Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Ian Wright and I'm a 56-year-old semi-retired financial futures trader from Essex. I've gone from being a once or twice a week player to virtually playing every day if I can find someone to play!
When did you first start playing tennis and what was your early tennis experience like?
I played table tennis from an early age at a decent level in a league but got bored with the team format of waiting around while others played! So, tennis seemed an ideal fit and even though I didn't really start until I was 30 years old, I quickly became hooked. Again, I started playing in the Leagues, but it was men’s and mixed doubles back then, in fact I didn't start taking singles seriously until I joined David Lloyd five years ago. The box leagues there were well run and full of great players until lockdown stopped everything in its tracks.
What got you started in Local Tennis Leagues?
I joined local leagues just over a year ago on the recommendation of several players I had come up against on Sportch, which I had also signed up for just before lockdown to try and find new players to challenge. I still felt I needed more singles matches though and liked the LTL round by round structure, as new players continually shuffle in and out – I'm already on my fifth round.
What are some highlights from your time with LTL and tennis in general?
I've had lots of cracking matches in my short time in LTL but none more so than my battles with Ogba Ogbimi; he's an ultra-tough competitor who I've had match points against on two occasions and still lost, so he's definitely forced me to up my game. My wins against him have always been equally tough. I don't enjoy running or the gym but I think tennis is better for all round fitness anyway.
What have been some of the benefits of LTL and tennis for you?
The first 8-week lockdown with no tennis killed my game stone dead so being able to get match fit again has made me appreciate the game even more. I'm lucky that I can play in some form virtually every day at either Great Baddow LTC or David Lloyd as it certainly keeps my game sharp and fitness up. Being forced to play LTL matches outdoors because of covid restrictions has been a plus as it's toughened me up.
What is your tennis claim to fame?
I can't say I have any particular tennis claim to fame as I've never met any famous players, but I'd like to think my enthusiasm for match play feeds through to my opponents and I'm always constantly encouraging others to play more singles. My mantra is there's no such thing as a friendly tho ;)
Why would you recommend LTL to others?
LTL is a great format with quick rounds that you can drop in and out of as often as you like and a great chance to come up against players of a similar standard, so I'd recommend it to anyone.
Is there anything else you'd like to tell us about?
I'll play anyone, any age, anytime!
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