Yasmeen Saeed's Guide To Tennis
I've been playing tennis for about 8 or 9 years
I was around 9 or 10 years old when I started. I continued playing tennis because it was a very social sport which I enjoyed with my friends and at the age of about 14 years old I started to get some decent racket spin on the ball as my strength increased, which felt very rewarding when I got it right. It was the kind of exercise that got my adrenaline going, and maybe influenced my competitive side a bit too much!
I started at my local club in Brentwood
I joined a group, but as I got into it I wanted one-on-one lessons. That’s when my Dad got me a membership at the Virgin gym and I continued my lessons with my teacher, who was fantastic. I still wanted to be in the group but the standards we a lot higher at this venue, so I spent some time working on my tennis until it was at right level. That was probably when I enjoyed tennis the most, when I was about 15. I stopped when I went to sixth form, when I was 16. I haven't played tennis properly for about a year now I do play on the odd occasion with my friends but other sports took over meaning I couldn't carry on with the lessons. But I do miss it and try to play whenever I can.
I had lessons every Saturday
I used to have one-to-one lessons in the morning and then play in a group session in the evening. Having a horse made it difficult to play tennis during the week! I mainly played tennis with Lee, my teacher, or with my friends around my age in the group session, and sometimes my friends outside of the group, or my dad.
My Dad inspired me to play tennis
Most of my family used to play some tennis for fun. I used to play matches with at the end of every lesson with Lee, whenever my Dad and I used to play we would do matches. Nothing ever serious in competing I did some little competitions with my school and the virgin gym used hold some tournaments which I went to once or twice. I have never been Wimbledon, unfortunately. I was supposed to go a few years ago where my Dad won tickets in a raffle but I was very ill so I had to miss it!
Ability is key when competing in tennis matches
Your opponent will aim to hit the play where there is space so you have to prepared to sprint to the net and then the next second, sprint back to base line. Another skill you need is having enough control over the ball to be able to accurately shot the ball where you want it to go. Having power and immense racket spin is great but it’s no good if you can’t control it! This was sometimes my problem I would get to overexcited, think I'm suddenly a pro and hit the ball way too hard! Saying that, my backhand was my strongest skill, leaving a few people standing sometimes!
Look the part
Most of my tennis outfits were heavily NIKE with exercise leggings, sports bras, I had two particular tennis outfits for when I was feeling more expressive which were the set of matching tennis skirt and top.
Tennis and horse riding are my two favourite sports to watch
My Dad and I have shouted at the TV all the time when there are matches. I always to support Great Britain and I love Andy Murray. We haven't had a good tennis player for Great Britain in a long time so my Dad and I are very grateful, even though he's known to be grumpy, his Tennis skills are sublime. I also have to mention Rodger Frederer, he may be my favourite tennis player and that really speaks for himself, he's one about 20 major titles now, with winning Wimbledon numerous times in a row, and his forehands are not to be messed around with.