11 Questions with Carl Danner
1) Why do you play?
I enjoy the competition, the workout, the friends, and the technical challenges of learning new techniques.
2) Which is your favorite tournament?
The Nationals has something for everyone.
3) Who is your primary nemesis?
Anyone who's good at handling changes of spin and deception -- that makes it harder to win points, and you have to work for them!
4) What is your favorite game tactic to score?
Short serve or return, and slow spinny backhand loop to follow.
5) Thoughts on the Poly Ball.
For now I think we're still in a difficult transition. I'm hoping the use of a new material leads to more competitors in the market, and lower ball prices in the long run.
6) Toughest Loss?
They're all tough. For my best loss, I'd say losing the Class B (roughly under 2400) final in the U.S. Open years ago, 31-29 in the fifth! I played my best, and was happy afterwards despite the outcome.
7) Greatest Win?
I once beat a highly-seeded men's player in the Canadian CNE Open from 13-19 down the fifth -- that was good fun.
8) How you prepare for a tournament?
My time is limited, so at this point the basics involve getting in a fair amount of match play, and hopefully a few good practice sessions with a physical component. It's important to know what your game is, and to have confidence in it; a tournament is no place to try to figure out technical things.
9) When you see a new player at the club, what do you do?
Try to see that they are greeted, and brought into some action they can enjoy.
10) Player you would most like to play in a tournament?
Any high-level defender, I love to face that style. It did take me a number of years to learn how to play them, however.
11) If you had to face Jimmy Butler, Lily Zhang or Kanak Jha what would your game plan be?
Jimmy or Kanak: Funny thing, they're pretty similar players in some ways, they just come in two different sizes. Both are backhand-oriented and like to hang around that corner, so I'd try to challenge them wide to the forehand and see what happens. Another key is to play with controlled aggression, to attack without making too many errors. That gives you the chance to score some points, while making them work for theirs. If they do so successfully and win, well, that's why they are at the top. But I'd go out there with a plan, and try to make them at least play their good games to win.
Lily: My lifetime tournament record with her is 1-0, so there's no need to play any more matches now. :)