2 May

Midnight tennis dreams

Vikas Wadhwani

Vikas has played nearly 100 matches in the Acton and Gunnersbury league since he first joined nearly five years ago.  We find out how the league has both revived his tennis and given him a love for singles he never knew he had

During the 90’s I enjoyed watching the likes of Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf and Jim Courier playing at Wimbledon on midnight TV in India. I also took inspiration from my uncle who plays tennis every day, however I only started playing at the age of 22. 

I remember seeing a poster for the league at the Hyde Park Will to Win tennis centre and I joined thinking I would be smashed as my level of tennis was very low. I had only been playing doubles at my local club and performing very poorly. To my surprise however, I finished as the runner up in the group. The league has rejuvenated and encouraged me to continue playing and I am glad it did. 

Since joining the league I have loved playing singles because you can’t blame anyone but yourself if you lose and you can give yourself a pat on the back if you win. I am a baseline player mostly, even though I have grown up watching the serve and volley style of Sampras. I like a long rally as if you manage to win it it gives you a joy that is incomparable. 

I have met some fantastic players who are passionate, like me, to play tennis no matter what the weather is like. My best match was a few years ago, it lasted for 2 and a half hours and I came back from a set and a match point down in the second set to win in 3 4-6, 7-6 (8), 7-5 – an epic battle!

My game has also improved significantly, and my LTA rating has improved from 10.1 to 8.2. Most importantly I am fit and healthy because of tennis as I hate going to the gym and don’t like running, so this is the best exercise and entertainment at the same time. I hope the league is replicated all over the world and we can even set up matches with locals when we travel to their countries.

No matter if you are an absolute beginner or a pro, there is a league for you. Just pick up a racket, pay £18 and join your local league!

If you would like get on court this summer in the Acton and Gunnersbury league you can find the next round start dates here