Next up is one of our newest Tennis Warehouse Playtesters, Karly. She previously played for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s club team and currently works as a Customer Service Representative who answers product question emails as well as women’s apparel fit descriptions. She playtests both racquets and shoes. Check out her interview below.
Racquet of Choice: Wilson nTour Two nCode
String of Choice: Wilson NXT 17
Shoe of Choice: Nike Mirabella III
Apparel of Choice: I love wearing tank tops. Growing up playing in the California sun, I’ve always preferred sleeveless shirts to soak up as many rays as I can (and also to avoid farmer’s tan on my shoulders).
When/Why did you start playing tennis?
I’ve been playing tennis since I was 5 years old, though intermittently. I grew up attending summer and after-school tennis camps and was lucky enough to have several coaches who played on the professional tour. When I was 12 I decided to focus on other sports, though eventually picked tennis back up again in high school and played for the varsity team. Later in college I played for Cal Poly’s Club Tennis Team. I’ve always loved the individual aspect and competitiveness of the sport.
Who inspires you to play tennis?
I don’t think I can pinpoint just one person in particular; many of my peers inspire me to play the great sport. From my co-workers, who are so knowledgeable about tennis and make me want to play every day I work there, to my family who have always been big fans. Also watching players at the professional level never fails to make me want to go hit the courts after seeing a match.
What is your favorite shot to hit and why?
The inside-out forehand. No question about it. I’ve always had more confidence in my forehand than my backhand. I love running around the ball to try to hit the sharp angles.
What racquets have you used (not tested) during your tennis career?
The list fairly is short, but the racquets that I’ve played with are the Wilson Hyper Hammer H5 and the Wilson nTour Two nCode. I started playing with the Wilson nTour Two nCode and still prefer to play with it today.
If you could compare your game style to a pros (past or present), who would it be and why?
I would probably say Lindsay Davenport because of her full, loopy forehand groundstroke. Though sometimes I wish it was because of her height! My short legs and arms are somewhat of a disadvantage at times.
What has been your favorite match you have ever watched (live or on TV)?
One memorable match that comes to mind is the Australian Open 2009 Semifinal with Verdasco and Nadal. The match started late at night and I remember being unsure if I’d be able to stay up that late to watch it live. But as the five-set match went on, it became so exciting that it was hard to fall asleep even after it was over.
What has been your most memorable tennis match (win or lose)?
When I was playing on the Cal Poly Tennis Club Team, my doubles partner and I beat USC’s club team. Our team had a pretty big rivalry with their club team and managed to squeak out a win against them. I remember the entire match match was so close and every point being nerve-racking.
What is the funniest thing that has ever happened while you were playing tennis?
One night at a summer tennis camp I was playing with a friend and during the middle of a baseline rally she just stopped hitting the ball. I asked her why she stopped playing and she pointed toward the service line and said, “You hit a bat.” It took a minute for me to register what she said, but sure enough lying in the middle of the court was a bat. And as if I didn’t already feel bad enough for hitting it, on the court next to us was a group of younger kids who heard what happened and ran over to see the bat. Once they saw it, they then started started yelling, “You killed it! You killed it!” Thankfully it was only stunned and flew away after a few minutes. Afterward the kids at the camp started calling me ‘Bat Woman.’
Have you had any injuries? For how long? How did you deal with them?
Last spring I sprained my wrist while hitting a forehand groundstroke. I’m still not really sure how it happened or how I hit the ball so that it injured my wrist, but I had to take four months off before I was able to play without any pain. The DFX Gyro Ball really helped to strengthen my wrist.
What is your favorite part of being a TW playtester?
The motivation it gives me to become a better player. I’m surrounded by extremely talented tennis players and am so grateful to have the opportunity to try different products.
Who is your favorite TW playtester to hit/play with?
I love hitting with anyone who would like to hit with me! I’ll take all the practice I can get.
What has been your favorite review and why?
I’ve only just started doing reviews, however, so far I think my favorite has been the Barricade 7.0 shoes. When I was in high school, I played with the Barricade 4′s and I think it’s neat to be able to see the changes that have been made to the shoe over the different generations.
Do you have any nicknames from the TW playtest squad?
“The Most Awesome, Best-Looking Playtester Ever” or “The Chosen One,” just to name a few. Kidding! No, I’m fairly new to the playtesting team and I don’t have any nicknames yet. Though I wouldn’t be opposed to any of the ones listed previously.
Please check back next week when we feature another playtester in another installment of “Meet the Playtesters.”