THE VINEYARD GAZETTE
edition of Friday, June 22, 2006
“Tennis Program Offers Lessons with No Strings”
Written by Max Hart
In 2002 when he first walked onto the court at the Vineyard Youth Tennis center, four-year-old Connor Downing was barely big enough to see over the net, let alone hold a racquet.
And like many of the dozens of aspiring Andre Agassis and Serena Williamses who shuffled onto the center’s clay courts that year, when it came to the proper way of moving his feet, the right way of angling his racquet and the best approach to hitting the fuzzy yellow ball bouncing toward him, Connor was at a loss: they were not easy concepts to grasp for someone whose racquet was almost as big as he was.
Last weekend, the bigger yet still pint-sized player from Edgartown stepped onto an indoor court in Wayland in his tennis whites and tossed a serve into the air. Across the net from him waited Sam Lapidus, the 169th ranked junior tennis player in New England. Connor swung his racquet high over his head, struck the ball and watched as it sailed over the net….