Middle States

Sixty Years of Tennis Passion

July 18, 2018

Norman Bloom began playing tennis more than 60 years ago. But even after six decades, he’s never been more excited about the game.


He’s also never played more.


Bloom, from Pittsburgh, hits the tennis courts nine times per week, on average. He plays mostly on local courts with friends, and also competes in USTA Tournaments whenever he can. Even at 82, he shows no signs of slowing down.


“This game has been amazing for me,” said Bloom, who plays mostly at Highland Park in Pittsburgh . “A big part of the game has been the camaraderie and the health. All of the people who I’ve met and the wonderful places I’ve been able to play…it’s been incredible.”


Bloom plays for the fun of it, but the success clearly and quickly follows. He’s been a staple in district- and section-based rankings, most recently finishing 2017 as the No. ADVERTISEMENT 1-ranked player in the Middle States Men’s 80 division. He held a No. 1 district ranking for eight years in his 70s, and has even cracked the top-100 in national rankings in his time.


The former track, baseball and soccer standout has played — and played well — every sport imaginable. He played golf for some time as an adult, but always found himself coming back to tennis. Once he began playing more frequently around 40 years old, he’s been completely hooked.


So how does he continue to play so well, and so often, as he moves through his 80s?


“Well, the health benefits of tennis are amazing,” he said. “Combined with my diet, tennis helps keep me in shape. I keep a routine of working out in the morning, then playing tennis every evening.”


Bloom, who works in finance, prefers to play singles, but will never turn down a good match. He also never hesitates to compete against someone he hasn’t met before. In fact, he welcomes it.


“Tennis is a microcosm of life,” he said. “Put me on the court for an hour with anyone, and I’ll tell you everything you want to know about that person. Character, fair play, ambition are all obvious during a tennis match.”


Interested in learning more about USTA Tournaments or Leagues? Visit usta.com.


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