Five Questions for…Brett Meyer, New Tennis Coalition SF Board Member

Brett Meyer joined the TCSF board in January. He learned tennis during his childhood and continued playing through college for his Division III team, ranking in the top 50 in the country his senior year. After a long hiatus, Brett rediscovered his love for the sport through his wife and two sons, who are now avid tennis players in Marin County and San Francisco.

As a TCSF board member, Brett looks forward to cultivating and expanding public tennis in San Francisco. He has a particular passion for junior related programs. He says his sons have already gained lifelong skills through competition and would like to see more young players benefit from what the sport has to offer.

1. How did you first get into tennis?

I grew up in Colorado where winter sports like skiing or ice skating are often the route many kids go down for athletics. As a fairly tall person, I'm not sure I've ever had the best balance in the world and so those sports were not really working for me as a kid.  When I was 10 years old, my parents took me to my first tennis lesson and the sport just clicked for me right away and I fell in love with it. I spent the next 15 years dedicated to becoming the best player I could be.

2. You played competitively as a junior and college student. Can you share some of your best memories?

During my senior year in high school, I played number one singles on a team that was ranked third in Colorado for the highest level of competition of 5A.  Interestingly though, the memory is a bittersweet one in that I failed to qualify as an individual for the state championships, losing a heartbreaking match in 35 degree weather.  Despite this individual disappointment, I realized as the captain of the team I needed to be there for teammates, all of whom qualified for state championships. I cheered and helped coach the rest of our team to close out the season in style with two of our doubles teams winning the state title for their divisions.  

My best memories are from college, having played all four years at Principia College in Illinois.  The friends I made during those four years are still some of the closest people in my life despite living across the country now.  If I had to pick one memory out in particular it was likely the win I had playing #1 singles my senior year at home against DePauw University, who's #1 player was ranked in the top 20 in the country for Division III at the time. I beat him 6-3, 6-2.  It was likely the single best tennis match I played in my life. I still remember overhearing their coach say to the player, "I don't know what to tell you, but either this guy slows down or you are toast today".

3. Your family members are avid tennis players. How has their involvement redefined your love for the sport?

I burned out from tennis in my mid 20's when it became clear to me that while I loved the sport tremendously, I wasn't gifted enough to play on the satellite tour or compete consistently at high end open tournaments.  After a long hiatus from tennis it was my two sons (15 and 12) and my wife who helped me rediscover my passion for the game.  It has been a joy and an honor to help them learn the game of tennis and see them all improve while also rediscovering my love of the game and competition.

4. You recently joined the Tennis Coalition SF Board of Directors. What inspires you to contribute to public tennis in San Francisco?

Growing up in Colorado, I played a good deal of my tennis at a place called Gates Tennis Center in Denver, which has a number of similarities to the Lisa & Douglas Goldman Tennis Center here in San Francisco. In addition, many of the first tennis lessons that my sons participated in were at the Goldman Tennis Center. So to me, the tie to public tennis and the development of our youth and their ability to compete, grow, and care about others has always been a part of my life. I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to continue that connection in a more concrete way as a board member of the Tennis Coalition as we champion public tennis for all.

5. What interests and hobbies do you have off the court?

I'm quite the bibliophile, often reading two or three different books at the same time.  I also have a love of sports cards and collectibles that I rediscovered again more recently after collecting quite a bit as a child with my father.  My favorite sports collectible once it is finished will be a piece of art depicting the rookie card of Roger Federer that is made out of thousands of cut up pieces of other tennis cards!  The artist Tim Carroll is an absolute genius and I'm thrilled that I was the first one to ask him to do a tennis card piece as all of his work historically has been baseball, football, and basketball cards.  Maybe there is a Nadal fan out there that should look Tim up!