Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm Matt, I'm 37 years old and have been playing tennis for around 2 years. I live in Newark in North Nottinghamshire and if I could play tennis every day and never have to work, I absolutely would!
When did you first start playing tennis and what was your early tennis experience like?
I started playing tennis about 2 years ago and really enjoyed the ability to play and make all the decisions myself, meaning that the successes and sometimes failures are all my own to make. I played as much tennis as I possibly could when I first started which meant that I learnt really quickly; apparently you can teach old dogs new tricks! I attended social tennis sessions weekly and a group coaching session on a Saturday and slowly and surely my game got better and better.
What got you started in Local Tennis Leagues?
After improving my game to a level where I was able to beat a couple of friends and being invited to a couple of team matches, I wanted to try out some singles matches. Someone at my club had been in one of the Rounds and said that it was a great experience, so I signed up and have never looked back. I've played in every Round I can since then.
What are some highlights from your time with LTL and tennis in general?
Since starting in Local Tennis Leagues I have made gradual progress. I started in group 4 and immediately made friends with whom I still speak and play tennis with now. I've travelled all around the city and county to different courts and played against so many different styles that it's really helped broaden my experience. Whether it's playing indoors in the middle of winter against someone who's a master on acrylic or playing in the scorching sunshine on a sandy desert against a drop-shot supremo, it's always enjoyable to play in difference places and learn new skills.
What have been some of the benefits of LTL and tennis for you?
I've gained some lasting friends through Local Tennis Leagues; people that I've played outside of the league in singles and doubles to help us all improve our games. We've moved through the leagues together and frequently come up against each other, which means that you're nearly always playing with friends and if you're not playing someone you know, then you know it's someone that will be friendly and like-minded.
What is your tennis claim to fame?
I was asked by Local Tennis Leagues to write a blog! Apparently for a tennis-playing Paramedic, I'm pretty good a writing a good match report.
Why would you recommend LTL to others?
I'd recommend Local Tennis Leagues to others because it's a fantastic way to improve your game physically and mentally. The pressure of the game helps with your resilience and playing so many different people means that you learn different techniques to manage and hopefully conquer your opponent. It's also a very accessible way to play competitive singles matches without entering a formal tournament and all the players are matched against each other, so you can be sure that you're not going to be in a group of people who are much better than you are.
Is there anything else you'd like to tell us about?
There are so many courts to play on in so many lovely places that it's always a pleasure. The only draw back, as ever with tennis, is the weather. Winter rounds are a little quieter and can be more expensive if you decide to play indoors, but can be very worthwhile if you enjoy high-level tennis.