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Why… For a tennis



This monTh, we’d raTher                                                                                                 My      gigi
be playing Tennis in...                                                                                                 life in
Villamartin spain with Affordable Holidays in the Sun                                                                   quotes
             hy… For a tennis           accommodation. There are plenty          Off-court attractions… There’s         one of tHe greAteSt
             holiday your bank          of social and drill sessions to          a lovely sandy blue flag beach just    doubleS plAyerS of
             manager will approve       choose from, costing €3 per hour         five to ten minutes’ drive from        All time Summed up in
of. affordable Tennis holidays          upwards. There is also partner           Villamartin and three golf courses     A nutSHell
in the sun organises bargain            matching plus group and individual       within five minutes. within an
stays on the Costa blanca with          coaching.                                hour, there’s the historic city of     ‘I’m not the
accommodation costing on average                                                 murcia, the hill town of altea and     smartest person in
around £100 per person, per week                                                 one of europe’s largest theme          my class, but I am
even in peak season, and court                                                   parks, Terra mitica.                   the most
hire from just €4 per hour.                                                                                             competitive…
   and while most tennis holidays                                                Rest & recuperation... Choose          somehow I turn
provide access to a single tennis                                                from a selection of two- and           everything into
venue, here you can play at no                                                   three-bedroom privately owned          a competition.’
less than four local clubs, so you                                               rental properties, from budget         Why she was destined for sport
get four times the on-court                                                      apartments to spacious villas. all
activities and courts.                                                           have access to communal pools.         ‘I will take the fifth on that.’
                                                                                                                        How not to answer a question
Who… largely british, club players                                               Getting there… Villamartin is
(beginners and intermediates                                                     20 minutes from murcia and 45          ‘Thousands of fans are screaming.
are catered for as well). mix-ins                                                minutes from alicante. both airports   We’re up a set and a break and then
and social tennis sessions allow        Refuelling… of Villamartin’s many        are served by several low cost         the King and Queen of Spain show
for mingling with spanish players       restaurants and bars, favourites         airlines from the UK, and have taxi    up. We lose six games in a row. But
and expats.                             include Casa manolo (family-friendly     ranks and car hire offices – we        we won it.’
                                        with spanish cuisine) and meson del      recommend hiring a car.                On winning her first Olympic gold at
Playing... Tennis sessions are sold     lago (lakeside, alfresco dining                                                 the 1992 Barcelona games, defeating
on a ‘pay and play’ basis, so you       beside a castle).                        Paying… The average weekly price       Spain’s Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and
can hit the courts as much or as                                                 for accommodation only in July or      Conchita Martinez with doubles partner
little as you like, and needn’t cough   Pampering… Therapist adrienne            august is £105pp, based on four        Mary Joe Fernandez
up for an expensive package.            hallam offers sports injury treatment,   people sharing a two-bed property.
    The four clubs have 17 courts       aromatherapy and indian head             www.affordable-tennis-holidays-
between them and all are within         massages in guest accommodation, 00 34 966
a 15 minute drive of the                or at her nearby clinic.                 774263

                                                                                                                        ‘I was going to go one way or
                                                                                                                        another and she raised my game
                                                                                                                        and took it to the next level… If not
                                                                                                                        for her, I don’t know where I’d be.’
                                                                                                                        How Julie Anthony, a pro-turned-
                                                                                                                        psychologist, harnessed her skills

                                                                                                                        ‘I have no regrets. I wanted to win
                                                                                                                        a gold medal and I did. I have never
                                                                                                                        been controlled by what people say
                                                                                                                        about me.’
                                                                                                                        She received criticism for representing
                                                                                                                        the US rather than Puerto Rico

                                                                                                                        ‘I don’t miss having to work so
                                                                                                                        hard that I feel like sucking wind.’
                                                                                                                        Why it’s nice to be retired

                                                                                                                        ‘I’m running around like a chicken
                                                                                                                        with my head cut off.’
                                                                                                                        On combining kids, business ventures
                                                                                                                        and an MBA

may/JUn 2009 ACE TENNIS

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