Sunday, June 9, 2024

Tabrez Khan - 500 Matches Played, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

 

Tennis League Network has been blessed to have Tabrez Khan participate in our Tampa franchise for 14 long and wonderful years.  We've been in business for 19 years so he's definitely one of our grizzled veterans.  We had to meet him at a National Tournament like 8 years ago.  

Which league are you a member of?

I am a member of the Tampa Bay tennis community


How long have you participated in your league?

I have been a member of this league for about 14 years now.


How did you first learn about it?

I first learned about this league by just searching on Google for a good tennis league in Tampa


How often do you play?

I try to play at least 1 match a week.


What do you like most about the league?

I like the flexibility and the easy to follow rules that this league offers.  It is all about encouraging more tennis!


Tell us about your most memorable match(es)

Some of my most memorable matches have also been the longest.  


Who are your favorite rivals in the league? Why?

A few of my favorite rivals are: Rob Quinn, Marty Paukstys, Nikhil Kumbalkhar, Blake Baumgartner, Ravi Darira,  Andrew Epperson, Kevin Thurman, Arnab Ray, Omar Abdelghany, Raj Anne, Atul Arya, Azhar Shaikh and Chantel Newman.

I have been playing with some of these friends for several years now.   They all have different strengths and weaknesses and strategies and it is a lot of fun playing with all of them. I think my first match in this league was with Rob Quinn and I just played match number 500 with Romit Jain a couple weeks ago.

I have the most number of wins(326) in the league so far.  Raj is right on my heels and I have to start getting younger and fitter to keep up with him!


How did you get started playing tennis?

Tennis is a great sport and I have been playing since I was a teenager. It is a great way to relieve stress and stay active while developing long time friends and a little friendly competition makes it all the more fun.

I play with my uncle Farukh Khan and my brother in law Fawad Ansari whenever we get together. Let's just say one of us wins all the time! 


What level player are you? (NTRP rating)

My current league rating is 3.75.  It has been between 3.25 and 4.75 over the past few years.   

It feels great to have played more than 500 matches for the league and to have the most number for wins in Tennistampabay.com

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Brady Jacob - Longer he has played with us the more rewarding it has gotten.

We caught up with Brady Jacob out of PittsburghTennisLeague.com  franchise. He's racked up an impressive 126 wins and 78 losses record over the last 8 years.

Which league are you a member of?

I was a member of the Miami league from 2015-2018 and Pittsburgh from 2019-now.

How did you first learn about it?

Google! You gotta love the SEO-friendly league name. Lol 

How often do you play?

Generally 2-3x a week. In Pittsburgh, I usually rest for the winter and gear up for the spring season. 

What do you like most about the league?

I like that there's a wide variety of players of different backgrounds and experience, but everyone is capable of beating each other on a given day. It's what makes tennis fun and keeps me coming back. 

Tell us about your most memorable match(es)

This year's spring 2 season playoff final was one of the more memorable matches of my life. I was playing against Brendan Mason who had beaten me the last few times we played. He is a tough opponent as he's very athletic and generally I would wear down towards the end of our matches. But this match was different. We split the first two sets and went all the way in the third to a tiebreaker in which I was able to pull out the win. The match lasted around 3 hours which was definitely the longest match I've ever played. I was very proud of how I played that day as I've been working this summer on my conditioning and mental game.  

Do you have any other interesting comments about your experiences with the league?

The longer I've been in the league, the more rewarding it has gotten. I enjoy the ebbs and flows of different players coming in and out, meeting different people and learning their games and adjusting your own over time to get better. I have met a lot of quality players and good people over the years and a lot of them have remained friends. 

How did you get started playing tennis?

My mom signed me and herself up for beginner lessons when I was around 9 years old. I played through high school and then stopped playing competitively for the most part when I went to college at University of Miami. A few years after graduating, I was getting the itch to compete again and that's when I found the league. 

Do you play to compete, or for fun?

Both, of course. 

What level player are you? (NTRP rating)

4.25 

What do you love about tennis?  

Being one on one against the other player. Some matches are more of a physical challenge, some are more of a mental one, and some are both. I am happy to have a sport that I enjoy and know that I will continue enjoying it for many years to come. 

