Learning By Watching
Meet Lee, he learnt to play tennis in France by watching the other kids, because he couldn't speak French. Now he's based in essex and loves some friendly competition...
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm 34 from Basildon in Essex. I have always played a bit of tennis since learning to play as a kid in France, but only really got into it seriously when I joined a sports club in 2018. Since then, I’ve taken lessons and fallen in love with the sport. I compete and play whenever I can.
When did you first start playing tennis and what was your early tennis experience like?
I started playing tennis around 2003 when I lived in France as a teenager. I didn't speak much French despite going to school there but joined the local tennis group through a friend I went to school with. I learnt the basics mainly through watching what the others did, as I didn't really understand what they told me to do.
What got you started in Local Tennis Leagues?
I wanted to get out and find more people to play with and a friend of mine from my tennis club told me about some of the matches he had through Local Tennis Leagues.
What are some highlights from your time with LTL and tennis in general?
My Local Tennis League highlight so far has been winning my league! Another highlight was playing a competition at the National Tennis Centre; the place was amazing for a tennis fan, let alone a player, as the facilities really are world class. I was lucky enough to play on the indoor clay courts they have which had the ATP World tour nets and FedEx benches set up so it was a small but fun taste of what the pros get.
What have been some of the benefits of LTL and tennis for you?
The main benefit is meeting and playing people of different levels. It gives you a much better understanding of your own game and what you can improve on. I think the deadlines of the mid-way point and the end of the round help to encourage people to get on with arranging their matches so that you can look forward to days when you know you have a match.
Tennis for me has helped not just my fitness but I’ve met lots of new people that have become friends and have found courts and clubs that I didn't know existed.
What is your tennis claim to fame?
My tennis claim to fame is being on Amazon Prime’s coverage of Roger Federer vs Matteo Berrettini at the Nitto ATP Finals because I managed to get seats right at the front of the O2. Sitting metres away as they served is probably as close as I’ll get to sharing a court with either of them but it was a great experience.
Why would you recommend LTL to others?
It’s the best way to get out and start competing which is ultimately the best way to improve!
Jump on court with other players like Lee! Find your League here.