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Father and son align on same side for Eastern team

October 12, 2013 09:31 PM
Alan Pawlinski (right) and his son, Brandon, play doubles on the Eastern 18 & Over 4.0 men’s team.
By Sarah Gulbrandsen, special to USTA.com
Like any coming-of-age sports story, it begins with a parent and a child.
Playing on the Eastern 18 & Over 4.0 men’s team at the 2013 USTA League National Championships, Alan Pawlinski and his son, Brandon, both play doubles. Alan, at 49 years old, plays first doubles, while 21-year-old Brandon plays third.
As a child, Brandon played tennis but took an eight-year break from the sport to focus on hockey, football and basketball. He found his way back to the court again, however, and Brandon and Alan soon began playing local tournaments together in their hometown of Buffalo, N.Y.
The father-and-son tandem has had success on the court, including winning the Lockport New York Father-Son Division tournament for four consecutive years. They love tennis and share a special bond because of the sport.
“We have been playing together for six years now in the USTA," said Alan. "Playing in this league with my son is a way to see him more, travel and just do more together.”
Alan’s father, Ted Pawlinski, taught him tennis, and then Alan, in turn, taught Brandon the family’s favorite pastime. Ted taught Alan starting at age 5, and Alan did the same with Brandon. Ted, who is now 75, still plays tennis. It is something that has been passed down through the generations in the Pawlinski family and will continue to be.
“My kids will play tennis; it is what our family does," said Brandon. "It is a great sport, and we all love it."
Now the father and son teammates are sharing an experience they will never forget at Nationals.
“This weekend has been very special to have my dad here to support me and to play on the same team with me,” Brandon said.
Added Alan: “It is great just to be here. I cannot remember a time not playing tennis, and now that we’re here, it’s amazing. We got here together.”
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