pro shop tournaments leagues instruction rules find a pro where to play links


Paddlepro.com had extensive news coverage from the Midwesterns 2004, so this section was created to archive the news leading up to the exhibition match between the Jensen Brothers vs Ohlmuller and Gambino on January 15, 2004.

Midwesterns 2004 in Cincinnati Enquirer
Midwesterns 2004 in Cincinnati Enquirer

Cincinnati, Oh
The both the Cincinnati Enquirer
and the Kentucky Journal have an article about the Midwesterns 2004 with the exhibition match between the Jensen brothers against David Ohlmuller and Chris Gambino. The article goes in depth about some specifics and history of platform tennis as well. To view the article, please click here to see the article on the Cincinnati Enquirer's website or click here to view other various press information about the Midwesterns 2004. The photo comes courtesty of the Cincinnati Enquirer and photographer Michael E. Keating.

article by Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

It's not Stade Roland Garros or Wimbledon's Centre Court. But when Luke and Murphy Jensen play here on a tiny court with a chicken-wire fence - outdoors, at night ... in January - their act will be as high-energy as ever.

"We're going to be bleeding on the court. Lots of diving. We'll be taking the fence in the teeth," Luke said.

Platform tennis, meet the Jensens.

Luke (left) and Murphy Jensen bone up on their platform tennis skills at the Beckett Ridge Country Club.
(Michael E. Keating photo)

The wacky brothers will play an exhibition platform match Thursday at Beckett Ridge Country Club in West Chester, against the nation's top-ranked platform team of Dave Ohlmuller and Chris Gambino. The Jensens also will play in the Midwestern Tournament, to be held Saturday and Sunday at eight platform sites around town.

Yeah, it's a publicity stunt. But the exhibition will be taped for nationwide airing in April on The Tennis Channel, which spells exposure for the little-known sport.

"It's like a hidden gem," Ohlmuller said. "We're trying to get it more mainstream and out of the country club set, where unfortunately it's always been."

Jason Gray, director of racket sports at Beckett Ridge, arranged this event and draws a distant parallel to the 1973 Billie Jean King-Bobby Riggs match.

"You think about what that did for women's tennis," Gray said. "Hopefully this could catapult the sport."

OK. What is platform tennis?

It's an outdoor winter game, with a court that's 20 by 44 feet - one-fourth the size of a tennis court - laid out on a deck that's 30 by 60. It's elevated a few feet and surrounded by a 12-foot, wire-mesh fence.

There's a slip-resistant surface, and many courts have heaters to help melt accumulated snow. Matches can be played in light rain or snow.

The paddle has a fiberglass face and a foam core. The ball, heavier and slower than a tennis ball, can be played off the screens. Scoring is identical to that in tennis, though there are no second serves. It's played primarily as doubles.

Platform tennis - called "paddle" by regulars - was invented in 1928 in Scarsdale, N.Y., and exists only in America. It's played mostly in cold-weather, metropolitan cities, with the largest bases being the New York and Chicago suburbs. Bob Considine, who produces the www.paddlepro.com Web site, said there are between 40,000 and 50,000 players nationwide, and Gray said about 700 of those live here.

"The game ebbs and flows," Considine said. "We're on an upswing again. Probably the biggest period was in the '70s, when NBC would cover the nationals."

Courts cost nearly $50,000 to erect, so few exist for public use. Of the nine platform clubs in Cincinnati, only one isn't a country club: Queen City Racquet & Fitness Club, where players can buy an annual platform membership for $347.75. Gray said some locals are pushing for public courts to be built at Lunken Playfield.

"The barrier to entry is pretty great," Considine said. "If you have to join a country club just to try the sport out, it's not going to grow."

The Jensens played this game some while growing up in Michigan, and they arrived here Tuesday for more practice time.

"We're going to be smoked, of course," Luke Jensen said. "We have a better chance of winning the Iowa caucuses. But we don't want to go out and embarrass ourselves."

