidding) – I only managed to prevail 10-8 in the final long-format tie-break. It is so difficult to close out matches staying aggressive when it’s almost done. In tennis, it’s never over until the very last point!

Who are your favorite rivals in the league? Why?
It’s difficult to choose, as I am having nice rivalries with Benoit Benaibbouche, Tim Aballo, Giampaolo Guarino, William Jimenez and Eduardo Sandoval. I played 5 full matches with Benoit, he is a great player with a complete game: better serve than mine, great volleys and amazing running and defense skills (and what a sliced backhand!). Last April, he beat me in the final at the Crandon Park center court under a scorching heat: my energy was drained after coming back from 2-4 to win the 1st 7-5, he regained the initiative and pretty much closed the door on me for the rest of the match. But I improved over the summer and won against him the next 3 times; he didn’t like that, so he beat me the other day in a very close 10 game set at Morningside. I also lost a final to Tim, but then managed to beat him the next couple of times – the last one being down for most of our 2 hr&45 minute match (6-7 7-5 10-7). Giampaolo and I are both from Italy, we’ve had three very close matches, all ending on a championship tiebreak (one with a few match points saved): lots of volleys, passing shots and lobs, which is a lot of fun! I played William 4 times: don’t go on his dangerous forehand!and Eduardo 5 times: very good volleys and serve. Benoit has a lot of experience and is able of turning matches around: there is a lot to learn from him, so I am going to nominate him as my best rival (so far).

Do you have any other interesting comments about your experiences with the league?
I love the fact that Tennis-Miami.com keeps all the records of matches & games won/lost (what about sets won/lost?) and even the head to head of the greatest rivalries. The league is GOOD VALUE FOR THE MONEY, and I am sure that everyone playing in it wishes they had even more time to hit tennis courts, and pretend that we are like the pros! J

How did you get started playing tennis?
I started playing with my dad at the back of a supermarket in his hometown of Como, played a lot against the wall in our garden and at the tennis center with my best teenage friends. I would impersonate Edberg, while Andrea was Lends and Alberto was Becker, I miss those times: back then we even played 3 out of 5 sets!

What level player are you? (NTRP rating)
4.5 (maybe a bit generous? up from 3.5 in a year)

What do you love about tennis?  
Tennis to me is like a physical and mental dance involving every muscle and every neuron: bend your knees, twist your torso, and flick your wrist to put that yellow ball exactly where you want it to go. But it’s more than that: it’s a metaphor of life.The more you believe in yourself, the more you can (and will)get to your goals.Winning is great and losing sucks, no doubt about that, but playing fair, respecting your opponent, and improving with your mistakes make you feel so good!

Who are your favorite pro players? Why?
Stefan Edberg, period. Because his unique elegance, amazing serve and volleying, and sportsmanship are a great example for all tennis lovers. I admire a number of today’s champions: Djokovic for his fighting &risk-taking spirit and stunning composure, Nishikori for his laser groundstrokes and clever tactics, Nadal (what a champion!), Tsonga and Berdych for their massive forehands. Roger Federer is the best of all, as long as anybody gets 18 Grand Slams (and maybe even beyond).

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Jeremy Pomerantz: Making new friends through TennisCleveland.com



 We checked in with Jeremy Pomerantz from TennisCleveland.com

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 from Long Island, New York originally.  I moved out to Cleveland to attend Case Western Reserve University.  I stayed around after graduating and really love Cleveland and what is has to offer.  Besides tennis, I enjoy working out at CrossFit CLE, climbing at Cleveland Rock Gym, and enjoying Cleveland's neighborhoods!
  Which league are you a member of?
Elite and Advanced League of TennisCleveland.


How long have you participated in your league?
Since Spring 2016

How did you first learn about it?
Googled for tennis leagues in Cleveland

How often do you play?
Try to get in 1-2 matches per week.  Availability waivers though!  So I play more when I have more time.

What do you like most about the league?
I think the competition is great.  Most players are respectful, flexible, and fun to play against.

Tell us about your most memorable match(es)
I had a pretty epic match against Paolo Argentieri.  We have similar games, so we have very close matches and points.  Our match turned into a really tight three-set slog in hot and tiring conditions.  That was my type of competitive and fun match.

Who are your favorite rivals in the league? Why?
My favorite player to play against is Louis Burnoski.  He has an unusual game that is really fun to play against.  I have been doing better and better against him.  One day I hope to actually win a match!

