Tennis Ace of the Month Pat Stewart
Tennis Ace November 2016
Where were you born and raised?
Pittsburgh, PA – Garfield
If you aren’t from Pittsburgh or the surrounding areas, what brought you to Pittsburgh, PA?
At what age, where and with whom did you first begin playing tennis?
I first started tennis as a teenager. My sister gave me a tennis racket for Christmas. I started playing with my brother and other players in Garfield. We played at Fort Pitt grade school. At that time, the school had two tennis courts. Melvin Brown was the first person who helped me learn to play.
Did you play for any school teams? If so, when and what schools?
What level tennis player are you now? What was your highest ranking?
I haven’t played competitively in several years. I don’t have a current ranking. My highest ranking was a 3.5
Do you play in tournaments now? If so, why? If not, why not?
No. I no longer play in tournaments. I haven’t played in a few years. New interest and lack of free time interfere with my availability to commit.
Do you prefer singles, doubles and or mixed play? Why?
I really like mixed doubles. I enjoy the mix of skill and different styles of play with mixed. I like the challenge of playing with and against men.
Name two of your favorite tennis players and tell why they are your favorites.
Arthur Ashe – He was a great player and even greater humanitarian. I think he was an all-around classy gentleman.
Chu Che DeVera – A local Pittsburgh single’s champion. She had a wicked game and was unbeatable in her day. She was a fierce competitor on the court and a generous kind soul off the courts. She played out of Monroeville Racket club. I played doubles with her one year in United States Tennis Association leagues.
If you could ask each of them a question, what would the questions be?
Arthur- If Arthur was alive today I would ask him what he thinks about NFL player Colin Kaepernicks decision to not stand during the national anthem?
Chuchi – Will you EVER give me the recipe for your much coveted pistachio cake? PLEASE!!!!!
What is it about the game that you like? Why?
I like the challenge it presents both mentally and physically. It is a much more complicated game than meets the eye. Mostly, I like the social aspect of it. I have met people from all walks of life through tennis. Most of my dearest and closet friends are people I play tennis with at Highland Park.
Is there anything about the game that you don’t like and if so, what is it and why?
The physical wear and tear on my body is tough. I don’t like the withdrawal that I go through at the end of the outdoor tennis season .
If you could change one thing about tennis, what would it be?
It would be easier for me to master.
What do you consider the strongest aspect of your tennis game? Why?
My physical fitness and stamina., It’s the one thing I can control. I have the toughest time controlling that little ball!
What part of your tennis game would you most like to improve? Why?
All of it! I spend time developing one aspect of my game yet, there are always so many other necessary skills that demand as much time and attention. That little green ball can make me crazy mad.
Do you have a personal tennis match that stands out in your mind? Please share the circumstances of that match with us.
Yes, the last tournament I played was one of the Highland Park Wrap Ups. I played mixed doubles with “Doc” Morris Turner. We had a very fun, competitive game against HPTC’s Lawade Garris and Fred Crawford. This was the first tournament Doc and I played together. This was the last opportunity I had to play in the wrap Up tournament.
Aside from tennis, in what other athletic activities do you participate?
Yoga, swimming, hiking, bike riding, and working out at the gym.
What is your favorite type of music?
I like a variety of music. Whatever sounds good to me and gets my toe tapping.
Name your favorite musical artist/group?
Hmmm… Maybe Stevie Wonder.
What is your favorite food?
What can always be found in your refrigerator?
Fruit of some sort
What is your favorite vacation spot?
That’s a tough one. I like any vacation. Though, one of my favorite places is the South West region. Monument Valley, The Grand Canyon, Sedona and the surrounding areas. I had some pretty amazing experiences out there.
What would most others be surprised to know about you?
I wanted to be a percussionist. I am currently learning African Drumming.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thanks to President, Vicki Bey, Board Members and Volunteers for all your dedication and hard work with the Highland Park Tennis Club. You really do make a difference in the community building positive relationships on and off the courts.
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