Ohlmuller, a 34-year-old from Long Island, has been ranked No. 1 for six years. He and Gambino, a 34-year-old from Chicago, won the 2001 and 2003 nationals together.

Platform Tennis on Fox News
Platform Tennis on Fox News

Cincinnati, Oh
Luke and Murphy Jensen and Dave Ohlmuller do pre exhibition interview and hit a platform tennis ball around Fox Studios in Cincinatti. The Battle @ Beckett is set to be played 6:30 tonight at Beckett Ridge Country Club if your in Ohio, don't miss it.

David Ohlmuller and Newscaster Play a Set against Jensens
Platform Tennis on Fox News

Cincinnati, Oh
As the second update of news today, David Ohlmuller took some time out to play a set of Platform Tennis with Brad Johansen of WKRC against Murphy and Luke Jensen. The set was taped and will air on News 12 WKRC "I GOT NEXT." at 6:30 PM. Click here to see pictures of the set and make sure you read the previous news article today Platform Tennis on Fox News.

Grand Slam Champs Prepare
Platform Tennis on Fox News

Cincinnati, Oh
Grand Slam Champions the Jensen Brothers take Battle @ Beckett match seriously, (seen in photo) they spent 2 days with Bob Considine, and Dave Ohlmuller with the Viking Academy working on developing their games.

Considine had this to say about watching the Jensens practice - "I was worried at first but I have never met two people learn quicker and be as responsive, I think they will do fine tonight maybe even bring some tricks of their own". Bob Considine is the announcer for the exhibition match

Most Exciting Match in Platform Tennis History
Midwesterns 2004 Pre Event

Cincinnati, Oh
As Paddlepro.com continues the coverage of the 2004 Midwesterns, 500 fans braved 20 degree temperatures to watch the the Battle @ Beckett. The event was covered by ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX television. The match will be aired in entirety on West Chester Community Telivision and edited to appear later on The Tennis Channel.

Pre Exhibition events included The Viking Academy and the Jensen Brothers teaching Cincinatti Inner City Youth how to play Platform tennis. Philip Bell of C.I.C.Y. commented this was "truly a memorable experience for these kids and an event they will not forget, 20 degrees and they smiled the entire time. Platform Tennis was a big hit."

article by Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Luke and Murphy Jensen know how to win over a crowd. Thursday, that meant Luke yelling, "Hand warmers for all Jensen fans!"

That's how the coldest and boldest tennis match in the wacky brothers' career began Thursday night at Beckett Ridge Country Club. Murphy, wearing a Viking hat in the 20-degree chill, quipped to the crowd, "You bet I trained for this; I just got back from Anchorage."

Their platform tennis exhibition against reigning national champions Dave Ohlmuller and Chris Gambino was notable for the cold, which about 450 fans braved. The Jensens also gave the primarily country club sport its first lesson in trash talk.

"There has never, ever been trash talking in platform," Ohlmuller said. "We loved every minute of it."

The Jensens lampooned their novice standing when they asked loudly, "What are the rules?" Ohlmuller and Gambino beat them 6-1 in the first set.

The Jensens knew what act would play even better: quibbling siblings. So they split up, Murphy joining Gambino and Luke joining Ohlmuller, and traded barbs throughout the second set.

"Where's that in the rulebook, huh?" Murphy yelled when they switched. "I got rid of the dead weight, so now I'm going to roll."

Murphy drilled Luke in the ankle on one shot. That was mock vengeance for the occasion in practice earlier Thursday that Luke's paddle struck Murphy's left thumb, which was badly swollen Thursday night.

Luke and Ohlmuller would win the set in a tiebreak by a 7-4 score. The crowd cheered and laughed along with the Jensens, who showed much aptitude for having trained just two days.

"There's a fine line between stupid and clever when it comes to the Jensen brothers," Murphy said.

Ohlmuller said the only larger crowds the sport has drawn are for the national championship match, and by only a few people.

"This was incredible," he said. "It was like a U.S. Open night match."

The Jensens are staying to play in the Midwestern Tournament this weekend. Their first match will be at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Camargo Country Club.

