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8 Questions with Super Senior Tennis Player Jerry Kirk

February 2, 2009 12:54 PM

By: Larry Turville


Jerry Kirk

Jerry Kirk, 64, from Atlanta, Ga. has been a regular on the USTA Senior Circuit for a several years. However, it wasn’t until Hugh Thompson (Alpharetta,Ga.) asked him to play doubles with him that he blossomed and under Hugh’s guidance became one of the top doubles players in his division. Jerry has practiced against more backboards than any player in the U.S. and as tennis player, Jerry has also acquired a few unusual habits. His goal is to become a complete player no matter how long it takes.

  1. How did you get started in tennis?

I grew up close to Moore’s Park in Miami and used to go over as a kid and watch people play. Then I got asked to play and they would loan me a racquet. To practice I would hit against the fire station wall.

  1. Did you play in college?

I was a walk-on at Georgia Tech and after a year on the team the coach wouldn’t give me a scholarship; so I asked the Athletic Director, Boddy Dodd if he could help me. An hour later he gave me a full scholarship, but said he didn’t have room for me on the training table and would just have to give me food money. I said that was OK.

  1. You have a fascination with backboards. What are your favorites and how long do you practice?

Bitsy Grant Tennis Center in Atlanta is probably my favorite, but there is also a great wall in Naples behind the Coastal Mall. I like to work out for about 45 minutes.

  1. As a diet conscious athlete what do you eat for breakfast before a big match?

I like a 7-11 Big Gulp diet coke and to do crossword puzzles.

  1. How about your best accomplishments in tennis?

I got lucky and Hugh Thompson invited me to play in the World Championships in Australia because his regular partner Barry Conway couldn’t go. We ended up winning the World Championships. *They did receive a default in the finals, but it still counts as a win.

  1. What is your favorite senior tournament?

The Atlanta Senior Invitational is probably the best while the Bocage Senior Invitational in Baton Rouge, La. may be the most fun.

  1. Favorite Restaurant?

Because of one of the senior players named Kelly Hall, who is affiliated with Hooters restaurant, I got a VIP discount card to eat at Hooters. It seems to have grown on me and I tend to go there in whatever town I’m playing. Atlanta has several outstanding Hooters.

  1. You have a dog?

Yes, he is a basset hound and his name is Dork. He’s a great dog, but does seem to smell like a dog and occasionally pee in places he shouldn’t.

 

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