Like his brother Rob, Mike is a long-standing supporter of the Sheffield Tennis League but had his most memorable matches in Mallorca until he got injured. So, post-lockdown, he is hoping to get another crack at the Mens Doubles Semis!
I’ve always been interested in racket sports from an early age and my older brother Robert encouraged this. I first played tennis with him and found that although I had been successful in other racket sports (badminton & squash), I didn’t take to the sport as naturally as I thought I would. I couldn’t leave it there and I’ve been playing ever since. Now I think I move well and hit a pretty solid ball.
Tennis combines cardio, physicality, fitness and mental stamina into one sport and I love that. I also think the satisfaction on hitting a great shot is unmatched in other sports due to the full-body movement and timing necessary to control the ball.
I joined the league in order to test my ability against similar ability players in the same city. I also wanted to experience different styles of play in order to better my game. My style would probably be hitting big serves and heavy groundstrokes from the back. However, I have started to move forward more frequently as my volleys and attacking game are improving.
The league has definitely improved my game, as I’ve had to learn to adapt to different styles of play. I then amended my game looking at the bigger picture and concentrating on my weaknesses.
I have had many memorable matches, difficult points, and great victories while playing. However, my favourite tennis experience so far has been travelling to Mallorca to play in the RNA senior tournament. Unfortunately I twisted my ankle just before our Men’s doubles semi-final match and was unable to play. This didn’t dampen the experience as it was very well organised, I met some great people, and the facilities were fantastic. I do need to avenge my withdrawal and make it up to my brother by winning the doubles in Mallorca next time, so look out guys!
Lockdown is tricky for everyone, especially with the lack of tennis! But I’m lucky to be able to use this time for exercise, hobbies, and learning new skills. My advice would be to make the most of it to do the things you would otherwise not have the time to do. Stay home, support the health services and people surrounding you.
I would recommend the league to players of all abilities. There are plenty of groups to match players by their ability in cities all around the country. So sign up and I'll see you on court!"
To join the Sheffield Tennis League, click here