Player profiles

Check out some of our current players
Marlee Johansen

Marlee Johansen

Sydney Inner West Tennis League

1. How much tennis have you played before? How would you describe your playing standard?
I played mostly in high school, probably for about 2 or 3 years. Since then I’ve played off and on over the years socially. In the last 6 months I’ve really got back into it and play most weeks. My tennis standard is improving, so I’ve recently applied for a tennis coaching position which I’m currently in training for. I’d say my playing standard is now at an early intermediate to an intermediate level.

2. How did you get started playing tennis?
My dad was the first person to bring me to a court and the first person who handed me a racket, I was a little girl probably about 10 years old. I played my first game with him, definitely a Daddys girl ha ha. I remember him commenting because I would flog the ball and it would hit the back fence almost every time, even sometimes go over. He told me I should think about getting some lessons because he thought I was strong 😂

3. Why did you decide to sign up to an Oz Tennis League?
Last year my dad was diagnosed with cancer, I moved back in to support him and help him pay off his house – I made it a goal that I wouldn’t leave until this was paid for and that he had become settled. I had invested so much time emotionally and mentally and had to put my life on hold to be able to achieve this.

Once the house was paid off and I felt he had become stable I moved back out with my partner and set new goals to reconnect with myself. One of them was to participate in a tennis tournament – And here I am 🙂

4. What have you enjoyed most about playing in an Oz Tennis League?
There has been a great mix of people and a good range of skill levels, so every week is a challenge. Everyone is super friendly, I’ve even made a few friends along the way that I will probably continue to play against outside the comp.

I’ve also enjoyed the convenience, i.e. you can select a day to play the match with your opponent that suits both players. It’s super cruisey and easy to organise.

5. Are there any particular matches or opponents you’ve particularly enjoyed playing?
Yes, my match against Antonia Scales. Almost 2.5 hours of tennis. It was a very intense game.

6. What do you love most about playing tennis?
I need to exercise ha ha 😂 I often have these great ideas of joining gyms etc, because I know I should keep fit. Unfortunately these wear off very quickly because I simply don’t enjoy it. With tennis, I find it so much fun, it’s a challenge and there is always room to improve. So it keeps me coming back only for those reasons. The exercise is an added bonus. Which is great because I don’t feel like I’m exercising. Basically, I think I’ve tricked my brain into thinking it likes exercise ha ha 😂 In addition, when you feel like you have improved in some way, it’s a really good feeling.

7. What would you say to other people thinking about joining an Oz Tennis League?
Do it! My only suggestion, after playing in division 3 (which is the lowest division at the moment), if a person had never picked up a racket before and had the intention of entering. I would definitely recommend having a couple of lessons before hand, just to give them some confidence on the court. I’ve played a few people in this comp who have done just that, and they have enjoyed it.

8. Who’s your favourite professional tennis player, and why?
Justine Henin, she is a Belgian former professional tennis player known for notably being one of the few female players to use a single-handed backhand. When I was a teenager I was one of the only girls who had a single handed back hand and I always admired Justine Henin for this. Such a legend 🙂

Phil Smeets

Phil Smeets

Perth South Tennis League

1. How much tennis have you played before? How would you describe your playing standard?
Tennis was always my second sport as I was always a basketballer growing up. I would play tennis most Summers just with friends socially but we would take it serious as we are all very competitive!

My game seems to be stacking up well so far but I do need to refine and improve certain aspects of my game which I can somewhat hide against non club players. I look forward to playing against the big boys in division 1 next season and beyond.

2. How did you get started playing tennis?
I started playing tennis back in primary school with tennis lessons after school.

3. Why did you decide to sign up to an Oz Tennis League?
I’ve been wanting to join a tennis club for 5+ years but have always found it hard to make the jump as it’s daunting to join by myself. I also doubted how I may go playing against seasoned players. When I saw Oz tennis leagues a few months back it was the perfect way for me to get back into playing, meet new people and be confident that I am easily ready to join a club next summer!