"I got a couple calls today from other (platform) tourneys, asking us to play," Luke said. "We'll hook up with some of these."

Exhibition Results
Midwesterns 2004 Pre Event

Cincinnati, Oh
The score of the first set was 6-1 for Gambino / Ohlmuller. The competitive Jensen's split up and played the second set against one another, Luke partnered with Dave Ohlmuller and Murphy with Chris Gambino. This set was high energy and went deep into a tie-breaker before Luke and David emerged victorious.

The real winners were the fans who braved 20 degree temperature and were treated to a platform tennis of the likes that has never been seen. Luke and Murphy Jensen work the crowd as enthusiastically as they do their opponents. At one point Luke promised hand warmers to everyone who cheered for them, if they crowd cheering them on wasn't enough they trash talked the national champs. Murphy calling Dave "number 1" when he missed a shot, poking fun at his national ranking. When asked if they would continue to play Platform Tennis both Jensen's responded "absolutely - we love this game"

Other winners were the Inner City Youth Organization of Cincinnati who were treated to some court time with the Jensen's and the Viking academy prior to the match.


^^^ Hostess with Luke and Murphy Jensen ^^^

^^^ A singles exhibition match in the Fox Studios ^^^

^^^ A singles exhibition match in the Fox Studios ^^^

^^^ Bob Considine and David Ohlmuller ^^^

^^^ Luke, Murphy, Chris, David, Bob posing backstage ^^^

^^^ Jensen Brothers along with David Ohlmuller and Chris Gambino at the Fox Studios ^^^

^^^ One of the courts that will hold the Midwesterns at the Beckett Ridge Country Club ^^^

David Ohlmuller and Newscaster Play a Set against Jensens Photos

^^^ Brad Johansen of WKRC playing a set teamed with David Ohlmuller ^^^

^^^ Against the Jensen Brothers ^^^

^^^ An overhead serve ^^^

^^^ David Ohlmuller being filmed for television ^^^


^^^ Pictured left to right: Murphy Jensen, Bob Considine, David Ohlmuller and Luke Jensen ^^^

^^^ On the Court getting practice ^^^

^^^ On the Court getting practice ^^^


^^^ Pictured left to right: Chris Gambino, Luke Jensen, Jason Gray, Dave Ohlmuller, Murphy Jensen ^^^

^^^ Post match interview ^^^

^^^ Pre match time with the Inner City Youth Organization of Cincinnati ^^^

^^^ Pre match time with the Inner City Youth Organization of Cincinnati ^^^

^^^ Pre match time with the Inner City Youth Organization of Cincinnati ^^^

^^^ Pre match time with the Inner City Youth Organization of Cincinnati ^^^

^^^ Pre match time with the Inner City Youth Organization of Cincinnati ^^^

If you would like to be informed when this page is updated, please enter your email address in the form to the left.

back to the top
  2004 Midwesterns
Men's Bracket
Women's Bracket
Men's 45+ Bracket
Men's 110+ Bracket

THE Press Kit
Video Trailer of Exhibition
Purchase the Battle At Beckett DVD
Archived News Coverage
Shop by Sport:
Beach Tennis
POP Tennis
Platform Tennis

Bags & Backpacks
Stay Warm
Racquet Accessories


news archives
News is archived by season:
July - June

news - archives - tournaments
fun stuff!
Find a Court to Play!
Play Pong!
sign up for the e-newsletter

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

message boards - contests - help - links - advertising info

pro shop News Archive leagues instruction extras
pro shop home
buy paddles
buy balls
buy accessories
buy shoes
buy for other paddle sports
view cart
News is archived by season:
July - June
leagues home
host your league
other leagues
instruction home
rules of the game
beginners tips
intermediate tips
advanced tips
find a pro
find a court
stats for Paddlepro
advertising at Paddlepro
2001-2016 paddlepro.com ©
click here to advertise on paddlepro.com
website designed and maintained by C3it.com
terms of site use