Thursday, June 25, 2015

Benoit Benaibbouche - A 5 Year Tennis-Miami Veteran

Benoit Benaibbouche, Tennis-Miami's very own French tennis phenom. Despite the French Open having wrapped up this month, Benoit has our full attention as he has been playing down in Miami for several years and has played over 200 matches! And he's loved each and every one of them.

Here's a bit more about Benoit:

Which league are you a member of? 

I participate with Tennis-Miami.

How long have you participated in your league? 

I started in late 2010.

How did you first learn about it? 

From a player I met at a tennis club.

How often do you play? 

Twice a week is usually my minimum.

What do you like most about the league? 

I like meeting new players and facing new challenges. The organization as a whole is great, and I like the idea of competing with people who have the same passion about tennis.

Tell us about your most memorable match(es) 

It was a tournament final back in late 2012. We played in Key Biscayne—great court, great temperature, and a great rival—Nelson Machado. He is a fantastic player and I had never beat him before. I played my best tennis and won in straight sets. I pushed myself so much as I knew a trophy would be the most exciting award as my son—also a tennis a player—asked me to bring him a trophy… now it’s sitting in his room!

Who are your favorite rivals in the league? Why? 

Honestly, all the players I meet are fantastic rivals. In general I love to play better players to step my game up.

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

Nothing except the fact that it really is the best. I wish I had more time to promote it more, but overall it’s a well rounded and great league.

How did you get started playing tennis? 

Against a wall in my hometown Paris, France, in the back of a large parking lot behind the house I grew up in. It sounds like the stories of many big champions, I wish I was one of them!

What level player are you? (NTRP rating)


What do you love about tennis? 

It’s a complete game: Physical, cardio, mental, legs, upper body, and the HEAD! And its never over until it’s over, unlike most other sports where they reach a time limit and the game is over.

Who are your favorite pro players? Why? 

Federer. He’s a legend: Class, style, fair play, calm, superb tennis… Just a huge fan.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I work in a high-end watch group, traveling in the Americas. French born, but I’ve been in the USA for over 17 years. I love traveling to tennis destinations with my wife and son who is a tennis lover too.

Monday, June 22, 2015

How to Play Tennis in the Heat of Summer

As you know, tennis can really get your heart pumping and body sweating, but in the Summer it can sometimes be too much because of the heat.

Nobody wants to have to sit inside though—they want to play the game they love. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to stay safe when it’s hot out.

Stay Hydrated

The biggest risk from playing tennis outside in hot weather is heat exhaustion. This is when the body’s core temperature begins to rise above the normal 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. It can induce nausea, dizziness, cramps, and even fainting.

If left alone, heat exhaustion can turn into a heatstroke. A more serious medical condition that can lead to permanent damage to the body. All in all, an unpleasant experience to be avoided.

One of the biggest causes of heat exhaustion is dehydration. To prevent dehydration, you should bring several cold bottles of water and/or sports drinks with you on the court.

In between every game, or changeover, you should drink enough water to where you’re full. Even if you’re not thirsty, you should drink. It is a good insurance against heat exhaustion.

Consume Electrolytes 

Another leading cause of heat exhaustion is electrolyte loss. When your body sweats, it removes essential nutrients like salt and potassium from the body. This is why products like Gatorade include plenty of electrolytes to help restore that activity during strenuous exercise.

It’s also a good idea to consume foods that contain salt and potassium before matches, so that when you sweat it won’t be detrimental.

Acclimate to the Heat 

If you haven’t played tennis all summer, and it’s already in the midst of August, you may be in for an unpleasant awakening if you try to match your usual level of play. The body needs to adapt to hot environments, and not over a period of hours, but days.

If you plan on playing tennis during the summer, give yourself a few ways to get prepared. This can mean either taking a brisk walk in the afternoon, or just hitting a few rallies with a partner and wrapping things up quickly. After a few days, you can get back to your typical tennis routine.

Reduce Your Playing Time 

If you’re playing in a tournament or a match through Tennis League or another organization, there are guidelines that must be followed year round. However, if you’re just playing a casual game of tennis you may want to consider reducing the overall amount of time played.

