It’s all about Love

Bob and Joan Thompson
By Tom LaDue, USTA.com

Surprise, Ariz. - Who would have thought that a friendly tennis match back in 1985 in Salem, Oregon would lead to true love for Bob and Joan Thompson.

“I was working in Washington at the time and was an avid tennis player and one day stopped by the local club looking to get on a court and hit some balls,” replied Bob. “When I arrived, there was no court available but saw two women playing singles. So I asked the two ladies (one being Joan) if they would mind if I and a friend joined them and played some mixed doubles.”

Over the next few years Bob and Joan kept in touch and would see each other on the courts occasionally.

In 1994 Bob decided to pop the famous question to his love, and I’m sure you can guess her answer.

“We have always hit it off and we enjoy being on the courts together….whether it’s mixed doubles, or rooting each other on on the court,” replied Bob.

Tennis has always been a huge part of Bob’s life.

Bob stated, “My goal was to be ranked number one in the Pacific Northwest section in the starting at the 35 age groups all the way to the 55’s.”

To say tennis runs in Bob’s family would be an understatement, as three of his four boys have followed serve just like their dad. Bob’s son Jason really made of name for himself when he played with Vincent Spadea from 1991-1992 on the USTA Junior National Team.

Bob’s fourth son, well that’s another story.

Matt appreciated the sport growing up but wanted to do something a little different in the sports world.

“He decided to go in a different direction and competes in mixed martial arts,” joked Bob.

This past weekend Matt took to the ring and was able to survive a spirited effort from Ryan Lopez, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to earn a first round submission by an arm bar to improve his record to 11-8.

Both Bob and Joan are looking to follow in Matt’s footsteps and each win their respective USTA League USTA League presented by Chrysler Super Senior National Championships.

If neither Bob nor Joan brings home a National Championship this weekend they will still be enjoying themselves as they are celebrating their 22nd wedding anniversary.

Leaning over slightly Joan smiled and replied, “Honestly I didn’t feel like playing mixed doubles as I was enjoying the singles match I was playing.”

But when asked who wins if they play head-to-head Bob said nothing while Joan just smiled.

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