74-year-old Carl "Doc" Getty and 18-year-old Freddie Powell.
© Joe Murphy/USTA
By Sue Levine, special to USTA.com
The 2.5 Men's team from the Middle States Section proves that tennis is a game for young and old alike. The youngest member, Freddie Powell, is 18 years old. The oldest member, Carl "Doc" Getty, is 74 years young. It's a combo that placed the team at the USTA National Championships in Rancho Mirage, CA.
Getty picked up the nickname 'Doc" because he's a dentist. He started playing tennis at Lower Merion High School in Philadephia, the same high school Kobe Bryant would later attend. Getty started this team in the Harrisburg/Camp Hill area of Pennsylvania with Captain Jack Skowronski. So far, Getty has been to 33 National Championships.
Powell was looking for a team, so he went to the USTA and got matched up with this group. This match proved to be a great success. Getty says adding Powell's energy and enthusiasm was a good move. He describes Powell as "one of the nicest players we ever recruited. He's always up. He always has a smile on his face. He's a delight."
The feeling is mutual. Powell thinks even though there is a great disparity in the ages of the players, what he enjoys most about being on the team is the sense of fellowship. He says, "I can always get a good laugh with these guys."
Powell finds being on the team is a great learning experience. He says the most important thing he's picked up from the older players is "to be calm, be relaxed and be loose. Take one point at a time, no matter whether you are up or down. Be wise in your choices on and off the court."
Getty hopes he's teaching Powell that the best team doesn't always win at tennis. The team that wins is the team that wants it the most.
And Getty has some advice for tennis players of all ages. He says 'if you want to know the three most important things about tennis, here they are: number one is consistency, number two is constancy, and then number three is consistency."