Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Southern California-- A Lovely Climate for TennisOC

Maria DeSouza moved to the U.S. from Ireland in 2009. Last September, she left San Jose, CA and went south to Orange County.
She truly loves living in southern California. “The weather, the canyons, the ocean…it’s really beautiful.” Do you think that might have something to do with a climate that is conducive to year-round tennis?
When she moved to Orange County, one of the more important things she took with her was her tennis racket, which apparently is becoming well known within the TennisOC league. With a NTRP rating of 3.0 –“But probably 3.5 by now”—she is playing about four times a week.

Her current level of play clearly reflects dramatic improvement for someone who played squash in Ireland, but who is relatively new to tennis. “I started playing little more than a year ago (February of 2011), taking lessons and playing in leagues and tournaments. I played a little casually for a few years before that.”

As a newcomer, Maria learned about Tennis OC in much the same way as many of us learned about our respective local Tennis League Network site. “Someone at my local tennis courts told me about it – I don’t even remember who at this stage,” says Maria. “I like the flexibility and variety of players, the competitive incentives, the format and the price. I just like pretty much everything about this league. I can’t pick just one feature.”

Given that she plays a lot of matches, are there any that are memorable? “There have been a lot of good matches … some ‘out of my league’ though, but always enjoyable. There are no real rivalries, she says, “since I have played too many different people to have had any real rivalries – so far.”

Overall, Maria says she has really enjoyed Tennis OC. “I’ve improved my tennis and met lots of great people. It has also allowed me to recruit lots of great players for my USTA Combo mixed doubles and Ladies Spring League teams.”

Maria is married, but her husband doesn’t much enjoy tennis. He prefers golf, or badminton. Nevertheless, “He patiently (sometimes) supports my obsession for tennis !!” Her 9 year old step-daughter is “very athletic,” and “mostly plays baseball (on a boys team). She is a good swimmer too.” But it should come as no surprise that her interest in tennis is increasing through Maria’s influence. “She’s a natural!” Maria says proudly.

Maria is such a Tennis OC cheerleader that her enthusiasm has encouraged more people to join.

“I just played in the league and told people about it because I thought it was a wonderful way of playing lots of tennis with good people. I encouraged a few people to join or to get their wives to join so that there would be a women's division, but there were lots of others who joined with no influence from me.”