Do you have any other interesting comments about your experiences with the league?
It's just been a very flexible and fun league!  It's been around 8 years since I was playing tennis regularly, so it's been an enjoyable and competitive way to get back into it.

How did you get started playing tennis?
My mom taught me and then took lessons growing up before blossoming into a slightly above-average high school player!

What level player are you? (NTRP rating)
4.0

What do you love about tennis?
The mental struggle.  I struggle with the inner game of tennis, but have learned to appreciate this inner game and to embrace this challenge.  

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Jason Mammone - Just back from the National Championships



 Jason Mammone joined us in Miami for the 2016 National Championship.   He won 1 of his 4 matches but finished with more games won then lost. So it was 4 barn burners.  https://www.tennis-miami.com/division_report?ids=4325

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 am father of two wonderful kids even though despite my best efforts have no interest in tennis. I was born and raised in Dedham, MA and still live here to this day. I love the sense of community that is here and I could never imagine ever having to leave. I also work for the Town of Dedham as the Director of Engineering. It is great to be able to give back to the community that has given so much to me growing up. My other sport of passion is football. If I am not on the tennis court during the fall, it is because I am spending it on the football field coaching my son's football team. It is completely different from tennis where it is up to only you to win your match, you now have to become a member of a team and work together as 1 unit in order to win. I love being able to watch my son learn the life lessons that football gave me growing up and also being able to share and contribute to those experiences. Although I know nothing about soccer, I even volunteered to be an assistant coach for my daughter's soccer team. I just love any extra time I can spend with my kids. Kids grow up so quickly, so I try do do as much as I can with or for mine whenever given the opportunity. 

I try to stay in shape going to the gym 3 - 4 times a week which is probably not enough given that I have an outrageous sweet tooth. I am a foodie at heart and pretty much enjoy anything home cooked or baked! I also discovered recently that I enjoy hiking and try to hit a few different trails around the area during the summer with the kids.


Which league are you a member of?

How long have you participated in your league?
1 Year

How did you first learn about it?
I learned about Tennis Northeast through searching the internet for competitive outdoor tennis leagues that are inexpensive to join.

How often do you play?
I try to squeeze in 1 - 2 matches per week.

What do you like most about the league?
It really is hard to boil it down to one particular thing, but I would have to say that the ability to meet people of all ages who simply love to get outdoors and play tennis.

Tell us about your most memorable match(es)
Although I have only been member for 1 year, I guess it would be the match I played to win the 3.75 Men's 2016 Spring Season. When the season began I was placed in the 3.0 group, then moved up to the 3.5 group and just near the end of the season moved up to the 3.75 group. I had only played one match at 3.75 before the championship match against Rich Grief who had just won the Winter Season. I almost psyched myself out not thinking I had the ability to play with someone as good as Rich. I was able to muster just enough confidence to carry me through a tough 2 set victory.

Who are your favorite rivals in the league? Why?
I haven't been a member long enough to have a favorite rival, but I'm sure within another year or two I will have a few.

Do you have any other interesting comments about your experiences with the league?
Where does one start? There is so much that is great with this league!! I never had a hard time scheduling at least 1 match per week. The people in this league are just as anxious as I was to get out and play. Even if you can't grab someone to play, there are several weekend round robins throughout the season where you can get a definite two matches in! Plain and simple....great people and great tennis!!

How did you get started playing tennis?
I began playing when I was 7 or 8 years old with my parents who were members of our hometown's Tennis Association (somewhat like Tennis Northeast, but on a much smaller scale). During breaks at their weekend round robins they would take me onto the courts to swing the racquet around. It didn't take long before I knew that this was a sport for me. Once I was old enough to join the Association I played as much as I could with whoever wanted to play. I played on my High School tennis team and then went on to play on my College tennis team. Once out of college I joined a local tennis club, but had to give it up once my first kid was born. It has been 14 years since that day that I have been able to pick up a racquet and play. I had been watching the league though the internet for several years just waiting for the opportunity when my kids were old enough that I could finally get some time back for myself to get out and play again. That time came this year and here I am.

What level player are you? (NTRP rating)
3.75

Who are your favorite pro players? Why?
My favorite player growing up was Andre Agassi. To me, he was a complete bad-ass as far as tennis was concerned. He went completely against the grain of what a typical tennis player was supposed to be and I found that to be extremely exciting and entertaining to watch. At that time in tennis, a majority of the players were just big servers and not much on ground stroke rallies. He was the complete opposite. Most of his matches were won through his return of serve and baseline play. Win or lose, his matches were the most exciting to watch because opponents had to rally with him in order to win.