For example, instead of playing 3 sets, play 2. Instead of playing for 2 hours, play for 90 minutes. These reductions are your best bet against heat exhaustion.

There are many ways to stay cool 
Take Breaks

Not only is the heat going to increase your temperature, but playing a tennis match will as well. This is why it is a good idea to take breaks when possible, so that you can reduce your body temperature periodically during the match.

Wear Sunscreen 

Sunscreen won’t prevent dehydration or heat exhaustion, but it’s something that people often forget when spending extended amounts of time out in the sun. If your prone to burning, put plenty on before you head outside.

It’s a good idea to use sunscreen designed for sports, as it is less likely to come off from sweat.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

5 Reasons Tennis Will Keep You Fit and Healthy

One of the great things about tennis is that it’s not only a ton of fun, but it’s a great way to stay in shape. This is important because a lot of people have a hard time staying in shape because they aren’t motivated to get to the gym. However, once these people fall in love with tennis they’ll be able to reap all the health benefits.

Here are a few:

image via fitafterfifty
Tennis is Good for Longevity 

Although tennis can cause some elbow and knee pain, for the most part injuries are few and far between. It is generally a low-impact sport and doesn’t require a person to exert themselves to the point of an injury.

Because of this, people can play tennis throughout their lifetime. This is one of the reasons the sport is so popular. Tennis is enjoyed by people of all ages because it is conducive to anyone’s level of physical fitness. Yes, being a great tennis player does require speed and agility but if you play people at your level of physical fitness then it’s an even playing field.

Improves Heart Health 

Heart disease is the single leading cause of death in the United States, yet it is so preventable. Fortunately, tennis is a great activity for improving cardiovascular health.

One great aspect of tennis is that it is a form of both anaerobic and aerobic exercise. That is, it requires you to run short sprints during sets (anaerobic), but also takes place over long durations and requires an exertion of effort for 1-2 hours (aerobic). This combination lowers your risk of heart disease and stroke down the road.

Healthy Muscle Development 

During a tennis match you’re going to use many of the muscles in your body: Your thighs and calves when sprinting, as well as your back, arms and shoulders when swinging. These aren’t just static movements either, which keeps your joints healthy.

Playing tennis won’t make you a bodybuilder, but it will help keep muscles toned and in great shape.

Boosts Flexibility and Balance

Tennis is a sport that requires you to constantly be moving your whole body. You must be able to quickly spot the ball, chase it down, and reach out to get it (flexibility). You then have to be able to stay upright (Balance) so that you can get back in position to receive the next shot.

Playing tennis regularly helps to keep all these movement in sync, which can carry over to other areas of life.

Burns Plenty of Calories 

Running across the court, lunging, twisting, jumping and turning—tennis can be quite the workout. It requires you to use every part of your body which means you’re going to be exerting more effort overall.

Tennis is a great way to burn calories and burns more calories than many traditional forms of exercise like walking, cycling and weight lifting. In fact, according to HealthStatus, a 150-lb. person can burn approximately 414 calories in an hour of singles tennis. While a 190-lb. person can burn 524 calories in an hour of singles tennis.

In fact, we calculated that from the 140,440+ Tennis League Matches played, the average player has burned 1,200 calories!

If you’re looking for a great way to stay in shape, play a competitive sport, and have a ton of fun, sign up to Tennis League in your city today.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

How to Dominate Your Doubles Matches

Playing a doubles match as someone who exclusively plays singles can be a significant change. Despite the rules being the same (with the exception of the doubles line), people often fail to adjust to the dynamic of a doubles match.

To really dominate your doubles matches, you need to work closely with your partner and adapt to this structure. Here are a few of the most important factors to keep in mind when playing:

Look Forward 

It’s tempting to turn around at your partner when you’re posted up at the net. However, this is a poor habit. Your eyes needs to be on your opponents.

