24 April

Balancing fun and friendship with competition

Vince Reardon

Vince has been playing in the Bristol league since March 2017 and one of his regular opponents compares their matches to McEnroe v Connors (though without the bitterness!). Until they can resume their rivalry, he has resurrected his keyboard, is making model planes and watching Marx Brothers films 

As a youngster, I played a bit of tennis at local parks and got back into playing when I was in college (I think I got the bug for playing more then). I also played in my 30s and 40s with my stepson at our local club in Cardiff. Tennis is a great sport to play for fun with family and friends (especially in the summer), it's brilliant for general fitness and I enjoy the competitive element too.

I saw the league advertised and thought: what a great way to get out and meet/play lots of new 'tennis friends' while enjoying the great outdoors!  (It won't be long, we'll soon be back on the courts people😀👍).

I play more defensively rather than attack and try to cover as much of the court as possible, as quickly as I can while trying to determine how and what the person on the other side of the net will do in terms of choice of shot and their position on court. 

Playing in the league has raised my game tactically and improved my serve. Certainly my fitness level is better when I'm playing fairly regularly which helps generally. Goals achieved include feeling I've improved my game since joining the league.

As for memorable matches,there have been lots of great games played in good spirits. I've enjoyed playing Andrew, James and Ian a few times, among others.

Ian once jokingly compared our matches to a sort of McEnroe v Connors of the local league (certainly not as contentious and embittered as their rivalry though) and that did make me chuckle. I love reading the game comments. Some of the players should be sports writers as well as players😊.

My lockdown tips would be: abide by the social distancing rules 😊👍...and, ah yes, try new hobbies (mine include unboxing the keyboard I put away last year and model plane making... just started that one); ring or facetime family and friends regularly; email or text people, and help in any way you can. 

Try to get out everyday to exercise, especially as the weather has been good. Watch films that'll make you laugh. I'm catching up with the The Marx Brothers, but whatever gives you the giggles is good every now and then at these times. I cycle for exercise and to go to the supermarket when I need to top up the cupboard or fridge.

I would and I do recommend the league to anyone who listen to me! One or two have said they'll check it out which is good to hear. It took a few attempts to get the ball to stay for the picture by the way . . . only smashed one cup! 

When tennis resumes you can join the Bristol Tennis League here