Member Profile – Paul Bundock Steel

I joined Crowstone & St Saviours LTC way back in May 1993 after spending a year being
coached in a small group led by June Pierce. I was already making inquiries at other clubs
but one of the things that struck me about our club was its friendliness. Whenever a
potential new member walked through the club gate the captain or a few other members
would go and talk to them straight away whereas I’ve stood waiting for 20 minutes or more
at other clubs to be acknowledged, I guess that is the advantage of a smaller club like ours.
Looking back, there are a number of things that have kept me at the club; a number of good
players who spurred me on to improve my game and help me draw closer to their standard
of play, being picked to play in some of the league matches which taught me so much more
about the game and probably developed my game more than coaching would have done, it
was close to home and the grounds are quite idyllic with the lawn area to one side, it makes
for a nice setting. Finally, I enjoyed the teas that became part of the social tennis scene on
Saturday afternoons – we should bring those back!

My tennis hero? Over the years I’ve admired the serve and volley style of play and am
naturally drawn towards players who use this attacking style as the backbone to their game,
so people like McEnroe, Becker, Edberg, but most of all Pete Sampras. He very soon
epitomised the serve and volley game for me. I loved his flat hitting groundstrokes and his
explosive running forehand which I actually think was slightly better than Federer's. He had
perhaps the best serve in tennis and many would rate his second serve as the best ever.
Then there was his slam dunk which was a spectacular aspect of his game. In my mind, his
fluidity and style of play were a thing of beauty.

In my own game I believe I am a bit of an all-rounder so I don't think that either wing is
much stronger than the other. I tend to play on the backhand side in matches but if my
technique breaks down I would more likely go to my forehand side as this is a more natural
stroke. I tend to have slightly more feel for the volley and drop shot on that side compared
to the backhand side.

I would probably say that my favourite shot in tennis is the backhand drive down the line. I
think it is a slightly harder shot to hit than on the forehand side which makes it all the more
satisfying when I pull it off.

Looking back, I am proud of some of my tennis achievements. In particular hitting three aces
on the trot in a tournament, winning the singles tournament at the club for the first time
back in 1996 (I was up against a good player who had won it the previous year and I had
some of my family there to watch me which of course made it all the more special) and
lastly playing two singles matches in the course of one day and managing to win both games
6-0, 6-0.

Tennis makes a positive contribution to both my physical and mental health, in general. I
feel more relaxed and centred in the evening after a game of tennis and a tough game of
singles certainly improves my stamina. Mentally, I feel good before a game as I am looking
forward to playing, and again afterwards especially if I have played well. There certainly

can be a feelgood factor when I have played a good game in nice weather. However, like all

sports, tennis can have its downsides, like the feeling of frustration when I lose or play
badly, but overall, tennis definitely gives me a physical and mental boost!