When your partner is hitting the ball, you should watch what your opponents are doing. They may be running up towards the net to hit a volley, or backing up to hit a powerful ground stroke. These split second differences may seem subtle, but in tennis they are very important.

The non-serving player has eyes across the net
Communicate Effectively 

You should be talking to your partner on a regular basis throughout the match. This is so that you can let your partner know where you are going, where they should go, what your intentions are etc.

If you’re not used to communication on the court, or don’t feel comfortable with it, start small. Perhaps let your partner know where you intend to serve.

Communication on the court doesn’t have to be limited to movement or technique—it can just be words of encouragement.

It’s also a good idea to avoid too much ‘teaching’ on the court. Technique is best honed during practice sessions, and people may take advice as criticism which will only diminish their play.

Take Charge 

Going off the last point, because people play doubles with a close friend or significant other, people tend to shy away from giving out commands.

It may seem a bit uncomfortable, but giving out directions is crucial when playing doubles—this goes for both partners. If you can’t chase down a ball, let your partner know. If you think they should poach a return, tell them.

Know Your Role as the Non-hitter 

During a singles match you’re going to be hitting every shot that comes on your side of the net, so if you play singles exclusively you may be tempted to chase down every shot. However, in doubles you have to determine when to take the shot, and when to let your partner get it.

This goes back to clear communication and taking charge. If you can get the ball, go for it. If not, tell your partner to chase after it.

When you’re not hitting the ball, and your partner is you need to be analyzing the court: Where is the weakness on your side, where are they positioned, where are you positioned relative to the ball etc.

The best Doubles Duo of all-time
Practice as a Team 

The most dominant doubles teams are the ones that have great chemistry like the Bryan brothers. As siblings, they had many opportunities growing up to play tennis together. Over the years they learned each others’ strengths and weaknesses and have seemingly applied those to their game.

To really dominate your matches, you should minimize the number of partners you have. The more you play with a particular person, the better you two will get.

Looking to Play Competitive Doubles Matches in Your Area?

We have doubles leagues in many of our leagues across the country--from Baltimore, to Denver to San Francisco!

Check out the Tennis League website in your city for more details.


Images via TennisWorldUSA and HitItOver

Monday, June 8, 2015

Sign Up Today for a Competitive Tennis Tournament in Your Area

Are you looking for a fun and competitive way to play quality tennis players in your area? Then you have to sign up for our Tennis League Tournaments!

Our tournaments are a fantastic way to play tennis in a competitive setting in your city. All matches are designed for your utmost convenience and enjoyment.

When you sign up, you:

- Are guaranteed to play at least 2 matches (Single elimination tourney and then consolation bracket if you lose the first match)
- Play at a time and place that is convenient for both players
- Play competition that is no more than +0.5 points of a higher rating

We kick off a tourney with at least 6 players. If we can NOT reach this criteria then we will refund your entry fee and give you the next tournament for NO COST.  Each Tournament our hope is to run multiple skill level brackets for each tournament.

Here are some great things our most recent tournament winners are saying:

Dylan Reffe

Convenient to Your Schedule

"TennisDC makes setting up the matches easy, they give you a date to have the match completed by, and your opponents email/phone number." - Dylan Reffe

A Competitive Environment 

"I think the idea of having a single elimination tournament is great, considering most of the tennis tournaments are like that, also this increases the competitive level, since nobody wants to be eliminated in the first round." -Enrique Padilla

Eric DeClerck
Plenty of New Competitors to Play 

“I liked the tournament this past May. The matches were really competitive and I got to play a couple players that hadn't been around in the flex leagues, so it was good to face some different players. I generally liked that I didn't know who I was going to be playing or what to expect when its usually just the opposite in the regular flex league, where I've played most of the people through the years." -Eric DeClerck

All Tourney Participants Have a Chance to Win Prizes 

”I also liked that there was prize money much closer in reach. Even though its not like we're playing for the money of course, it makes it fun and competitive. Its also one of the things that makes the TennisDC unique from other leagues like USTA or ACTA in our area.” -Eric DeClerck

Your Chance to Win Great Prizes

The prize pool will be based upon enrollment in each bracket. A tournament can have multiple brackets. The tournament prize structure is based around our partner Tennis Warehouse (TW).

