I meet tennis people from all over and have found that my weekly tennis column in The Times of Trenton is a bit unique, in that a lot of newspapers do not have regular tennis coverage. When I began writing the column 22 years ago, it was for that very reason. Tennis just wasn’t being covered enough, and I approached the sports editor to see if I could write one. Even though I had no writing background, my whole family played tennis, my daughter was a ranked player, and I knew the ins and outs of the tennis community. Therefore, I felt there would be enough to keep a weekly column going. Luckily, that was the case; and luckily, The Times has supported tennis and my column.
There are certain things I write about every year, like announcing USTA League captains meetings, the Cryan Tournament, and the Philadelphia Freedoms matches. In February I always print the names of area players who received district and sectional rankings. In August, I usually write about the US Open from a spectator’s perspective. I promote upcoming parties, tennis benefits, and special tournaments. If appropriate, I give the results of area events like the Mercer County tournaments, fundraisers, and the USTA League district and sectional championships. I give reports of any local teams that made a national championship and try to attend events that I think would be of interest to readers. I keep my ears and eyes open to ideas for features on interesting people and events. This past year, I featured the Nassau club’s 4-3-2-1- party concept and I interviewed a professional tennis photographer about taking action tennis shots. I once collaborated with a sports doctor who specializes in shoulder injuries, and other times I have worked with experts on equipment recommendations. I review major tennis books. Once I wrote about a stray cat at the local courts that became the club mascot. When Cablevision and Verizon dropped the Tennis Channel from their lineups during this past US Open, I contacted the TC and was able to report on that.
There is tennis news year-round, so it is not just about the summer. Sometimes my column consists of a number of blurbs and sometimes it’s on just one or two topics. My goal is to keep it informational and make it a central point of tennis information for the community. I love when people e-mail or call me with column ideas, and that does happen. And then sometimes a lightbulb goes off in my head, and I think of something I’ve never done before.
From e-mails I sometimes receive, I believe that many people read my column online at www.nj.com/times. Readers would have to do a search for my name (Ann LoPrinzi) to get to my columns. However, I understand that every column is not posted and I’m not sure what is and isn’t. Thanks to everyone who reads and supports my column, and if you have any story ideas, shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.