Daniel had no idea he was about to play his 50th match in the Potteries Park league, until one of his mates in the league, Rob Rhodes, got in touch and thought we should know! Glad we did as we caught up with Daniel to see what has kept him playing all this time...
Before joining the leagues, I had been playing tennis for a few years. I first started with my dad who is also a huge fan of tennis. He very much drilled into me the mentality of “just get the ball back” which is something I try and do relentlessly. I also have a good friend who I play regularly with, but it was good to join the league and play with lots of people with varying styles of play.
My tennis style is certainly unique. I chop and change between double-handed both sides and regular right-handed forehands. I love slicing the ball and going for drop shots whenever possible - even if they often are tremendously unsuccessful. A good lob is always in my repertoire and I very much tell myself “just get the ball back”, trying to put it in as awkward a place for my opponent as possible. I envy those with easy power – it is something I aspire to. Tennis can be as frustrating as it is enjoyable. It is a great work-out and the social side is good too. However, having to figure out the game of an opponent and tailor your game to be the best you can be is a real enjoyable challenge.
I have lost count of the amount of rounds in Potteries Parks I have played in. I know I was around from the very first round and only missed rounds due to having an emergency appendicectomy, which was an interesting experience. In terms of why I keep coming back - it’s great fun. There are some great players in the Potteries Parks league and it pushes my game to play against them.
I don’t know if there’s one particular memory that stands out over my 50 matches with the leagues. I do remember my first win, back in August 2016, which was a tough three-setter that I won from a set down. Also, playing against a fantastic player, Rob, where we shared a set of tennis courts with a marching band rehearsing. That was quite something!
My aim going forward in to my next 50 matches is to definitely win a league! I have come second a few times (to very worthy opponents) but I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to win a league!