Monday, January 22, 2018

Ganesh Venkat : For the Love of the game

Hi I'm Ganesh Venkat. I'm a 39 year old IT Architect from Orlando. Since moving to Orlando in 2015, I was looking for a competitive league and was glad to find Tennis League Network and the chapter and have been a regular in the league winning my first championship in the summer of 2017 and striving to go from a "Competitive 3.5" to "Advanced 4.0" and right now I’m somewhere in between :) From earlier this year, I have become a little over obsessed with Tennis and enjoy hitting with a few regulars here and I can say my game has got better and I’m always looking at opportunities to improve my game.

Which league are you a member of?
Tennis Orlando, MEN'S COMPETITIVE1 3.5

How long have you participated in your league?
Started in Spring 2015.

How did you first learn about it?
Through a guy called Chad Smith who I used to hit regularly when i moved here and then a group of friends who actually enrolled in the league and are still playing.

How often do you play?
I try to play 2-3 times a week.

What do you like most about the league?
The flexibility and the flavor of opponents that the league provides. There is no schedule enforcement unlike many other leagues that I have played. You can never relax that you have beaten a guy, The next match can bring you down.

Tell us about your most memorable match(es)
There are a lot. Specifically I have to pick two matches.  Beating Naveen Marimuthu in a 2 set and a 3rd set Tie break. 7-6, 2-6 and 10-8. He was in peak form during that time and I was barely holding my own that season, After holding on to a tough first set which I won 12-10 through a tie break, He came back and obliterated me in the second set. I went for the shots in the third set tie break and managed to win. But the match was memorable because I was playing my shots where I intended them to go and it was a sweet win

The second match was beating Ken Wilkins in a three setter after going down in the first. 2-6; 6-3; 6-3. Ken is one of the toughest competitors in the league and I had beaten him a few times in another league before he had transformed himself in to an effective counter-puncher. This match gave me so much satisfaction that I was able to beat him in his own game.

Who are your favorite rivals in the league? Why?
Hands down Gowtham Ponnusamy and Naveen Marimuthu. Both of them are friends of mine and Improved their game tremendously from where they started, we hit quiet often since we live close and we know our pattern plays very well, So it's always a good feeling to get the better of them, even if it means just for the bragging rights.

Do you have any other interesting comments about your experiences with the league?
Playing the league organizer Steve was fun.  It was so nice of him to take time off from his schedule and play with the local players. The other thing is, The variety of players you meet from all walks of life. I'm looking forward to the year end Miami tournament..

How did you get started playing tennis?
I played some recreational tennis from 2001-2003 when I was in grade school at Edwardsville, IL. In all seriousness though my friend Karthik Kannan from St.Louis motivated me to pick up the racquet again and we started hitting again in the 2011-2012 time frame and ever since I have not stopped. Even now we take occasional tennis vacations to meet up and hit in Florida or Illinois. In fact, he has a vacation planned in December to travel down here and we hope to play a few times.

What level player are you? (NTRP rating)
Advanced 3.75

What do you love about tennis? 
I think it’s a sport that I can still play when I grow old. That’s something I really love about Tennis.

Who are your favorite pro players? Why?
Andre Agassi and Rafael Nadal. Just for their flamboyant style. 

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