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Tennis Wiz Litwin Sets Example For All Ages

“The great thing about age and tennis is that you always feel young,” said Bob Litwin, well known North Shore senior player, about his latest accomplishment, winning the United States Tennis Association’s National Men’s 65 Grass Court Championships in both singles and doubles earlier this month. “Tennis keeps you young,” added the age and injury-defying Litwin, who grew up in Great Neck, played for many years in Port Washington and now lives in Glenwood Landing.

“When I was playing in my 35’s and 40’s, I never really thought I’d be playing in the 65's and over,” he added, referring to his latest victories, achieved at the Seabright Lawn Tennis & Cricket Club in New Jersey. Despite a three-year layoff due to two hip surgeries, Litwin has compiled a 35-1 record this year and won the Grand Masters gold medal singles title at the World Maccabiah Games in Israel in July.

At Seabright, Litwin followed a particularly rigorous schedule, playing almost every day during the 2-week span leading up to the final day of competition. “When you’re younger you tend to play every day,” he explained. “When you’re older you need to have sort of a balance between getting your game right and making sure that your body is ready to play. If you play too much, you can get very fatigued. You get hurt more easily. It’s always a challenge.”

Litwin, who regularly addresses groups as a motivational speaker and has a book being published next spring (Live The Best Story of Your Life: A World Champion’s Guide to Lasting Change), has a unique philosophy about his game. “Results are part of what I play for, certainly,” he admitted. “But I always think, ‘How can I do better next time? What can I do to be a better person on the court?’ I keep thinking about my mission about things that are not related to winning and losing, but related to the kind of competitor that I hope to be.”

Litwin is a great admirer of U.S. Open champ Rafael Nadal and feels that they have similar outlooks. “I’ve been dominating this year,” he pointed out. “He’s been dominating this year after coming back from knee problems. We do play a different game and we’re in a different world. Of course, you go out there and you always want to win, but he says it’s not always about that. He just wants to keep on getting better.  That’s what I’m totally aligned with.”

Ironically, Litwin met Nadal’s finals opponent, Novak Djokovic, the No. 1 ranked player in the world, several weeks ago and played informally with him in a doubles match. Who was Litwin cheering for in that finals match against Nadal? “I was rooting for Djokovic,” he admitted. “When I met him, I found him to be a delightful young man, very bright, very funny. He was a great guy. He was relaxed and comfortable and not blown up with himself at all. But I usually root for Nadal. I’ve never met him, but what I see in him, I really, really like.”

Litwin is a member of the Eastern Tennis Hall of Fame.  He was the first director of tennis for the Village Club of Sands Point and was a consultant to the Port Washington Yacht Club when it began to develop its tennis program.

He has won the International Tennis Federation World Championship, 14 United States Tennis Association National titles from 1991 to 2007 and was ranked first in the over 55 years old bracket in 2005. He’s also been selected for the Senior Davis Cup team nine times.

News

Gould A. ‘Stretch’ Ryder III, accomplished sailor, pilot, businessman, civic leader, and steward of the beautiful waterfront of Port Washington, passed away Oct. 24 at The Amsterdam at Harborside Hospice Center in Port Washington.

Stretch, as he was known to all, was well known as part of the crew on Ted Turner’s “Courageous” when it won the America’s Cup in 1977. Turner stayed in touch and visited Stretch last week.

Stretch’s life was marked by numerous personal contributions and accomplishments.

Parents concerned about classroom sizes spoke up at the Port Washington Board of Education meeting, as the board passed an approval of the larger sizes.

Parents spoke of class sizes at the district’s elementary being in the mid 20s, an amount they felt compromised the quality of their children’s education.

“The board of education changed our children’s education for the worse,” said one mother of larger average class sizes the board had approved last year. The comment drew clapping from the audience.


Sports

The Port Washington Soccer Club has presented Schreiber High School graduate and captain of the Port Washington Blue Knights, Cameron Boroumand, with the annual $1,000 Joe Cohen Scholarship.

The award, which has been presented annually for over 10 years, was established by the Port Washington Soccer Club to honor Joseph Cohen, a gifted athlete who attended college on a soccer scholarship. He went on to achieve outstanding success, first academically, and then in his professional life.  He gave his time fully and with great heart to innumerable charitable endeavors.

The tough and talented Port Washington volleyball team defeated Hicksville at an away game this past Friday in all three sets.

With strong returning players who also play on club teams year round, the Port Washington team plays with a certain level of chemistry. Megan Murphy and Kelly Nardone led the way with 12 assists and Mia Walker had six kills.


Calendar

Schreiber Symphony Orchestra - November 6

Port Summer Show - November 6

Residents For A More Beautiful Port Washington Meeting - November 7


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com