Describe your tennis game:

I consider myself an all-around player who will always do my best to make life tough for my opponent. I'm comfortable coming to the net and putting away points with volleys or overheads. I have heavy topspin on my forehand so I usually rely on that to get my opponent off balance. My one handed topspin backhand has always been weaker, but this season I've gained a lot of confidence in it and am hitting it much more often. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself, for example: What do you do? Where did you grow up? What are your hobbies?

Currently I live outside of Pittsburgh in Oakmont, PA and work in the business side of the Physical Therapy industry. I lived in Miami from 2007-2018 and moved back here mostly to be closer to family and for work. Other hobbies include golfing, electronic music and festivals, yoga, cooking (food, as well as on the tennis court). 

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Konda Reddy - Loves the genuine friendships made through the league

We caught up with Konda Reddy out of the Milwaukee Tennis League. He's been playing with us since 2021 and has already played an amazing 109 matches at the time of this profile.


Tell us a little about yourself, for example: What do you do? Where did you grow up? What are your hobbies (besides tennis)?

I grew up in India and moved to USA in 2012 San Diego, CA, and relocated to Milwaukee in 2014 part of work. I started loving Milwaukee culture and settled in Mequon which is north of Milwaukee where I settled with my wife and son. I work in technology as IT Manager for Red Wing shoes, and I love the company culture. My hobbies include running, network building apart from tennis and love to spend time with family on travel.


Which league are you a member of?

Milwaukee Tennis league


Who are your favorite rivals in the league? Why?

Having a group of rivals like Max Dickman, Anil, Tyler and Issac. It is always fun and competitive to play these players, most often leading to 3 sets, a lot of deuces, and more than 2 hours duration. Overall, their varying play styles, strengths, and techniques have challenged me to grow as a player.

How long have you participated in your league?

I started playing in this league in August 2021.

How did you first learn about it?

When I started researching tournaments to build network around tennis and improve my skills, I found multiple leagues, but I found Milwaukee Tennis league that offered a wide range of singles and doubles matches. This league was the perfect fit for what I was looking for with flexibility. Not only did finding a variety of competitive levels cater to players of all skill levels.

How often do you play?

I play tennis daily, participating in approximately 2-3 weekly matches and practicing on non-match days.

What do you like most about the league?

The friendly community with all the players flexible to accommodate each other along with getting a chance to play with players at my skill level and just able to easily get back into playing. It’s incredible how a common interest in the game brings people together, allowing for the formation of genuine friendships along with my understanding of the game and empowering me to become a more versatile player.


Tell us about your most memorable match(es)

I had quite a few of the most memorable matches in league but the most memorable one is with Tyler Welch on the Spring playoffs in 2023. The game was more than 2 hours with either of us wanting to lose a single point but at the end Tyller won (6-4/3-6/6-4). A couple of matches with Max very hectic with lot duces points with duration almost 3 hours games and each of us won one game each.  

Do you have any other interesting comments about your experiences with the league?
It’s nice that people can be moved up or down in skill level groups, it's a goal of mine to have fun and improve game build network.

How did you get started playing tennis?

I became interested in playing tennis in 2015 by watching my son play and started practice matches with friends’ tennis created more interest in game and became a sport I truly enjoy.

Do you play to compete or for fun?

Both I like to build skills and play compete games with fun 

What level of player are you? (NTRP rating)
Currently a 3.0

What do you love about tennis?  
I love tennis. It helps me to keep my fitness and developing mental strength to focus on game during critical phase and provided opportunity to build social network.



Thursday, July 6, 2023

Fernando Ramos - Building Great Tennis Friendships through his league

We caught up with Fernando Ramos from the very active TennisEastBay.com | Alameda / Berkeley / Oakland league. 

Who are your favorite rivals in the league? Why?

Having a group of rivals like Ryan Tom, Phil Miller, Baris Lostuvali, Clifford Hom, Scott Leong, Lloyd Ford, Albert Hong, and Udey Sohi has made improving my tennis skills enjoyable and fulfilling. After each match, we engage in post-game analysis to learn from each other. This post-match analysis allows me to reflect on my performance, identify areas for improvement, and exchange tips and strategies. This collaborative approach to tennis helps enhance your skills and fosters a sense of camaraderie and friendship among the players. Overall, their varying play styles, strengths, and techniques have challenged me to grow as a player, ultimately making tennis a more exciting and rewarding sport for me.


