23 August 2018

Bromley baseliner inspired by Murray magic

Omid Parsanejad

Omid was a beginner when he joined Local Tennis Leagues in 2013. Now, more than 150 matches later, his BTM is 8.1 and he is just starting his 19th consecutive round in the Bromley ‘Tennis for Free’ League

“My son (then 13) and I got inspired when Andy Murray won his first Wimbledon title in 2013! I was 43 but I hadn’t touched a tennis racket up until then. We started playing on a public court at Cheam Park, which is between Epsom and Crawley, and found it much more difficult than we thought. I remember we were struggling to maintain a rally of three shots! But I fell in love with the game.

A couple of weeks later we joined our local club, the Sutton Tennis and Squash Club (STSC), which is a great club with a friendly atmosphere and lovely people. We learned the basics of tennis watching instructional videos on YouTube. A year later we started getting coaching in our club.

Only a couple of months after I started playing tennis, I found the Local Tennis Leagues on the LTA website and joined the Wimbledon Park League. Later I played in the league in Bromley, Wandsworth, Battersea Park, Elmbridge and Sutton (at times I was playing in three leagues simultaneously). I found the Bromley League the most suitable for myself and I settled down there.

I am a right-handed player with a single-handed backhand. I consider myself a baseliner at the moment, but I am trying to become an all-court player. With the help of my coach, Jamie Sacchi of STSC, I’ve been recently working on my backhand and net play.

To improve at tennis, you need to take lessons, practice and play competitive matches. I have played more than 150 competitive matches in the league so far and benefited a lot from them. Nothing can replace the learning experience of playing under pressure and the league has given me the opportunity to play in a competitive but friendly atmosphere.

I played plenty of epic matches in the league. I won a couple of them coming back from a set and two break down. But if I have to choose one memorable match, I would choose my first match, which was my first win in a tennis match ever. My opponent was called Jane. We played at her club, a very nice place in Wimbledon. In the middle of the match it started pouring down so we had to take shelter for 10-15 minutes. We talked about life and tennis until the rain slowed down and we could finish the match under the light rain.

I got British Tennis Membership because obviously having a better chance in the Wimbledon ballot was an incentive, but I especially liked the BTM rating system as well. It gives you an idea about where you are standing and motivates you to work hard to improve. My qualifying wins in the league matches have been recorded and I am now an 8.1.

I would definitely recommend Local Tennis Leagues! It’s very well organised, the rules are clear and the organisers will find everyone the right place to have the opportunity to play against players of the same level. It’s true to its motto: Friendly, competitive tennis on a court near you.”

The latest round in Bromley may have just got underway, but if like Omid you would still like to play please Contact Us as we may be able to squeeze in some late joiners.