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Archive for December, 2012

PostHeaderIcon My GLTF Member Spotlight

It’s been awhile since my last posting, but trust me when I tell you that I got a lot planned for my December postings. 😉

Before I get started with those, however, I wanted to share my little moment in the sun: my GLTF member spotlight. The Gay and Lesbian Tennis Federation of San Francisco (GLTF) is a great organization that I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of for many years. I won’t go through my history with the organization, though I will say that it’s been fruitful as well as fruit-filled! I’ve been a member for many years, so I was bound to get my turn in the member spotlight section. It’s usually only shared with GLTF members in the Members-only section of the website, but I’m sure that it’d be okay to share my spotlight answers with you all.
[As if you don’t already know way too much about me already. :-)] 


General Information

City: San Francisco
USTA Rank: 4.0
Gender: Male
Job: Web Designer/Wannabe Writer
Relationship Status: Partnered
Blog: www.sftennisfreak.com

What got you started with tennis?

I’ve always loved tennis since I was a kid and saw Arthur Ashe winning Wimbledon, but only played sporadically until around ’96. That’s when I started playing more with a friend of mine here in San Francisco toward the end of my career as a dancer. After I retired from performing, I started playing as much as I could… I guess to make up for lost time.

What helped you grow your own game most?

The biggest strides in my game happened when I finally started taking lessons. My first instructor in the club was Kerry Mitchell. He was brutal when it came to assessing your game, actually saying things like “Your forehand and footwork are terrible!”. But he also cared about helping you to improve. Before I took lessons with him my game would break down under the slightest stress. Afterward, I knew I had a better technical foundation to see me through the rough patches. I don’t have as much time for lessons as I used to, but take with Marla Reid whenever I can. She has helped me to have a more positive outlook on court, which is pretty key.

What have you done personally to help grow the game?

I’m not sure if I’ve done anything to “grow the game” on a large scale. I love the game and want to help others love it too. Maybe my writings have helped people who aren’t huge tennis fans have a better understanding of the players and why they’re all pretty incredible.

On a more immediate front, I will always feel a sense of pride in how I helped grow one important aspect of the game for the GLTF. When I first started as webmaster for the club, players had to send checks in to register for events or bring their checkbook/cash to the courts on the day of the event. So I researched a ton of options and finally found a way to introduce online payments to all of our club events, including the USGO. And we’ve never looked back. THAT makes me very proud.

What do you like most about tennis?

I love the simplicity of tennis. It’s not an easy game, but it’s a very simple game. It’s also great that we get to play year-round, outdoors and under the sun, in a city like San Francisco. On those perfect playing days with the perfect temperature, I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do.

Do you have any tennis goals?

My primary goal whenever I step onto a tennis court is to have fun and enjoy the moment. Granted, it’s easier when you’re playing well or winning. But it’s important to me regardless. I’ve had two surgeries: one on my right knee, and the other on my right shoulder. Both are on my dominant/hitting side. After the shoulder surgery there was a real chance I might not be able to play again. So I try to enjoy every moment I can knowing how close I was to never coming back.

What is your favorite [racquet/surface/tournament/shot]?

Favorite racquet: my current one (the Head Speed MP)
Favorite surface: hard court
Favorite tournament: Wimbledon
Favorite shot: Inside-out forehand

Does any one tennis memory stand out?

Three tennis memories stand out to me, all in different aspects of my relationship to the game. The first is my winning shot in a semifinal match that put me and my partner George Torrellas into the final of the Sissenstein Doubles tournament. We lost in the final, but the shot I hit was a screamer forehand pass down the line on the net man. I yelled and dropped my racquet afterward. The second is the feeling I had when I walked into the ballroom at the Westin St. Francis for my banquet when I was director of the USGO. Everything looked so spectacular that I got a little emotional. The third memory is from Miami when I ran into Mary Carillo while walking on the grounds at the Sony Ericsson. I called her and she came over to me. I rambled on about how much I loved her and how much we all did in San Francisco, and she got quite a kick out of it. I have a picture with her that always brings a smile to my face.

When you aren’t playing, what else do you like to do?

When I’m not playing tennis, I like to watch TV (Grimm, RuPaul’s Drag Race, The Ultimate Fighter, Raising Hope, Family Guy) or write for my blog sftennisfreak.com.

If you’re a Bay Area LGBT tennis player, check out the GLTF at www.gltf.org.

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