Andy Sawyer started playing tennis when he was 8 years old, after his dad introduced him to the sport. His dad and brother played with him, then he started playing tennis in high school. He would have played in college but was busy with another sport — basketball. In Wisconsin, where he lived formerly, he played platform tennis, which is a cross between racquetball, tennis and squash and is played in the winter. Needless to say, it doesn’t get cold enough here to play, so he took up tennis again after moving here. Sawyer played in the Observer Challenge this weekend.
What got you back into tennis?
I retired two years ago from commercial banking and got into tennis. I started playing two to three times a week, joined a league, and now I’m playing six times a week.
What other sports have you played?
Golf, paddle tennis, basketball, track in high school, and I bike, swim and hike. I’ve played a lot of sports. It keeps you young and fit and stimulated.
What’s the hardest part of playing?
The mental aspect. The idea of concentrating and of not getting tight. It’s also hardest to develop a winning attitude.
What’s your favorite part of playing?
The camaraderie, that’s the most enjoyable. (My wife, Karen, and I) made many friendships through tennis. The best tennis players on the West Coast of Florida play on Longboat Key.
Where is the prettiest place you’ve ever played?
Maui in Hawaii. It was on a tennis court among the lava rocks. It was fabulous.
What is the breakfast of champions?
Raisin Bran with blueberries and raspberries. I like eggs and bacon and all the stuff you shouldn’t eat, too.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
In tennis, it’s cheaters. People who call bad line calls or take it too seriously. In life, it’s people who don’t appreciate all the blessings they have. They want more when they should just be happy.
If you could have any super power what would it be and why?
Peace throughout the word. It would save a lot of grief, save a lot of money and save a lot of lives.
If you could select any actor to play you in your life movie, who would it be?
Robert Redford, because he kind of looks like me. At least, that’s what other people say.