Spotlight on Reigate Lawn Tennis Club
Originally published on: 02/07/13 00:00
Tell us a little about your background
I started playing tennis at the age of 13, thanks to one extremely competitive mother. I didn’t really play any other sports so was encouraged to do something and discovered I was quite good at tennis.
I became Northants county No.1 by the age of 16 and went on to become the top-ranked U18 player in the county. I went full time for a couple of years, travelled the circuit and won two doubles Futures events and the British doubles national championship.
I started coaching and had the chance to come to Reigate – my doubles partner’s brother was on the committee. That was 12 ½ years ago! Since then I’ve had 42 juniors represent Surrey, 20 top-20 ranked juniors and three British junior No.1s.
Impressive. So how would you assess your own game? Reckon you could take a few games off Andy Murray?
If we watered the astroturf courts here I would fancy my chances! On a slower court I think I would suffer a slow and painful defeat and not get many points but on a faster surface I’d back myself to hold my serve.
What would you say is the best thing about your job?
The satisfaction of seeing someone you have been working with achieve something. It’s that feeling of achievement when you have got someone to do something they were having trouble with. You feel a part of something when you are problem solving like that.
People always ask me if I want to coach a Wimbledon champion but it’s not important for me. It doesn’t matter if they can barely hit the ball over the net or they are British No.1; the sense of satisfaction is the same.
And what’s the worst bit about your job?
The aching joints, especially aching knees from running around on court all day. And then I’m expected to keep running around with my kids when I get home. But I wouldn’t swap it for anything.
What three words would you use to describe Reigate LTC?
Inclusive, dynamic, caring
Has the club got a claim to fame? Any celebrity members?
A former member of ours, Phyllis King was the 1931 Wimbledon ladies doubles champion. She was the oldest living Wimbledon champion before she died aged 100 in 2006.
Who would be your dream doubles partner?
Reigate Lawn Tennis Club
Tel: 01737 242652
No. of members: Around 680 with a very active junior section
No. of courts: Eight (6 floodlit). Four artificial grass, 2 acrylic, 2 porous acrylic (plus two mini tennis courts).
Club night: Thursday
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