by June 13, 2012 at 11:00 am 1,808 1 Comment

"Tennis Balls"

DC is a great place to play tennis. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at scott[AT]

As an around the clock sports enthusiast, a question that has often been asked of me is what is my favorite sport to play (to watch is a whole different discussion). Basketball and hockey are fast-paced and physical, while baseball is a bit slower, but more precise. But the sport that I look forward to the most has always been, even since I was younger, tennis.

I credit my grandpa for instilling in me a love for a game that is all about mental control and consistency, and has no clock ticking against you. The month of June always gets my tennis juices flowing with the French Open and Wimbledon being played at both ends of the month. There is a bonus this summer as the London Olympics will include tennis at the Wimbledon grounds, which will be cool to see players not wearing the usually required all whites.

If you haven’t played since last summer, dust off your racket, check the strings and get out there! There are plenty of people to play with and your friends may want to get back out there as much as you do. Here are just a few tips for hitting the courts and having a great time.

Know Your Level. Not to sounds too competitive, but how good are you? There is an official tennis rating system, but you should generally know how consistent you are. This is important in determining if your tennis date is just a good hit back and forth or a competitive set or two. The more you know your level and play with people around yours, the more fun you will have.

Be Friendly. This is not a high school match, and it isn’t the US Open final either. Some people tend to amp up their intensity in public due to the fans (people walking by) or the players on the court next to you (who are obviously judging you). Don’t be labeled as that intense player who argues about line calls or yells when they win a point (like I used to when I was a teenager). When you get paid to play tennis, then yell a little, but until then, relax.

Don’t Overstay Your Welcome. The catch with public courts is that it’s a first come, first serve basis combined with patience. On the nice weekend days, I have walked by courts and seen actual lines to get their turn. In situations like these, it’s the common courtesy move to play about an hour and no more. Remember what your parents taught you: share.

While tennis can sometimes be an “upper-class” sport meant for the country clubs, DC is fortunate enough to have a sprinkling of public courts all over the NW part of the city. Click here for a great interactive map of the city and where to find the nearest courts to you. All are free to use anytime and have no dress code. Then buy a new can of balls, get out your baseball hat and hit the courts on the days it’s not horribly humid.

Shout-Out!! I want to personally thank Borderstan owners Matty and Luis for an amazing DC Pride Parade experience. If you were out there last Saturday, hope you saw the Borderstan cars and I threw you some beads!

 Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • Even when the Nationals are in first place, getting dates can be tough.
  • House Hunters isn’t real! What’s next? The tooth fairy?
  • Why did the Wizards have a poor season? The answer is in the shoes.

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