Which league are you a member of?

Tennis East Bay

How long have you participated in your league?

I started playing in this league in August 2021.

How did you first learn about it?

When I first started playing in the USTA (United States Tennis Association), I was initially drawn to the competitive nature of the league. However, I soon realized that the USTA mainly focused on doubles matches, with limited opportunities for singles play. As someone who enjoys the intensity and strategy of singles matches, I needed to find a league that catered more to my preferences. After researching, I stumbled upon the Tennis East Bay league that offered a wide range of singles matches. This league was the perfect fit for what I was looking for. Not only did they prioritize singles play, but they also provided a variety of competitive levels to cater to players of all skill levels.

How often do you play?

I play tennis daily, participating in approximately four weekly matches and practicing on non-match days.

What do you like most about the league?

The friendly community in the league is a standout aspect that enhances the overall experience. It's incredible how a common interest in the game brings people together, allowing for the formation of genuine friendships. The league provides a platform where players from all walks of life can connect and bond over their shared passion for the game. The diverse skill sets and unique playstyles within the league are other aspects that I find captivating. Every player has strengths and weaknesses, and facing off against opponents with different playstyles challenges me to adapt and improve my skills constantly. It's fascinating to see the creativity and ingenuity that players bring to the game as they develop their strategies and methods to outsmart their opponents. Challenging players with diverse skill sets test my abilities and constantly push me to learn and grow. It's exciting to step out of my comfort zone and face new playstyles that I may not have encountered before. This exposure to different approaches ultimately broadens my understanding of the game and empowers me to become a more versatile player.

Tell us about your most memorable match(es)

One of the most memorable matches in my tennis career was the Summer 2022 Season 3.5 Finals against Clifford Hom. Clifford was known for his exceptional slicing game and powerful serve, which made him a formidable opponent. As I prepared for this match, I was aware of the challenges I would face, but I was determined to claim the victory.

The match began with Clifford showcasing his impressive skills. His precise slices and well-placed serves put me on the back foot. I struggled to find a rhythm and counter his game. Despite my efforts, Clifford managed to edge out the first set, winning it 7-5. However, I refused to let this setback discourage me.

As the second set began, I reminded myself of the hard work and dedication I had put into my training. I knew I had prepared for this moment and began refocusing my energy. I started anticipating Clifford's shots better, allowing me to return his slices more accurately and deeply. Moreover, I consciously tried to return his serves aggressively, taking control of the points. These adjustments paid off, and I quickly gained momentum, winning the second set 6-1.

With the match now tied at one set apiece, the tension in the air was palpable. Clifford determined not to let the game slip away, continued to display his formidable skills. However, something changed within me during the crucial moments of the third set.

A surge of determination and confidence coursed through my veins. It was like a beast was awakened within me, fueling my every shot. I unleashed a level of gameplay that surprised even me. My returns became more precise, I served more powerfully, and my footwork more agile. Clifford struggled to keep up with the intensity I brought to the court.

As the match climaxed, I maintained my composure and executed my game plan flawlessly. With each point won, I could feel my self-belief growing stronger. The crowd's cheers fueled my motivation, and with unwavering focus, I managed to secure the third set and the match with a score of 6-3.

The victory against Clifford Hom in the Summer 2022 Season 3.5 Finals will forever hold a special place in my heart. It was a match that tested my skills, determination, and mental fortitude. The battle against a formidable opponent like Clifford pushed me to my limits and forced me to dig deep within myself to unleash my true potential. This memorable match propelled me to take on more emotional challenges in my tennis career. It served as a reminder of the rewards of hard work, preparation, and self-belief. The experience taught me the importance of staying focused, adapting to different playing styles, and never underestimating my abilities. 

Do you have any other interesting comments about your experiences with the league?

Not Applicable.

How did you get started playing tennis?

I became interested in playing tennis in June 2021 due to the pandemic. Previously, I didn't take the sport seriously and only played casually. However, as a way to stay active during these times, tennis gradually grew on me and became a sport I truly enjoy.

