Joe Salvino practically lives at the Longboat Key Public Tennis Center where he plays three days a week for three hours a day. Other days, he just comes to watch the matches. He says he enjoys the game more than anything else in life, aside from his wife, Jackie.
What got you into tennis?
My daughter, Lee, is a teaching pro. My daughter becoming a tennis player (is what got me started). I became a backboard for her.
What is your favorite aspect of tennis?
Getting the other guys injured … no (he laughs). I like running guys with moves, like walking the dog.
What’s the most difficult element of playing?
Nothing. I don’t want to be braggadocios, but I just don’t find anything about it difficult.
If you could hit with anyone in the world, with whom would you want to hit?
Roger Federer, of course. Probably Nadal, too, because I would just like to see how much speed the ball has on it and if I could actually return it.
What is the breakfast of champions?
Water and a vitamin.
Why do you frequent the Public Tennis Center?
It’s just a wonderful place to be. It’s lovely, inviting and relaxing, and there’s a great community. It’s the only place anybody ever listens to me!
What’s your favorite shot?
I like the drop shot because I’m great at it. It’s the least favorite shot to be beat by, but it’s my favorite.
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Correction: Heitlers to net 75 years in April
In its Sept. 18 issue, the Longboat Observer featured Plymouth Harbor resident George Heitler, a lifelong tennis player who has played tennis for most of his 99 years and is a regular at the Longboat Key Public Tennis Center.