August 2017 – Ross Grana

Tennis Ace of the Month – Ross Grana

ross grana

 

Tennis Ace – August 2017

Where were you born and raised?

Pittsburgh

 

How long have you been associated with the Highland Park Tennis Club? In what capacities?

I have been playing at Highland Park for 8 or 9 years.  Bob Gibbs offered to hit balls with me the first time I came to the courts.

 

At what age, where and with whom did you first begin playing tennis?

I first started playing at the tennis courts in Frick Park when I was around ten years old. 
I attended Regent Square grade school right next to the courts.
I played with my neighborhood friends, but we didn’t know to play.
I never had a lesson, but I remember watching Bill Colbert play there.  

Did you play for any school teams?  If so, what teams, when and at what schools?

I didn’t play much during High school,  I had to work for my father in the family grocery store

 

What level tennis player are you now?  What was your highest ranking?

I really don’t know, I have never been ranked

 

Do you play in tournaments now?  If so, why?  If not, why not?

I used to play doubles with Jim Quigley in the local tournaments. 

He taught me a lot about how to be a supportive partner, how to be someone other players wanted to partner with.

 

Do you prefer singles, doubles and or mixed play?  Why?

I enjoy playing all of them.  I like singles for the great work-out aspect. 

I like doubles and mixed for the social and competition benefits

 

Name two of your favorite tennis players and tell why they are your favorites.

My favorite professional tennis player is Roger Federer. 

I admire his skill and  tenacity. And he is a true gentleman. 

My favorite local player is Norm Bloom.  I admire him for the same reasons.

 

If you could ask each of them a question, what would the questions be?

Could they help me be a better tennis player?

 

What is it about the game that you like? Why?

Mainly, I like the social part of the game and the aerobic benefits

Is there anything about the game that you don’t like and if so, what is it and why?

I like everything about tennis except for bad line calls

 

If you could change one thing about tennis, what would it be?

I would like local governments to take better care of the courts

 

What do you consider the strongest aspect of your tennis game? Why?

Keeping track of the score when I play with older players since they can’t.

 

What part of your tennis game would you most like to improve? Why?

I would like to improve my serve, forehand, backhand and net play.  Other than those, I am satisfied

 

Do you have a personal tennis match that stands out in your mind?  Please share the circumstances of that match with us.

About 20 years ago, in an East Hills Tennis League match against Vince Romito and Jeff Crane,

Dave Pozek and I were down 9 to 1 in a 10 game pro set.  We rallied to come back and win.

 

Aside from tennis, in what other athletic activities do you participate?

I take long bike rides

What is your favorite type of music?

I like both kinds. Country and Western.  No, seriously,  I like all types of music except hard rock and stuff like it.

Name your favorite musical artist/group?

Alan Parsons Project

What is your favorite food?

Italian

What can always be found in your refrigerator?

Spinach and cheese

What is your favorite vacation spot?

Sicily

If there is anything that you would change about the world in which we live today, what would it be?

Environmental protection to save our planet

What would most others be surprised to know about you?

I am a pretty good cook

Is there anything you would like to add?

I would like to thank all the great people I have met at Highland Park for demonstrating what can be done when people from all walks of life can come together to share a passion for something like tennis and ignore all the social barriers that exist in the world around us, keeping us apart.