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Bachmann Represents Senior Tennis On, Off Court

September 15, 2008 01:26 PM

By Tori Townsend

Joe Bachmann grew up in Budapest, Hungary and had his first experience in tennis as a ball boy for Hungarian Davis Cup matches.  He played junior tennis and then came to America, where he played tennis in high school and college tennis at Arizona State University.  After a brief hiatus to focus on family life, Joe has since become one of the best adult and senior competitive tennis players in Florida.  He has represented Florida and the United States in many ITF tournaments and is usually ranked top ten in the world in his age group and top two nationally.  Joe won the USTA Florida Male Player of the Year in 2006 and has served on the Adult Competitive Tennis Council for five years.  He was recently named to the USA Britannia Cup Team (Men 65 Age Category) and will compete October 12-18 at the ITF Seniors & Super-Seniors World Team Championships in Antalya, Turkey.  He resides in Sarasota, Florida.

TT: You took a brief hiatus from tennis.  What was the spark that got you back playing tennis competitively?
JB: I saw there was an open tournament in Ohio where I lived at the time and thought, “Maybe I should start playing again.”  I enjoyed watching tennis and so I decided to play in the tournament.  I played in that same event the following year and won it, so I was motivated to keep playing.

TT: It worked!  You have achieved national No. 1 rankings in the men’s 60s and 65s and No. 2 rankings in the 50s and 55s.  What is the secret to your success?
JB:  I am a steady player, in good physical condition and I try to figure out how to take advantage on the court.  Plus, I have played tennis for so long that I’ve developed good basics, which is important especially in long grueling matches.  You are not going to overpower anybody in senior tennis; you just try to outplay them.

TT: The camaraderie among adult and senior plays seems to be pretty high…
JB: It is very high.  Most players are very friendly and approachable and there are very few problems or contentious issues.  There are different personalities that you have to adjust to, but overall, the senior circuit is a pleasant experience.

What are you looking forward to in your upcoming trip to Turkey?
JB: I am looking for very tough competition and a great experience.  I am looking forward to seeing people there that I have met before.  I hope to play my best, play to win, and represent the U.S. and Florida in a positive way.

TT: You are a world traveler for sure.  What are some of your favorite places you’ve seen?
JB: I am fortunate.  I have traveled and played in about 21 countries and one of the highlights was that I played in Australia for a U.S. team in the 55s, and also played for an international team in Monte Carlo, at the place where they have the Monte Carlo Masters.  I had an opportunity to play an international tournament in my birthplace of Hungary and was able to win that, and I’ve also had good experiences in Mallorca, Spain, Buenos Aires, Germany and a lot of fun places in the U.S.  So I’ve had a fairly wide range of sites where I’ve played.

Joe Bachmann.jpg
TT: Can you tell people a major goal of the adult competitive council?
JB: To maintain senior tennis tournaments and keep them going and growing.  It is important to have venues for people 55 and older to have a chance to compete and play tournaments.  You have a lot of participation by adults and seniors in tournaments and there is interest from both in-state and out-of-state players.  We hope to keep adult and senior tennis alive and healthy by having good places to play and create a competitive, but friendly atmosphere.

TT: Do you see yourself playing long into the future?
JB: Well, I don’t know about into my 90s, but I enjoy the competition to be honest.  I enjoy traveling and getting together with friends.  Tennis is certainly something that keeps you in good shape health-wise and keeps you mentally focused, and it is just a motivator to be able to be doing that.  I like to do my best and compete, and I still look forward playing in tournaments as I get older.

TT: What is next on the horizon?
JB: I hope to play this international event (World Team Championships) and to play some of the men’s state and national 65 events in the upcoming months and year.  I expect to play some international tournaments.  My schedule is pretty flexible – it is not that fixed.  But I definitely plan to continue playing!






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