What’s All the Racquet?

(pictured from top to bottom)
Ken Veney – Hallbrook Country Club

Training/background in sport: I started playing at age 7 in Australia. I was coached by some of the games greats including Tony Roche (coach of Roger Federer), John Newcombe and Ken Rosewall. I was state, sectional and national Champion and played at a professional level for several years. 

How long have you been playing tennis? 34 years.

How old were you when you first picked up a tennis racquet? 7 years old.

Average age of clients: I train elite junior players as well as many club players.

Average cost of private lesson: $55. 

Why is tennis a great sport? It combines all sports and is the ultimate test of speed, agility, endurance and mental toughness.

What type of racket do you use and why? I am sponsored by Prince. Prince racquets have the best technology and combine the best feel and power.

How do you choose the best racquet for you? 

Really based on your swing speed and game style. If you need a little more power or control, you can 

customize a racquet to best fit your game and 

maximize your potential.

Favorite surface to play on: Clay.

Favorite professional tennis player: Roger Federer.Words of wisdom for novice tennis players? Love the game and savor the journey; it’s a long one.

Nina Jagasia – Midtown Tennis Club

Training/background in sport: I trained at the junior academy at the Aurora Tennis Club in Aurora, Ill. This intensive training program springboarded me to a four-year collegiate scholarship to Drury University.

How does one become a tennis pro? One needs to obtain a certification with USPTA and/or USPTR and have a strong love for the game.

How old were you when you first picked up a tennis racquet? 7 years old.

Average cost of private lesson: $65 per hour.

What type of racket do you use and why? For my style of play, the Wilson (K)obra FX gives me the
balance between power and control I’m looking for.

Is this a sport in which any age can participate? Yes, at every age the game poses challenges.

What’s your favorite thing about your job? I get to interact with all ages at a time in people’s lives where they are looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle. People elect to improve their quality of life by challenging themselves athletically. Helping people meet their challenge is a position I love to be in.

Can Wii Tennis help your game? It’s fun, but it will probably not translate to success on an actual tennis court.

Words of wisdom for novice tennis players? 

Obtain some professional direction to guide your fundamentals and then play as much as you can…for fun!

Stuart Waters – Overland Park Racquet Club

How long have you been playing tennis? My parents would place me in a walker on the court next to them at the local park and let me swing away at a rolling ball. When I was around 4 years old, they looked over and I was no longer merely hitting a shot or two against the wall, but carrying on full-fledged rallies.  I never had a chance from that moment on.

Average age of clients: Range is 8 to 70. 

Average cost of private lesson: $65.

Why is tennis a great sport? It calls on you to be athletic, coordinated, intelligent, patient, disciplined, creative, technical, perceptual, flexible, insightful and mentally nimble. 

What type of racket do you use and why? I use Prince because I believe they provide the best combination of power, control and durability. 

How do you choose the best racquet for you? Within your budget, figure out the length and speed of your swing, what type of balls do you hit, your style of play and physical strength and then make a decision.

Can Wii Tennis help your game? 

Only with the scoring.

Favorite Grand Slam tournament to watch: 

Easily the U.S. Open is my favorite to watch. The 

vocal crowds and drama at night is incredible!

Words of wisdom for novice tennis players? Stay patient and have fun. This is the most difficult sport to learn but easily the most rewarding – physically, mentally, socially and spiritually.

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