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Longboat Key Wednesday, May. 23, 2012 5 years ago

Athlete of the Week: Manfred Welfonder

by: Dora Walters Senior Editor

Manfred Welfonder, an 11-year resident of Longboat Key, began playing tennis as a young man in Germany. He has found exercise, challenges and fun in the game, which he plays five times a week at the Longboat Key Public Tennis Center, the Longboat Key Club, Seaplace and The Players Club.

Why did you begin to play tennis?
It looked like a challenging game, and the players I saw seemed to be enjoying it.

How often do you play and where?
I play five times at week. I have a regular morning game at the Longboat Key Public Tennis Center, but I also play at the Longboat Key Club, Seaplace and The Players Club.

Do you have any routines before a game?
I always have my oatmeal before a morning game. And, before any game, I always warm up.

Do you prefer singles or doubles?
I like both. I just like to play tennis. Maybe mixed-doubles a bit better.

What is your best shot?
My forehand.

Are you a competitive player?
I like to win, so I play to win.

What has been your most memorable game?
Several years ago, in Bermuda, I played mixed-doubles with former New York Mayor David Dinkins. He was 82 at the time. I’ll be playing with him again in a couple of weeks because he will be visiting a friend in the area.

What has been your most interesting tennis play?
I played at The Colony Beach and Tennis Resort for several years. During that time, I played with or against 3,000 men and women. This is where I learned to adjust my game in accordance with whom I was playing.

In addition to the exercise and challenge, what makes tennis so interesting?
I have met so many different people on the tennis court. I have especially enjoyed socializing with them off the court.

Do you play any other sports?
Maybe a game of golf twice a month. Not exactly a sport, but I do workout at the gym seven days a week.

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