Our league in Bristol has become more and more popular. Now in its 34th round (with a 35th just around the corner), and with more than 14 venues across the city helping to make the league a hugely welcoming one, we thought it was high-time we caught up with a Bristolian to see why the west country have taken to tennis so keenly!
We handed the keys of our blog over to Zach Evans. 22 year old Zach began his LTL career in defeat, losing his first 4 matches, but his persistence and improvement on court now sees him top his group, having lost just once in his past 9 matches!
'I have been doing well in the current league as I have won my first four matches although I had a really tight three setter with Martin who I've played before. When I first joined the league a year and a half ago I lost quite a few matches as I was really out of practice. I think it has helped my match play a lot, as I don't play much outside of the league, so I am much calmer under pressure now and get less frustrated.
I often play at Canford Park as those are the best free tennis courts in North Bristol. They're well maintained and can get quite busy during the summer. Otherwise I cycle to play at the clubs that my opponents are members of.
Everyone I have met in the Local Tennis Leagues has been really friendly, we've always played the matches in a good spirit and I've met lots of people I would happily play again.
I don't know if I have a secret to my success but I have definitely improved my matchplay by staying calm and trying to keep going for my shots rather than getting frustrated with myself when I miss a few in a row. Local Tennis Leagues have definitely helped me improve my game, as I was very rusty when I started. Playing lots of matches is really good for your decision making.
I would say my style is to try and use variation to unsettle my opponent, so I mix up the play with some slice and coming in to the net to upset their rhythm. I enjoy defending as well and try to make my opponent play as many shots as possible to finish the rally.
I think I find it most difficult playing opponents who are really consistent and make very few mistakes. I find myself making more mistakes trying to get the ball past them!
I enjoy Local Tennis Leagues as it's a really flexible way to meet people and play tennis around social and work commitments. It is also a great way to get back into tennis as you can meet people to play with regularly and lots of people are in a similar situation coming back to the game.
My advice would be for people to give it a try and play a few matches as it's a great way to get back into tennis and you will find your level quickly. If the matches are difficult, think of it as good practice and you will probably be moved into a more suitable group next time.'
As ever, a huge thanks to Zach for taking the time to take on our blog. Best of luck keeping your current 100% record in round 34 going Zach!
So... Has Zach convinced you!? The Bristol league is open to players of all abilities, and Zach and all the friendly Bristolian players would love to welcome you into the next round.