yesIf Nadal continues to win Roland Garros at the age of 65, as predicted by Nico Almagro, he will still have another two and a half decades to reach the age at which Enrique Ayala won the Spanish Tennis Veterans Championship in his class. . Because this category, which first appeared in the competition, is +90. To add to everything, the tournament was also held at the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar. Ayala beat Manuel Villanueva (6-2, 6-4) in the final. “We synced in the ring and actually played a few times. Sometimes he hit me and sometimes I hit him.”the hero comments on the Primera Plana.
In addition to their love for the racket, Rafa and Enrique also coincide in thinking about the challenges of the future. Because our protagonist is now interested in the world championship, which will take place in October: “I’m thinking about it. There are also several tournaments planned…” Of those in the ITF circuit, between 500 and 600 annually across the planet, he chooses mainly those who are played in Alicante, Ganda, Valencia or La Manga.Pitches that repeat often: “I think the size of the clubs has an impact, because hundreds of players are showing up and the members are left without pitches. Nadal’s club is very big, with a lot…”
It wouldn’t be weird if the +100 class is there by 2030 or 2035… As long as we can, we’ll play
Enrique Ayala is one of the extremists In 1949 he left Badajoz to study industrial engineering in Madrid and received his doctorate from the Polytechnic University. Exactly in his school there was a dirt track on which he gave his first bats. “I’ve played football before. I started late with tennis, but I always liked it. There were few playgrounds and fewer teachers, so my generation had to educate ourselves.” Much later, Ayala was united by SEK in Villafranca del Castillo. Unfortunately, the Madrid Federation doesn’t usually organize +85 or +90 tournaments, so it’s been a long time since he’s been able to compete in his home community. It’s been almost five years, yes, since he won two +80 tournaments competing with “young men” who have already reached an age beyond her.
It is a matter that calls for reflection. “The maximum for the 90s was +60 or +65 and in 2022 we actually went to +90. It wouldn’t be strange if there was +100 by 2030 or 2035, because we will continue to play as long as possible,” the champion explains. All matches are on clay (“I train on hardcourt on the weekends, but it is true that it is not suitable due to the possibility of getting injured or falling down”) and are played in two sets, with a ten-point tiebreaker to resolve a potential dispute. equality. “The final lasted an hour and a half, but I recently played a match that lasted two hours and 40 minutes,” Enrique says.
At this age, almost everyone is throwing shots and balloons and things like that, but not me; I am an attacking player
To all this, he boasts of playing offensive tennis: “At this age, almost everyone drops shots, jumps and things like that, but I don’t. Certainly.” “There are diseases, of course:”I had a right meniscus tear about five years ago, but at this age they don’t recommend the procedure. Infiltrated with plasma rich in growth factors. It’s supposed to be once every year and a half, but I did it after that… and to this day.”
Enrique does not consider himself retired, among other things because he is not: he continues to run his family property development business, although “it is clear that the pace of work is no longer the same”. He also boasts of his six sons and daughters, and his 21 grandchildren and granddaughters, who take turns accompanying him and leading: “My wife used to attend tournaments, but she leaves little by little. We must bear in mind that these competitions assume a week of travel. When they arrive, I take care of myself a little bit more in terms of hours of training and the fact that I only play on the floor, but I don’t even have a coach. It’s about consistency and that you love sports. If all this is worth anything, it is to set an example. My grandchildren brag and see a lot of people when I play. If someone feels the temptation to start playing, it will be worth it.”
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