(25 league games) – Enjoys the Flexibility and Social Aspects of League Play
up to 25 league games and “Veteran” status. We caught up with him to learn more about
his interest and experience with the league and tennis in general.
How did you get started playing tennis?
program in Cincinnati, OH and my wife started playing 3.0 – 3.5 women’s doubles and
I started practicing a little with her. I participated in a few tennis mixers (random people of
random skill drinking beer/eating food and playing tennis with music for 2 – 3 hours) and
really enjoyed the social aspect of it. Our men’s 3.5 doubles team was short on players,
so they asked me to join as a sub and I jumped into a match that weekend with no idea how
to play doubles. Surprisingly the rest of the season went okay and I’m now in my 3rd season
of 3.5 men’s doubles and rotate between all courts (i.e. Court 1 best players, Court 3 lower
skilled players) depending on our strategy for the week.
(gym) competitive program where I play men’s 3.5 doubles in the fall and winter.
We did some searching online and came across the Cincinnati Tennis League.
The price was great and it was fun to get some extra matches in between our GCITA
doubles matches and between seasons.
joined I was playing (probably) too much between GCITA men’s doubles, the
Cincinnati Tennis League, and “for fun” with my wife. At times I was upwards of
4 – 5 times a week, but I started to get a little tennis elbow, so backed down to 1 – 2
times a week after a break around the holidays in late 2019.
I’d like. I also like the ability to play a range of people that I’ve never met before around the city.
Most players are collegial and it’s just a fun (yet competitive) round of tennis.
- I came back and beat Frank Schiavone in my first season last Fall. He was clearly a
better technical tennis player and had played in high school and made some club tennis
in college but was just returning to tennis and shaking off some rust. Sometimes it’s just
about hanging in there and getting a few shots to go your way. I was down 4-6, 5-4
(I think) and may have been ad-in (him) to end the match, but he made a couple errors and
let me back in. I came back to win 4-6, 7-5, TB 7-3. We played again in the Division C
championship (2.5 – 3.25) and he kicked my butt 6-3, 6-2, but I still savor the first win against
a much better player. He has since moved up to Division A (3.75 – 4.0) and I’m currently
in Division B (3.5).
- This season I played Kevin Moeller in Division C before we both moved up to Division B.
He likewise has played much longer than I have. I was playing pretty well and it was fairly
equally matched. I lost 4-6 in the first set, but came back and won 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. It was a
long one…maybe 2 – 2.5 hours, a lot of multiple deuce games. Overall just a nice guy, a
competitive / long game, and luckily it went my way – but I think he’d beat me
6 or 7 out of 10 times we play.
- I played my wife, Kristy Smith, in Division C playoffs last season. I was the 1 seed
and she was the 8 seed. She said this was going to be her first win against me and was
super excited about the match. Even though she had never beaten me in a set before,
she gave me a great run. We were back & forth in the first set and I (barely) pulled
out a tie-breaker 7-6 and then went on to win 7-6, 6-2. She was definitely mad at me
for the rest of the day! Ha! But I always enjoy playing with her and she continues to
grow as a player and is now playing Women’s 3.5 – 4.0 doubles and singles. She continues
to play in Cincinnati Tennis League in Division C too.
- Kevin Moeller this season. We’re pretty well matched and I loved our marathon
match as noted above.
- Madeline Palmer last season. I believe she won the Women’s Division
over the summer but they didn’t have enough women players so they
combined them with men in Division C last Fall. She’s a long time and much better
technical player than me and we had a pretty competitive match our first meeting last year
when I won 7-6, 6-3. She knew it was close and wanted another shot later in the season,
but it wasn’t her day, and I won 6-2, 6-3. She would easily beat me if we were trading shots
from the baseline – I had to rush the net and force her to move around.
- Lorena Lasso this season. We both were playing in Division C. I won 6-2, 6-1, but the
score is no indication of the match. We had a game that went to 14 deuces, and almost
all of our games were to deuce and I just was fortunate to win the points when it counted.
She had incredible placement with her forehand.
really enjoy the camaraderie and conversations with most players – I think many view it as much
social connection as playing tennis, just like me. Even when I get beaten badly by a clearly higher
level player, it’s always a learning experience and I feel I continue to make incremental growth
I miss easy points or can’t consistently get my first serve in.
depending on wins/losses against players depending on the season.
find enjoyable cardio (without just running, which is boring) and this is a great way to burn some
calories. I also enjoy learning more about the game and seeing improvement over time. As
mentioned in the rest of this, I also very much enjoy the social aspect and talking to other players
outside of my normal sphere of connectivity.
and Pete Sampras. They just seemed cool at the time and tennis looked like a fun sport that I didn’t
know much about. It was as I was just getting more in to sports as a teenager. I really like Roger
Federer now – he just seems like a quiet/classy guy that enjoys the sports and wins without much ado.
On the women’s side, I liked the Williams’ sisters (Venus, Serena) when they were in their prime,
as they are comparable in age (to me), I love their power and the overall impact they’ve had on the
What are your hobbies (besides tennis)? (Feel free to share any interesting details about your life.)
Cincinnati / Northern KY my whole life (Go Bearcats!). I’ve recently started scuba diving and was
PADI open water certified last year and am working on my PADI Advanced and Rescue diving c
ertifications this year. I’m married with 3 kids (ages 11 – 20) and enjoy spending time with them.
I’m pretty engaged with our local church (7 Hills Church in Florence, KY), working out when I
can (3 – 6 times a week), enjoy reading various books (I’m usually rotating between a business,
religious, and some type of fictional “for fun” book), and have recently picked up Pickleball with
some friends. We also have a condo in Gatlinburg, TN and love visiting when we can.