| By Dana Blasucci

I’m not well-known throughout the Long Island tennis world. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that I’m hardly known at all. Some tennis players who frequent Carefree Racquet Club in North Merrick know me by name, but most know me simply as “the girl behind the desk.”

As “the girl behind the desk,” I’ve watched many USTA seasons come and go. I’ve met countless pleasant people from different clubs throughout Long Island. I’ve watched teams share laughter, food, tennis advice and support, and not to mention, I’ve watched some great tennis matches. Yet, every season, there are always some nights which aren’t so fun and involve some not-so-pleasant people. I’ve seen arguing, yelling, cheating accusations, crying and other behavior that makes me think, “Wow, could this USTA season be worse than the last?”

During the day, I’m a nursing student and finishing up my senior year I feel as though I’ve seen it all. I’ve seen patients without the strength to lift an arm, lonely patients without visitors; I’ve seen war veterans whose lives are disturbed from painful memories and wounds that won’t heal. After spending a long day with these patients and coming to work and witnessing some players acting so hasty, is what inspired me to write this article. I’d like to use this as a means to voice my feelings to all those who have taken part in a “nasty USTA night” (as I call it). You all have so much to be thankful for. You have your health and strength, you have a team of friends and supporters cheering you on. You have the ability to take part in a sport that you enjoy. If I can instill anything in you, I hope you remember all that you’re grateful for when you walk onto the court next season. And if I can offer any word of tennis advice as “the girl behind the desk,” it would be “don’t lose your cool.” It would be: Remember what really matters in life and just have fun.

Dana Blasucci

<p>Dana Blasucci is a Molloy College nursing student and part-time receptionist at <a onclick="window.open(this.href,'CarefreeRacquetHealthClub','resizable=yes,location=yes,menubar=no,scrollbars=yes,status=yes,toolbar=no,fullscreen=no,dependent=no,status'); return false" href="http://carefreeracquetclub.com/">Carefree Racquet Club</a> in North Merrick, N.Y. She may be reached by e-mail at <a href="mailto:dblasucci07@molloy.edu?subject=Re%3A%20Long%20Island%20Tennis%20M...@molloy.edu</a>.</p>