19 July

To fight and not to crumble!

Martina Mikitova

Martina is a newbie when it comes to competition, but she is learning patience, consistency, tactics and strategy and above all, to wear down her opponents. Not only is it working well, she is making new friends along the way and having a great time

When we were teenagers, I used to play tennis with my siblings and when I got older I found old outfits which reminded me of good times on clay. I started to search tennis offers nearby and exactly at that time they were opening new courts and new courses for all categories of player. I was at the right place at the right time. 

What I like about tennis is that it just feels so right to hit these balls. It is natural movement and you can spend a nice time with friends or family actively. Especially when it's sunny and you arrive at the courts you feel like there is no better place to be at this moment. I think tennis is really a beautiful and classy sport.

After practicing and drilling for a year, I felt like I wished to test the skills I had gained and also see if I am enough of a fighter when playing for something specific (in our case points). Even when it is friendly competition, you still try your best and your mindset differs from the time when you are hitting comfortably with coach or friend.

I would describe my style as more defensive as I am newbie to competition. Most of the time I just really try to hit the ball back more than my opponent and made him/her run all over the court until they are worn out as I think great fitness level is my dominance. From time to time I try to hit some clever shots. 

Being in the league has improved my game 100 percent.  You see different styles of play, tactics and you learn to predict and being ready on your toes. It totally opened my vision of competitive tennis and it has taught me patience and consistency. You might see some good thinking and strategy during the game from your opponents which makes you try it yourself at another match. 

I really felt good when I won a few matches as this was my goal to fight and don't crumble when playing more experienced players. As these were my first competitive games I feel like I gained a bit more confidence and saw that nothing is impossible or certain at any stage of the game. Importantly, I learned to never underestimate or overestimate my opponent depending on age, gender, attitude or body structure! 

I would love with this opportunity to encourage everyone who is in doubts of their skills or doubting to join the league, and say that it is nothing scary. It is enjoyable time spent with kind people who support and appreciate you and your contribution to our little tennis family at the league. We all have to start somewhere and gain experience as in life we do! 

The next round in West Ham Park & Newham runs from 1 August to 25 September from to join, click here