Which paddle do you use and why?
I use the Viking
OZ XL, because of its combination of power and control. It also
seems to grip the ball better than most paddles on the market and
that is very important to me.
2. Why is your
partner Dave Ohlmuller?
and I became partners about 5 years ago after we won the first three
tournaments we ever played together. He is a great guy as well as
a great player and it is a lot of fun competing with him.
Ohlmuller and yourself living so far away, do you ever practice
with a more local partner?
Living so far
apart, Dave and I obviously can't practice together but we didn't
really practice together a whole lot when I lived in Jersey and
he in Long Island. Neither one of us plays very well in practice
anyway so it doesn't do us much good regardless. I've probably played
more this year in Chicago than I ever got to in Jersey because there
is a very good league out here.
In the past there was a tournament that you and Ohlmuller had different
partners, would you ever try that again?
Dave and I usually
pick out three or four tournaments to play together each year. Besides
those we will each play one or two with other partners. I usually
play one or two with John Milbank and I am playing next week in
Indianapolis with Bill Fiedler.
are you best at with Platform Tennis?
My best attribute
in paddle is probably that I don't have any major weaknesses. My
volleys and drive are probably slightly above average and I will
try not to give away any easy points to my opponent.
Would you have liked to partake in all of the pre-match festivities
of the Midwesterns?
I would have
liked to have taken part in the pre match activities at the Midwesterns
but I had an important day at work that I couldn't miss, my plane
was delayed and was lucky to make it to the match on time. The promoters
of the event did a tremendous job and should be applauded for all
their hard work.
Other than the obvious, how does Platform Tennis differ from normal
is different from tennis because it forces you to be more patient.
You must know your opponents' strengths and weaknesses and base
your game plan around them. It is important to remember that platform
tennis points are not won, they are usually lost.
Ohlmuller did not want to challenge the Jensens on the tennis court,
would you like to challenge either Luke or Murphy to a singles match
on the tennis court?
There was a
time when I could have been competitive with Murphy or Luke in singles
but since I rarely play Tennis anymore it wouldn't be a contest.
Tennis is a game where you need to play every day to maintain your
level of play whereas in paddle you could play once a month and
still play at your expected level.
“Red Zone” concept is unique, do you thing there should
be more unique twists to specialize tournaments?
Red Zone concept is very interesting and in some ways it changes
the game for the better. It does this by decreasing the number of
lobs in each point, which makes defense more difficult, thus shortening
the points. The shorter the points, the more appealing and fan friendly
our sport becomes to the public. The suggestion
that I have to shorten the points and improve the
quality of the game is to loosen the screens, especially for national
tournaments. The APTA should assign a standard level of tightness
for the screens at each national tournament so there is a consistency
throughout the year. That way you would see less lobbing each point
and if a player is able to hit a good enough drive, the net players
are less inclined to let the ball get past them since the screens
wont help them out as much. This will help the game to become more
athletic and make it more fun to watch.
Where do you see Platform Tennis in 5 years?
I hope in 5
years that platform tennis grows significantly in the number of
people playing and the popularity of the sport. In my opinion, the
way to grow the game starts with the high schools and the colleges.
Obviously the courts are very expensive, so in the short term, the
sport needs to go after the markets that can afford them. Such markets
in my opinion are the wealthier private high schools and the colleges
that these particular kids attend. There is no valid reason that
the majority of these schools have big squash programs yet don't
have paddle. If this were to become the norm, I bet we would start
seeing paddle courts at some of the better elementary schools. From
there through time, once our sport has gained this easily attainable
part of the market, it can gradually crossover to more mainstream
parts of the population such as golf and tennis has; both of which
not so long ago were considered elite white collar sports.
What do you do in your spare time?
I teach with
the Viking Academy during my spare time. The Academy offers the
best instruction from current National Champions and the finest
instructors in the game. The Academy is the best way for players
of all levels from beginner to Nationally ranked players to take
their game to the next level. I look forward to teaching with the
Viking Academy for many years.