Friday, June 17, 2022

Yolanda Romanelli - Loves the opportunity to improve and grow on the courts

We caught up with Yolanda Romanelli
out of the franchise.  She's been playing with us since 2020. She's part of a wonderful community of tennis players that say the nicest things with their match submissions.

Which league are you a member of? 

Austin Tennis League

How long have you participated in your league? 

Since November 2018, so a little over 3.5 years


How did you first learn about it? 

Google search. I was looking for a flexible, and still competitive way to play tennis that fit my schedule. 

How often do you play? 

I try to play 3 matches a week, but I usually can get at least 2 a week in. 


What do you like most about the league? 

My favorite part about this league is the opportunity to improve and grow as a player through playing others. Tennis is very much a mental game, and getting to play so many players with different styles, it really stretches your mental and physical capacity in the best of ways. 


Tell us about your most memorable match(es): 

Some of my favorite matches are those head-to-head matches where the rallies drag on and we both somehow get seemingly impossible shots. They are the matches where it feels like I am playing my best game against someone who is also playing their best game. 


Who are your favorite rivals in the league? Why? 

Some of my favorite rivals are David Sherby, Gregory Huntington, and Aaron Luna. David is always encouraging and always trying something new. I have learned a lot playing him. With Gregory, I feel like I always have to stretch myself to play better and harder, and we always have some really fun rallies where we are both right at the net trying to get past each other. And with Aaron, we are both strong defensive players, so our rallies are long and super tiresome. I have to stretch my stamina to keep up. 


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

I just enjoy getting to meet and play so many different people and learning about their tennis stories. How they came to tennis and what they are working on to improve their game. I also enjoy being able to see how people I have played have improved, or ways I have improved in playing them. 


How did you get started playing tennis? 

I started tennis in Middle School and have only ever played recreationally. Tennis is the only sport I have really ever played. 


Do you play to compete, or for fun? 

I play both to compete and for fun. I’m a very competitive person, and do not have too many opportunities to be competitive in my life outside of tennis. 


What level player are you? (NTRP rating). 

I believe my rating is closer to 3.75. I am very consistent, but I don’t have enough variety in my shots to be considered a 4.0.


What do you love about tennis? 

I love that tennis is a sport you can play at almost any age and that it was available during the start of the Pandemic, when it seemed no other sports were. Tennis is such a flexible and fun sport that you can play almost anywhere.  


Tell us a little bit about yourself, for example: What do you do? Where did you grow up? What are your hobbies (besides tennis)?

I am a Montessori teacher at a Public Montessori school here in Austin, and a published children’s author for Monarch Readers. I am also a mother of 2 girls. My whole family plays tennis, including my husband, Bryan Heersema, who also participates in this league. I coach my daughter’s soccer team (though I have never played soccer—sort of like Ted Lasso). I also enjoy playing ukulele, piano, and chess.