22 March

Covering all the angles

Omer Malik

Nerves? What nerves? Playing league matches has not only improved Omer's game, it's helped him get a grip on the pre-match stress

"My best friend at school introduced me to tennis. It's very easy to get into but it requires a high level of skill to master and getting to grips with a variety and contrast in styles. It’s a sport that is based on evaluating angles and physcis to get the best results as well as problem solving. And there is something very therapeutic about hitting a tennis ball!

A year ago, I joined the tournament Local Tennis Leagues organised at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca and firing an ace in the doubles final was a real highlight. It was on the same court, I think, where Nadal hit with Federer to open the Academy.

Sally and Nigel as well as a few others on the holiday highly recommended trying a league and I am so glad I joined because I have met some very nice and warm people.

I’m a baseline player. But I try to work on my many weaknesses, like trying to approach the net more. Being in the league has 100% improved my game. I have much to learn still but it’s pushed me to develop my game so I can play many different styles and be a better all-rounder. In a match, I feel you need to play your own game but you also need to adjust a little according to your opponent’s style of play. But the biggest improvement for me is that it has helped me tremendously with match nerves. I still get nervous but not as much as to influence a match.

I would definitely recommend the league. It’s organised brilliantly and there is always guidance at hand with the folks at Local Tennis Leagues."

If you would like to play in the Lee Valley Tennis League, based in the Olympic Park in east London, the next round runs from 2 May to 26 June