Do you play to compete or for fun?

I participate in competitions to demonstrate my skills and improve my backhand and forehand strokes. There are various areas for improvement, but my main focus has always been playing tennis at a high level, which I find enjoyable.

What level of player are you? (NTRP rating)

Currently a 4.0 

What do you love about tennis?  

My favorite part of tennis is having great strategies/tactics and mental toughness. Tennis is not just about hitting the ball hard but also about outsmarting your opponent. Study different strategies and tactics, such as approaching the net, playing defensively, or hitting shots with extra spins. Knowing how to adapt your game plan based on your opponent's strengths and weaknesses will give you a competitive edge. Furthermore, tennis can be mentally challenging, especially in high-pressure situations. Developing mental toughness and focus can significantly impact your performance on the court. Practice techniques such as visualization, positive self-talk, and breathing exercises to stay calm and confident during matches.

Tell us a little about yourself, for example: What do you do? Where did you grow up? What are your hobbies (besides tennis)?

I grew up in San Diego, CA, a city known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant culture. However, when I was 9, my family moved to Richmond, CA, a town with a rich history and diverse community. This move significantly changed me, allowing me to embrace my Mexican heritage even more.

Being from a Mexican background, I have always taken great pride in my culture. One of the ways I express this pride is through my love for Mexican food and music. I enjoy indulging in traditional dishes like tacos, enchiladas, and tamales, which remind me of home and family gatherings. Additionally, Mexican music, with its infectious rhythms and lively beats, always uplifts my spirit and makes me feel connected to my roots.

As the oldest of six siblings, I have always been placed in the role model position. This responsibility has taught me the importance of leading by example and guiding my younger siblings toward their goals. One way I have been able to influence them positively is through sports. While I have convinced two of my brothers to play tennis, I am still working on persuading my sisters to join in. Playing sports fosters discipline, teamwork, and resilience, and I hope to instill these values in my siblings as they grow.

Professionally, I am an Elementary Physical Education Teacher in Richmond, CA. Growing up, I was heavily influenced by the teachers in my community, who instilled in me the belief that I could be successful by giving back. This inspired me to pursue a career in education and make a difference in the lives of the youth in my community. As a physical education teacher, I strive to influence my students, helping them become extraordinary citizens positively. I emphasize sportsmanship, respect, positive self-thinking, and fundamentals. I am proud to see my students improving their fine motor and social skills while having a great time in my classroom.

Outside my teaching career, I am passionate about sports, particularly basketball and tennis. Basketball has been my primary sport for many years, and I have always loved playing it. However, I gravitated more toward tennis due to the pandemic and the temporary suspension of basketball activities. I have become enamored with the sport and now consider it my primary sport, although I'm still ready to admit it to my basketball friends. Tennis has given me a new challenge and a way to stay active and competitive. Practicing my strokes on the tennis court has become a regular part of my routine, allowing me to stay physically fit while honing my skills.

 

Friday, June 2, 2023

Adrian Eicholtz - Loves the Simplicity of the Game

We caught up with Adrian Eicholtz who just played his 200th match with TennisBaltimore.com


Tell us a little bit about yourself, for example: What do you do? Where did you grow up? What are your hobbies (besides tennis)? (Feel free to share any interesting details about your life.)

Up until this past week I was an Associate Manager of Recruiting Coordinators at Salesforce (originally hired by Tableau). I had been there since May 2019 but unfortunately was a part of a layoff, something pretty common in the Tech industry over the last year or so. The break has been really nice though. I joked that since I was on payroll for 2 months after hearing the news, I was technically a semi-pro player. I have been in Maryland my whole life, growing up just north of Towson, and eventually going to the University of Maryland in College Park before moving downtown a few months after graduation. Go Terps! Fun fact, I took a half semester tennis class as part of my electives for my Kinesiology degree. Besides tennis, I love going to the movies, working out to P90X videos, traveling, reading books, and going to baseball games. On the traveling note, the reason I didn’t get to go to my third straight end of year tournament was because my girlfriend surprised me with tickets to visit Australia on my 30th birthday last year. I guess that was an okay reason to miss it!

Which league are you a member of?

I am a member of the Baltimore Tennis League.