4. What have you enjoyed most about playing in an Oz Tennis League?
Meeting new people, the competition and the way it is organised.

5. Are there any particular matches or opponents you’ve particularly enjoyed playing?
Kelvin Chiam in the South league is a work colleague and we both joined up so he is an obvious choice. Since joining we now play weekly at the very least and have really helped each other raise to another level. Jeremy also really tested my game so will hopefully catch up with him again for a social game every now and then.

6. What do you love most about playing tennis?
It’s very much a physical and mental battle which I don’t think you get with a lot of sports.

7. What would you say to other people thinking about joining an Oz Tennis League?
If you are thinking about playing tennis or want to get better this is a great way to play without the pressure of joining a club in a friendly, social environment.

8. Who’s your favourite professional tennis player, and why?
Eugenie Bouchard!

Clinton Smith

Clinton Smith

Perth North Tennis League

1. How much tennis have you played before? How would you describe your playing standard?
I used to play occasionally on weekends when I lived in South Africa and London. I now want to take full advantage of Perth’s amazing weather and play as often as I can. I would say I am intermediate level.

2. How did you get started playing tennis?
I enjoy watching tennis which led me to start playing for fitness and fun.

3. Why did you decide to sign up to an Oz Tennis League?
Oz Tennis League offers an opportunity to meet like minded people who enjoy playing tennis. The setup is convenient and allows the players to experience a variety of courts.

4. What have you enjoyed most about playing in an Oz Tennis League?
Meeting new people with similar interests and improving my game.

5. Are there any particular matches or opponents you’ve particularly enjoyed playing?
I have met a few fantastic opponents in both the Autumn and Winter league. Yas Ohara and I have played each other in both seasons and we are one match a piece. Each time we have played, the games are exciting and unpredictable. It looks a though we are setup for a final this season which I am looking forward to.

6. What do you love most about playing tennis?
Being outdoors and in the fresh air is a great way to exercise whilst having fun. I am a competitive person and I enjoy the challenge of playing opponents with different game styles and approach.

7. What would you say to other people thinking about joining an Oz Tennis League?
Don’t hesitate to join! If you love playing tennis and enjoy meeting new people then this is for you! The online system is user friendly and is managed really well.

8. Who’s your favourite professional tennis player, and why?
Novak Djokovic has been a long time favourite. He is consistent, never gives up and has a good sense of humour on and off the court.

Kristen Rohde

Kristen Rohde

Adelaide East Tennis League

1. How much tennis have you played before? How would you describe your playing standard?
I’ve played a fair bit of social tennis but took it to the next level in Oz Tennis leagues which I found more challenging. I think I’m a fairly confident player, probably intermediate, but sometimes I get too cocky and then lose more points than I win!

2. How did you get started playing tennis?
I started playing tennis competitively when I was at school. I think it was more just my parents encouraging my brother and I to get involved in a sport. I wasn’t very good. I lacked a lot of confidence so I didn’t try very hard, not because I didn’t enjoy it.

3. Why did you decide to sign up to an Oz Tennis League?
Before signing up to Oz Tennis Leagues, I was just playing socially with a friend. It was when she got full-time work and couldn’t play as often that I decided to join up so I could have more regular games. I really enjoy a challenge and I thought it would be a great way to meet new people and improve myself in a relaxed environment.

4. What have you enjoyed most about playing in an Oz Tennis League?
I think it has been both meeting new people and just having that chance to improve on my game. The people I’ve played against are all so genuine and encouraging; those with higher skill have even given me advice and coaching tips, it’s been awesome! Everyone’s very chilled and nobody gets frustrated. It’s just fun!

5. Are there any particular matches or opponents you’ve particularly enjoyed playing?
I’ve enjoyed all my matches! Everyone’s got their own unique tennis style and it’s really interesting to observe that. I did really enjoy my match with Jarrad however. We were at a really similar skill level so we had a lot of close games and some good rallies.

