Thursday, August 6, 2015

Mark Winkelstein -- Tennis in Charm City

Mark Winkelstein, has been playing in Tennis Baltimore for several years now, having just hit the 25-match milestone--with a winning record to boot. He's a marketing specialist by trade and spends a lot of time outdoors, enjoying the city of Baltimore and it's beautiful harbor.

Here are some of his thoughts and experiences with the league:

How long have you participated in your league?

On and off for 3 years.

How did you first learn about it?

Referral from a colleague.

How often do you play? 

I try to get out at least 2-3 times/month.

What do you like most about the league?

I love the ability to set up my own matches and work them around my hectic schedule. Everyone I have encountered has been responsive and friendly, and the matches are usually competitive.

Tell us about your most memorable match(es).

I have had a couple of really good 3 set matches, especially in the playoffs. Most players in the league appreciate a good close match and are gracious in victory and defeat.

Who are your favorite rivals in the league? Why?

I have had some of my best matches with Michael Gries, Colby Catania, and Jon Chalik. No real rivalries yet as I haven’t really played anyone more than twice.

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

This league provides me the opportunity to play with a great mix of players with many different strengths and styles. It has challenged me to improve parts of my game that I was able to get away with just playing with the same friends over and over. Overall, everyone I have played has displayed great sportsmanship and camaraderie. There have been very few of my 25 matches that I felt like I wasted my time.

How did you get started playing tennis? 

I started playing high school and played through college. After college, I took about a 5 year break to focus on racquetball. In 2012, I decided to get back into tennis and start to shake off the rust. This league was a perfect avenue to do that.

What do you love about tennis?

I love that it is an individual sport that tests your mental and physical strength. I love that you never have anyone to blame but yourself for a loss, or nobody to credit but yourself for a win.

Who are your favorite pro players? Why?

I am a big Roger Federer fan, mostly because of his unshakable demeanor and the way he carries himself in defeat.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a Senior Marketing Specialist for a specialty insurance company. I spend a lot of time traveling to trade shows and events around North America (which is why I love the structure of this league so much with being able to schedule my own matches).

I grew up in Syracuse, NY and am an avid Syracuse Orange basketball fan. I have lived in Baltimore for about 15 years now and love this city, especially the Orioles. My hobbies outside of tennis include golf, cooking, and frequenting my favorite Baltimore bars and restaurants.

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