How long have you participated in your league?

I’ve been a member since August 2018, when I joined for the Fall Season that year. 

How did you first learn about it?

I joined by referral from a friend that I had lived with in Baltimore and also went to college with. 

How often do you play?

I’m on the tennis courts 4-5 times per week between league matches, private lessons, and group lessons. 

What do you like most about the league?

I really appreciate the player base that this league attracts. I can honestly say that 99.9% of my matches are against players who want to win but not at the cost of sacrificing sportsmanship. I’ve made some great friends who are really invested in seeing me improve as a player. As someone that did not play tennis growing up, this is my first opportunity to really track match stats and play competitively and the league does a great job at keeping things as balanced as it can be. The End of Year Tourney is such a great addition, I’ve gone twice and plan on going every year that I am able to! 

Tell us about your most memorable match(es)

A few definitely come to mind! I’ve had multiple matches that have needed to be played across two, sometimes three days due to a variety of reasons but mainly the length of the rallies. A playoff win last year in September also comes to mind, a three setter that ended with a 7-5 final set in my favor. Also have to mention getting the chance to play against Steve in my first Miami Tourney playoff match, a three setter where I lost the first set but came back to win the next two. Got some great advice on how to improve my game after that match! The first match of that tournament was amazing as well, cramps did me in as it was my first match in the Miami heat, last time I go deep sea fishing the day before match play begins! It was great experience regardless as I had my mom, brothers, uncles, and cousins watching me play. 

Who are your favorite rivals in the league? Why?

Pat Martel and Sam Honegger both top the list. One of the multi-day matches I mentioned above came against Pat, and he’s the player that I’ve played the most in this league. I won’t say how many times because I’m still searching for that first W, but every match is a good one and we match up well. It just seems like everytime I improve, he does as well, which makes it so great to play against him! Sam and I have a very even match history, in 9 matches he has the edge at 5-4. We match up well and both agree 3 setters should be the way to determine every final set. He got the best of me in our most recent playoff match but I’m sure we have many more great matches in store. I was super pumped for him when I heard that he won his division in last year's tournament! 

Do you have any other interesting comments about your experiences with the league?

Overall this league is so well run, I try to invite as many players to it as I can. Initially I was nervous about not having tennis experience, but there is such a wide variety of tennis players in this league, some with high school or collegiate experience or others who just had a racket at home like me, that you can always find a good match. The multiple mid year tourneys outside of the season ones are a great addition as well. 

How did you get started playing tennis?

My family always had tennis rackets laying around but growing up my time was spent playing soccer, football, and baseball. I love baseball and as a kid, there was no chance I would miss out on baseball to try tennis considering they were the same season. Once I moved into Baltimore in 2015, my three roommates at the time all had rackets at the time and were better than me, which motivated me to get better myself. Fast forward 3 years and I was looking to boost my competition and here we are. 

Do you play to compete, or for fun?

I love the sport and have a great time playing. I also really prioritize my health and I tell others that I want tennis to be my old man's game to keep me in shape. That being said, I’m a glutton for competition, so I gotta say I’m here to get some wins out there on the court! 

What level player are you? (NTRP rating)

4.0, Elite & Advanced League 

What do you love about tennis?  

I love the simplicity of the game from the scoring system to the general idea that the player who makes fewer mistakes wins. I also love the mathematical approach to the game from knowing where the net is the lowest, hitting high percentage shots, and the importance of angles. Finally, I love the feeling after a long 3 set match, yeah I want to win everytime out there, but I know that I just gave it my all and my body may be hurting but it’s also doing wonders for my health. 

Who are your favorite pro players? Why?

My favorite player of all time is Arthur Ashe. As a black tennis player, I don’t see too many players that look like me both in the league and on TV. Ashe was a trailblazer throughout his tennis career and after it ended. He’s a hero of mine that I look up to and learned so much about his life and struggles from reading his book Arthur Ashe: A Life. I highly recommend any tennis fan to give it a read. I also really love watching Rafa play and hope that we haven’t seen him at the French Open for the last time. I’ve got a soft spot for Nick Kyrgios, I really hope he can break through for one Slam during his career. Final shout out would be for Agassi, I read his autobiography Open, and what a journey he had. Watching highlights of him running around the court definitely inspires me to go all out on every point. 


