3 June

Learning From The Pros

Jonathan Sekowski

My Local Tennis Leagues experiences have been so cool! Everyone I’ve played has been extremely sporting so that has been a massive plus. I hope to continue to play these Leagues for as long as I live in this country.

 

Hi. My name is Jonathan and I am from Nottingham.

I first heard about Local Tennis Leagues in early 2019 while having a knock about with a great player at Valley Road. I joined a local club in 2006 as a kid on recommendation from parents but stopped playing after not enjoying it but returned again in 2012 and after Wimbledon 2016, I properly fell in love with the sport!

I became an adult member in 2017 with no real backhand but that has steadily improved. I was coached for a few months but since early 2018, I’ve been winging it and learning off of skimming YouTube videos of pros instead.

I joined a League in 2019 and found organising matches quite tough, particularly with strangers but I managed in the end and beat someone who was unbeaten in his other 5 matches in that Round and I got to see a new venue – ‘David Lloyd’ at Aspley Lane. I only got 3 or 4 wins in those first 3 Rounds as I struggled a lot with controlling the ball on the court.

One thing I’ve noticed is that the courts I’ve played at in Nottingham hold up really well in bad weather. Valley Road in particular has seen lots of rain and snow and I still don’t slip and slide. Also, after just a couple of minutes of the rain having stopped, the courts are perfectly playable again. That has been such a plus in playing this League.

I’ve noticed that there were very few groups pre-Covid but in the 3 Rounds I’ve played since, it has been awesome to see all these extra groups and to see Local Tennis Leagues thriving in my area. It’s such great value for money, getting to play against so many people. I’ve won majority of my matches in the past few Rounds and have a 100% win record in final set tiebreaks.

Since coming out of lockdown at the beginning of April 2021, I’ve noticed I’m not double faulting anywhere near as much as I used to. It must be a subconscious thing as I have no idea how I’ve managed to cut that down. Go back a year and I reckon I served an entire game of double faults at my local club. Double faults are the only thing that gets me really annoyed, particularly in Doubles, as it stops everyone else on the court playing the game and enjoying themselves.

The experience of competitive tennis is amazing to me – a big reason for me playing in LTL. I’ve watched pro tennis a lot over the last 3 years and when I go on court for a League match, I like to pretend I am going to play a pro match and imagine there’s a crowd and an umpire saying the score. I would use that pretend atmosphere to try and replicate Novak Djokovic’s insane ability to ignore everything else around me and never give up (no matter how bad it seems). My last match of this last Round had a loud football match being played behind me so I was glad to be able to focus on my match.

If you want to experience competitive tennis, or you want to meet lots of new people, then Local Tennis Leagues are great! Some of your opponents may offer to give you a bit of coaching; I remember giving a bit of advice to someone I played in my last Round. It could be your best way of improving. You may even end up playing alongside other LTL players at your local courts from different groups. Also, a Round runs for 8 weeks so there’s plenty of time to fit matches into a busy schedule.

As a whole, my experiences have been so cool. Everyone I’ve played has been extremely sporting so that has been a massive plus. I hope to continue to play these Leagues for as long as I live in this country. Thanks for providing these Leagues for everyone and I hope they stay as popular as they currently are over the coming years.

 

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