Asking if you have a favorite tennis player is like asking if you have a favorite kid.
Lance Falce
Head Teaching Professional, PTR Teaching Professional

…And I’ve got five.

It’s fun watching the differences. Take John McEnroe, I think he simply couldn’t control his antics, whereas Jimmy Connors was self-aware. While all the pros may have something different to admire, I think there’s a lot less to admire when watching the 2023 US Open. But they’re young, so we’ll see…

I also think, no matter how special somebody thinks they are, 99% of people are easily replaced. Jan Irwin is in the 1%. That has made working with her for nearly 40 years a pleasure.

My Dad’s an intense guy. When he commits to something, he’s all in. A gifted athlete, he played baseball, basketball, and football, and in the 1970s, he started playing tennis. Self-taught, he’d read all the tennis magazines, so that he could teach me. And that started when I was 10 years old. We’d play every day after work in the park across the street, and when I was in 8 th grade, I participated in winter clinics. A city kid, I played tennis for four years at Alderdice High School and two years at Pitt, where I studied Information Science. (Pitt had shut down its tennis program to fund other sports.) During college summers, I helped run tournaments for the City Parks Program. Later, I started teaching tennis at South Park. That’s when Jan called.

The rest is history.


Favorite Female Pro: Steffi Graf

If I’m being forced into a corner, I’ll pick Steffi Graf. More recently, I thought Emma Raducanu was pretty good, but nothing happened.

Favorite Male Pro: John McEnroe, Pete Sampras, Rafael Nadal…

It’s easier to tell you who I don’t like: Jimmy Connors.

Favorite Tournament: US Open

Best hours to watch and easiest to follow.

Favorite Stroke: Serve

My favorite stroke is what I’m best at: the serve. Flat, slice, or kick, I like mixing it up to keep an opponent on guard.