For Cooper Vincent, the Thanksgiving holidays are not complete without turkey, dressing, hot rolls, pumpkin pie and a couple of backhands and forehands on the tennis court.
The seven-year-old Vincent returned to the clay courts at the McCluskey Tennis Center for some drills, some instruction and some matches on Sunday afternoon in La-Grange.
Vincent might be a rookie on the clay courts, but he is a talented one. His enthusiasm is infectious, as are his improving shots. Vincent was playing with his relatives, his friends and the tennis gods.
There was no better place to be for Vincent.
“This is kind of fun,” he said during a water break. “I like hitting the ball. I can twist the racket. I can hit the ball after one bounce.”
He can also return the ball to Stephen Vincent, the local tennis pro from Highland Country Club. Cooper Vincent got his instructions. He is learning the game, one drill at a time.
He is grasping the strategy and the gamesmanship. Young Cooper also has some tennis common sense.
“You need to listen to your coach,” said Cooper Vincent, the native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
He is picking up on the tennis fundamentals, thanks to the guidance and the coaching from Stephen Vincent. It is all a part of the tennis process.
“You need to hit the first bounce. I’ve got a jump shot and a twist shot. I can actually hit the ball,” said Cooper Vincent.
His brother played some points and made some shots, too, on Sunday. Bowen Vincent, a five year old, played better than he had a right to. He just has good family tennis genes.
From the clubhouse to the clay courts at the Mc-Cluskey Center.
“I can hit the ball with one hand. I can swing the racket from above. I like playing tennis a lot. I’m a good player,” said Bowen Vincent.
Both of the Vincent brothers, Bowen and Cooper, got a passing grade from their nephew, Stephen Vincent, the head tennis pro from Highland Country Club.
“They focused and they gripped (their rackets). They both have good forehands,” said Stephen Vincent.
And that is even more important than a juicy turkey leg on Thanksgiving.
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