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Dear Recreational Tennis Player

Welcome to the revamped Roving Player. One of the benefits of life as a Roving Player is the chance to watch and learn lessons first-hand from the world's very best tennis players and wisest coaches. Joel Drucker will take what's current in tennis and discuss how this can improve your game. We hope you enjoy the new column and let us know what you think.

Madrid Masters- The Long Hard Season
October - Champions Cup
September - Andre Agassi - The Making of a Champion
August 20 - New Haven: How to gear yourself up for high-stakes tennis
Aug 10 -  East West Bank & Masters Series Montreal: How to take on a better player
July 30 - Acura Classic: What you can learn from Venus Williams

Read Archived Roving Player 

July 17, 2007
July 3, 2007
June 12, 2007
May 22, 2007
May 8, 2007
April 24, 2007
March 27, 2007
March 13, 2007
January 30, 2007
January 9, 2007
December 26,2006
December 14, 2006
November 16, 2006
October 24, 2006
October 10, 2006
September 19, 2006
September 5, 2006
August 1, 2006
-  July 14, 2006
June 26, 2006
June 19, 2006

A word from Joel

My name is Joel Drucker. I write about professional tennis for a living, but that's only one reason why I'm writing to you.

You see, I am also one of you. I'm a 45-year-old 4.5 player who's been playing since he was 12 - and got yelled at for being a "dinker" the first time I ever played a tournament (by a victorious opponent!).

I've been through many of the same experiences as you - strange league matches, odd happenings during tournaments, wacky misunderstandings between you and your opponents, anguish at doubles partners.

I know how crazy this world of recreational tennis can, that in some senses its deregulated nature makes it much more bizarre than anything the pros go through. I've also been lucky enough to have spent many hours talking and even occasionally hitting with some of the finest minds in the game - people like Billie Jean King, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, John Newcombe, and many other tennis legends.

My goal is to bring all that experience to this column - "The Roving Player" -- and offer you advice that will help us enjoy this game more. After all, if you're not making money, it better be fun, right? Then again, as that consummate tactician, Brad Gilbert, once told me, "Everyone says they play for fun. But I guarantee you it's more fun to win."

So, please, share your opinions and write in your questions at

That's enough for now. I've got a doubles match in an hour.

See you on the court,
-Joel Drucker