Monday, May 8, 2023

Eric & Brian Dosal: Once in a Lifetime Experience at Monte Carlo Masters 1000

A brief story about Eric & Brian Dosal’s recent experience at the Monte Carlo Masters 1000 Tennis Tournament…

In late March my brother Brian and I decided we wanted to try the experience of watching a Masters 1000 Tennis Tournament in Europe. 

We have been to the Miami Open many times and our family has been season ticket holders since 1987 back when it was the Lipton and hosted on Key Biscayne.  So with the blessings from our very supportive wives we began the planning process.

We reached out to Grand Slam Tennis Tours (GSTT) as they offer packages for these types of tournaments and our family had worked with them before.  We wanted to use a company for our first trip to help with all the logistics since we are unfamiliar with the process, the country, or the language.  GSTT came through big time and got us some great seats, we just needed to get to the Nice Airport and they would take care of the rest.

In true Dosal Brothers fashion we don’t pick an easy trip, we start out with the long multi flight trip for our first experience.  On Thursday April 13th, we boarded our Air France flight to begin our 18 ½ hour door to door journey to Monte Carlo arriving Friday April 14th in the evening.  It was a 4 legged trip, first a flight from MIA to Paris, then a flight from Paris to Nice, then a helicopter ride from Nice to Monte Carlo, and finally a car ride from the helipad to our hotel Le Meridien Beach Plaza.



The tennis experience started on Saturday morning, when through my Miami tennis coach, we were able to connect with an active player on the ATP doubles tour who got us player guest passes.  As player guests we were able to enter the Monte Carlo Country Club (MCCC) early before the public and he was able to arrange a 1 hour practice session on Court 11 which is a match court during the tournament.  What an incredible experience to be in Monte Carlo, overlooking the mediterranean playing on the European red clay on the same court the pros use.  This was the main highlight of the trip and an experience we will never forget.






After checking out the country club, shopping at the store, and a quick change at the hotel we were back to watch 2 Men’s Semi Finals matches.  The first match was Fritz vs Rublev where Rublev won 5-7, 6-1, 6-3 including a 3+ hour rain delay.  During the rain delay we were able to take cover inside the players restaurant since we had “player guest” passes from earlier.  My image of a player restaurant is a lavish location with a huge delicious spread of food.  This was not the case, it was a simple room with fold out tables and chairs, and the menu was grilled chicken, rice or pasta, veggies and some simple fruit desserts.  Nothing fancy.



The second highlight of the trip was by far the Sinner vs Rune match which ended up being at night because of the rain delay earlier.  The temperature dropped into the 40s and the wind picked up so it got cold in a hurry.  Watching the match at night with the mountains in the background on one side and the Mediterranean in the background on the other side was beautiful.  The fans are very passionate and very vocal throughout the match.  To our surprise after the 2nd set the announcer made an announcement in French and all of a sudden the fans from the higher seats started to move down.  We thought perhaps it was an evacuation message but no, it was a signal for everyone to come down and fill the lower seats.  It was like the stadium shrunk in size and the volume of the crowd got louder.  What a battle and Rune came out the winner at 1-6, 7-5, 7-5 despite the crowd rooting for Sinner. 




The next day was Finals Day and the weather was the total opposite of the day/night before.  It was in the 70s, no breeze, no clouds and nothing but sun which made for a very warm afternoon.  The finals match did not disappoint with Rublev beating Rune 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 in a long intense match.  What an incredible ending to our tennis watching experience. 


 

 We spent the rest of the day/evening exploring Monte Carlo which was in the process of preparing for the famous F1 race.  So we explored the boardwalk, the F1 track, the marina, and the world famous casino.  The city is beautiful and a pleasure to walk around.



Monday was all about the ride home as we had to do everything in reverse.  The car picked us up at 8:15am (2:15am Miami time) and we arrived at home at 7:15pm making for a 17 hour trip door to door.  What an incredible experience this was; not only was it our first tournament in Europe and our first time seeing the red clay, but we got to watch some incredible tennis and got an opportunity to play on the clay.

Can’t wait to see what tournament we check out next…perhaps the Italian Open in 2024…