Everyone Has a Story
“Everyone has a story.”
Mike Ehrenberg says those words confidently. And for the last year, he’s been giving people an outlet to share theirs.
Ehrenberg, who lives in Pennington, New Jersey, has been recording phone interviews with tennis players and many others with interesting backgrounds from his high school and around the tennis industry. He’s posted the interviews on his personal Facebook feed as a way to reconnect and share stories with his network of friends and family. A few of the interviews include well-known Middle States tennis advocates like Fred Perrin, Emma Levy, Kenny Dill and Mike Creamans.
“It’s been a lot of fun to catch up with people and have these conversations,” said Ehrenberg, a USTA Middle States Board Member who also serves on the volunteer New Jersey District Council. “The feedback has been really nice to hear. It’s great to be able to help share people’s stories.”
Ehrenberg himself has quite the story to share. He grew up around the tennis courts of New Jersey, chasing down balls for his dad (a competitive player in his own right) and learning the game. He played junior tournaments and set records at his high school that lasted nearly 30 years. Ehrenberg eventually played three seasons at the University of Delaware, but an illness at the end of his junior year ended his college career prematurely.
That caused Ehrenberg to take a long break from the sport. It took years for him to recover physically — not to mention the disappointment he had in not being able to play with his teammates (which had a school record 15-1 season that season).
But nearly 16 years later, Ehrenberg rediscovered tennis again.
“Someone entered me in a money tournament in North Jersey in 1997,” he said. “I ended playing the No. 1 35-year-old on the east coast, losing in a super-tiebreak. I figured if he was No. 1, then maybe if I put some time into the game again, I would be competitive again.”
He did just that. For the last two decades, tennis has been one of Ehrenberg’s greatest passions. He’s an active competitor in USTA Tournaments, Leagues and Intersectional Cup play. He’s earned top-50 rankings nationally, top-5 rankings in the section and No. 1 rankings in New Jersey. He plays four times per week at 6:30 a.m.
“I can’t imagine living without tennis,” he said.
He’s also giving back to the game. On top of his volunteer roles with the USTA, Ehrenberg coaches at Rider University where he has been since 2013. He is a long time tournament director for the Nelson Green Senior Tournament and captains Intersectional Cup teams that have competed from New England to Florida.
He said he enjoys every aspect of his life in tennis, but truly loves his time off the court with his daughter Sarah (who played club tennis for the University of Delaware) and his wife, Ann Marie.
“Hopefully there is a lot more to come,” he said. “I’m happy to be involved. I’m trying to enjoy every step and see where else tennis can take me.”
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