6 to 8 players: $50 TW Gift Card for the winner*, $25 TW GC for Finalist, $25 TW GC for Consolation bracket winner
9 to 13: $100 TW GC for the winner* + Trophy, $50 TW GC for Finalist, $25 TW GC for Consolation winner
14 to 19: $150 TW GC for the winner* + Trophy, $50 TW GC for Finalist, $25 TW GC for 3rd & 4th place, $50 TW GC for Consolation winner
20+: $200 TW GC for the winner* + Trophy, $100 TW GC for Finalist, $25 TW GC for 3rd and 4th place, $50 TW GC for Consolation winner

Tournament costs in 2015 will be set at $19.95 This is a great price that allows you to play multiple matches against competitive players.

Sign Up Today!! 

We frequently hold tournaments year-round, so please check our schedule of events to see when our next tournament is. Don't miss it.     Tennis League Network, llc

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Darren Smolkin - Approaching a Record Breaking Season

Darren Smolkin, a Tennis-Los Angeles player, is currently on an exciting chase to break the record for most matches played in a year. The current record, set in 2012 by Jorge Daniels, is 147. Darren is easily on pace to break that with 91 matches already played this year!

What makes it even more impressive is that Darren just started playing tennis 2 years ago (at age 45). Since then he has honed his skills and sports a winning record in the Advanced Men's division.

Here's a bit more about Darren's life on an off the court:

Which league are you a member of? Tennis Los Angeles (advanced division) .

How long have you participated in your league? Since January, 2014

How did you first learn about it? Through a friend who plays in Tennis LosAngeles, Alex De Castro Profile

How often do you play? I play 4-8 matches a week

What do you like most about the league? Being able to find someone to play pretty much whenever I want to. Also, being able to play different types of players which keeps me on my toes and helps me improve

Tell us about your most memorable match(es): I have a few that stand out above all the others. My first match in the league against David Goldman. I never played competitive sports before and had only been playing tennis for a year-- I was extremely nervous the entire  match. I ended up losing, but it was still fun.

After being in the league at the 3.0 division for 6 months, they bumped me up to the 3.5. I ended up getting slaughtered. I played Andy McCormac and he beat me 6-1,6-1. He had a very powerful forehand and I was scared to play him again. They put me back down to the 3.0 and I started to take lessons. After 4 months, they moved me back up to the 3.5. I played Andy again, still lost but fared much better. Within the last 6 months, I have been playing him and winning almost every time. he now says he is "scared" to play me! What a compliment.

Lastly, the final match in the spring 2015 playoffs against Valentin Ionescu Tiba, which I won, will always be my most memorable match.

Championship Bracket:

Who are your favorite rivals in the league? Why? By far my favorite rival is Keiji Tomita. He is the ultimate defender. He gets everything back. He has won most of the times we have played, but they have always been close. I get a great workout playing him and always feel like I just came back from war after our matches.

Do you have any other interesting comments about your experiences with the league? This league is great because anytime you want to play tennis you can find a person to play with, whereas if you're trying to play with friends their schedule may not match yours.

What do you love about tennis? The part of tennis I love the most is the workout. I would much rather lose 7-5,4-6,7-5 than win 6-1,6-1. Nothing beats playing a long, close match, win or lose.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I grew up in Canada and moved to Los Angeles in 1995. I am a dentist, married with 2 kids. Prior to playing tennis, I did not do any cardiovascular activity. I was heavy into weightlifting for the last 20 yrs. I happened on tennis by accident when I was 45 (2 yrs ago) and have been addicted ever since.

The tennis league keeps a running stat page for the most number of matches played by anyone in the league over the whole country ever since the league has been in existence. The top player has played 147 matches. I'm planning to blow this out of the park with a number that will never be touched. My goal is 200 matches, it is now the beginning of June and I have played 91. I might even surpass my goal!

By Bryan Rosenthal
Tennis League Network Blogger