WITH DAVID OHLMULLER
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1. What paddle do you play with and why?
I play with the Viking OZ paddle. I love the way the paddle feels when I'm playing. It does alot of the work for me when I'm competing. It is a stiff paddle that offers quite a bit of power without much effort. You can't argue with it's success, it's been the best selling paddle of all time.
2. Why is Gambino your partner?
I have played with Chris Gambino since the 1999 season. I play with Chris because not only is he incredibly talented but he is a great guy and one of the nicest competitors that play the sport at the highest level. The first time I saw him play I remarked to a few people that he would definitely be a National Champion in the future so I figured why not ask him to play.
3. Is it difficult to play and / or practice with Gambino because of your different geographic locations Chicago / New York?
Chris and I actually never practice together. He and his wife Melinda moved to Chicago last May when Chris took a job with a financial firm.
4. Who are your most difficult opponents and why?
Our toughest opponents are Flip Goodspeed and Scott Mansager. In the 7 or 8 matches that we've had with them they have always been tough matches. I know if we win that means we've played our best and I'm sure they'd agree if they win they have to do the same. Their incredible record of winning 6 Nationals in March is amazing. Great competitors and nice guys to boot.
5. Have any of your students defeated you and / or do you ever think that one of your students will defeat you in the future?
None of my students that I have taught in the Viking Academy to date have beaten me yet. Someday not too soon though It would be nice to lose to one of my students.
6. You have been the #1 ranked player a few years. Would you want to retire from tournament competition on top as #1 or will you be competing in tournaments until you are old and grey?
I would want to retire from competitive play after winning another National or two and being ranked # 1.
7. With the limited number of people that play platform tennis, do you ever wish there was more competition?
Obviously, I wish the game of platform was larger and reached more people. We are hoping that our exhibition with the Jensen brothers in Cincinnati will help to grow this great sport.
8. Do you have a weakness on the court?
If I had to admit a weakness I'd have to say it's my serve since I never practice it.
9. Will Gambino and yourself defeat the Jensens?
I don't want to say whether we will defeat the Jensen brothers or not. I'm hoping we have a fun and challenging match. It is our hope that the Jensen's enjoy the weekend and spread the word about what an amazing game platform tennis is being that it is not a mainstream sport.
10. Is there any deal in the works or any chance in general of Gambino / Ohlmuller on Tennis court to take on the Jensens?
There will be no chance that we will play the Jensen's in a Tennis match. I wouldn't want to subject my partner Chris Gambino to that humiliation being that I would be by far the weakest link on that court.
11. Where do you see Platform Tennis in 5 years?
Being that I work for the # 1 company in platform tennis there are many reasons why I want to see this game grow. From a business perspective if the game grew we would be able to sell more paddles, balls, etc. From a personal standpoint I'd like to see the game grow because I love the game. It will be a great day when we are somehow able to get this game out of the country clubs and more to the general public. We feel at Viking that we are doing our part by trying to promote this game wherever possible, whether it be by attending the Tennis Super Show at the US Open, the Jensen exhibition, the Viking Academy and our continued support of Jr. paddle across the country.