6. What do you love most about playing tennis?
I just think it’s such a fun game! I’m not sure what it is. Perhaps because you’re right in the action (rather than football or cricket where you’ve probably got a bit of downtime!). It uses specific technique and requires focus which I like.

7. What would you say to other people thinking about joining an Oz Tennis League?
I would say just do it! I hesitated to start with because I thought it might be awkward playing with strangers. But can I just say, you’re both there for the same reason so there’s nothing awkward about it! Everyone’s really chilled and encouraging. You get to meet a lot of cool people and improve your game. I found that a lot of my opponents just wanted to work on their technique rather than play fierce competition and I think that’s the great thing about it. There’s no pressure. We just want to have fun!

8. Who’s your favourite professional tennis player, and why?
I love watching Daria Gavrilova – I think she’s not only a competitor but a cool person in general! My first love is Novak Djokovic though; unreal technique, entertaining to watch, and an all-round great sportsman.

Roman Bucko

Roman Bucko

Perth North Tennis League

1. How much tennis have you played before? How would you describe your playing standard?
Before playing in an Oz Tennis League I was playing maybe once a fortnight. I’ve been playing tennis since i was 10 so I would say I’m upper-intermediate

2. How did you get started playing tennis?
Me, my brother and my cousins started playing tennis together when we were kids.

3. Why did you decide to sign up to an Oz Tennis League?
I was looking for some competitions to participate in.

4. What have you enjoyed most about playing in an Oz Tennis League?
Playing various opponents and having at least one game a week

5. What do you love most about playing tennis?
When i hit a good shot!

6. What would you say to other people thinking about joining an Oz Tennis League?
I would encourage everyone to join it. The more people, the better.

7. Who’s your favourite professional tennis player, and why?
Roger Federer 🙂 He is the best for me, he always behaves like a gentleman on the court and also off the court. I like his tennis style.

Stuart Turner

Stuart Turner

Sydney North Shore Tennis League

1. How much tennis have you played before? How would you describe your playing standard?
I played a lot as a child but then nothing for about 20 years. I started again in 2013 and since 2014 (when I moved to Sydney from regional NSW) I try and play 3-4 times a week. I’d say I am higher intermediate.

2. How did you get started playing tennis?
Vaguely remember watching Boris Becker winning his Wimbledon titles as a kid in the late 80s. My parents had old wooden racquets at home. Picked one up one day and got hooked.

3. Why did you decide to sign up to an Oz Tennis League?
Wanted to try competitive tennis as most of my tennis experience was hitting/rallying. Seemed good chance to do so in a more relaxed environment.

4. What have you enjoyed most about playing in an Oz Tennis League?
Definitely meeting new people. Also discovering loads of new courts in Sydney. It has also fired my love of tennis even further and the joy of getting out and hitting a ball.

5. Are there any particular matches or opponents you’ve particularly enjoyed playing?
Everyone I’ve met in the North Shore comp has been really nice and friendly. A couple have also become hitting partners so I have made new tennis partners.

6. What do you love most about playing tennis?
The combination of physical and mental challenge. Also that feeling (unfortunately rare for me!) when you hit a beautiful shot. It’s also a great spur for me to keep fit so I can move around the court. I also like the challenge of trying to get better, even if I will never be Novak Djokovic!

7. What would you say to other people thinking about joining an Oz Tennis League?
Definitely give it a go if you enjoy your tennis. It’s a good opportunity to develop your skills and get more match play. Be proactive too – you get out what you put in.

8. Who’s your favourite professional tennis player, and why?
Was a big fan back in the day of Michael Chang due to his never-say-die spirit and style of play. I related to him as I’m not a giant myself. These days probably Andy Murray because of his all-round skills. Love Aggie Radwanska too for her skillful all-court play.

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