We were pleased to chat with Ladywell Fields league player Paul Rubinstein, the Swede admits Local Tennis Leagues was the positive force behind getting a racket into his hand - even if the sport has become a bit of an obsession to him!
'I only started playing about 2 years ago but it's fair to say that I have become obsessed with tennis ever since. I have always loved competitive sports and very quickly realised that tennis is a sport that really suits my personality. My first LTL match was in the Autumn of 2016. I found about the leagues through a poster outside one of my local courts.
There are so many reasons that I love tennis! Competing against others. The mental battle of a match and the concentration required. Analysing my game and trying to improve. Being outdoors on a cold, windy January morning. It's a fantastic game.'
Paul might have only started playing tennis recently, but his enjoyment of the sport has been long in the making;
'I used to love Ivan Lendl as a kid so - despite him losing - my favourite match would probably be the 1987 Wimbledon final against Pat Cash. I was only 8 but could easily sit through hours of sports, whether it was tennis, ski jumping or cross country skiing (I'm Swedish!).'
In attempting to replicate his hero Lendl, Paul has taken part in some epic matches!
'My favourite matches are the ones during which I surprise myself by somehow finding a new level. So perhaps it was a match last Autumn against Derek in Dulwich, Group 1. I was in a flow state for almost the whole match, every shot I played seemed to go in, and after saving a couple of match points in the deciding tie-break, I nicked it...'
'Local Tennis Leagues helps you to improve your game; massively. It has been a really big driving force in my improvement as your league position is such a tangible indicator of how well you are playing. I definitely would recommend the leagues. It's just...fun! And you meet a lot of great people and despite the competitiveness everyone is friendly.'
Thanks for taking the time Paul, and good luck on reaching the half-century mark of Local leagues matches! (Paul currently sits on 47 matches played!).