10 October 2019

Determined defender

Philippa Seal

Philippa took up tennis when her children were young but when they stopped playing, she carried on. Currently playing in three different leagues, she has played 40 rounds across 6 local tennis leagues from Battersea Park to Barnes & Sheen

When my kids started playing tennis, I got a coach for them and I remembered my tennis lessons from school. I was not very good, but their coach just asked me to play so I joined in and made the 'fourth player'. After a couple of years, my children gave up tennis and I continued and re-learnt with the modern smaller racket and a double handed backhand. 

I like the way tennis is played outdoors. It is relaxing as I need to focus on the game while I am playing it and my mind can’t wander. I joined the league because I wanted to play in parks, at a low cost, with different people. I did not want to join club and end up playing the same people over and over again. I like the friendly competitiveness of each game. I get bored just knocking a ball around.

I'm not sure how I would describe my playing style but I am good in defence. When the chips are down I try extra hard. I also am good at placing the ball so even though I often lose, I give my opponent a good game.  I don’t get nervous at all, but I assume I will always lose, particularly as there are few women that play. However, I am competitive so will fight back although sometimes I simply lose 6-0, 6-0 to a younger man.

I often recommend the league and also that players play in more than one league. I choose leagues that have parks near where I live in Hammersmith. I cycle and will only cycle about 20 minutes to each venue. Different leagues have different people. Holland Park and Hammersmith and Fulham are quite international and big leagues. Barnes is quite a small local league. The larger leagues have more evenly matched players across the groups. In Barnes and Chiswick with only 2 groups, it is a bit hit and miss. But I don’t mind if I am matched against someone really good. 

Being in the league has improved my serves and also my well-being, I think.

The next round in Battersea Park starts on 14 November. To join, click here