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The couple that plays together...

By Sue Levine

Holly Worthington of Idaho Falls, Idaho, knows the secret of her happy marriage to her husband, Blake.
“I told him if he wants to be married to me, he has to play tennis," she said.

The Worthingtons have been married for 15 months, and that’s exactly how long they have been playing tennis together. They joined a 6.0 team in USTA Intermountain, and the team got all the way to the USTA Mixed Doubles Championships in Tucson this year.

Holly has been playing tennis most of her life. Blake started playing right after they got married. For them, playing together just adds to the marriage. She says “The longer you play the better the marriage gets. It gives you something in common.”

In fact, their social life revolves around tennis right now. They play on a team with several other couples. They go to tennis parties and clinics, plus they watch tennis together at home. Holly feels, “It’s like having your best friend with you” when they travel to tournaments together.

Of course, there are a few bumps in the road. Blake had some hard words for Holly on the court during their first match of the tournament. They were getting beaten at that moment, things got a bit tense, and Blake let loose with a few expletives. But he says the key is not to take it personally.

“I think that’s why most married couples don’t play together – they take it personally,” he explained.

Despite the occasional flare-ups, Holly says playing tennis together gives them something to talk about, and when one of them goes on at length about a particular point or match, the other one doesn’t get bored. In fact, “sometimes we go to bed talking about tennis.”

This is one couple that breaks the myth that playing tennis together will spell the end of a love match.
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