They glare at each other.
They keep a close watch on the proceedings. Every game counts, and each set is chronicled. Brothers Noah and Ethan Black take tennis rather serious.
That is an understatement for these young players. Noah Black is 10 years old, and Ethan Black is eight years old. These LaGrange boys play each tennis match as though they were performing at the Australian Open or at Wimbledon. The brothers get emotional, and during their weekly matches at the McCluskey Center they leave nothing on the court but a good time and some occasional aggravation.
“We get intense, and I get irritated sometimes. This is exercise, and tennis takes some strength. I like volleying and smashing,” said Ethan Black.
His brother never backs down, and they play practice matches, as well as tournament matches at the McCluskey Center in La-Grange. Both boys expect to win. They have high standards and towering tennis IQ’s.
The brothers are smart.
“We play twice a week (in the winter). We get ready to make some good shots. Our dad and mom played tennis. We are staying active with tennis,” said Noah Black. “There is a lot of moving around (out on the court).”
The older brother plays for something at the end of the tennis rainbow, for sure. Noah Black won a semi-recent tournament in Columbus.
“I have a drop shot and a volley. I play for trophies (in the tournaments), and I play for bragging rights against my brother,” said Noah Black.
Although two years younger, Ethan Black is just about the tennis equal of his older brother.
“We play for fun. But you have to hit the bottom of the ball to serve. The serve is the most important shot,” said Ethan Black.
Both brothers take lessons from McCluskey tennis director Bill Champion. The father of the two boys appreciates what tennis has done for his kids.
“Tennis has helped them focus. It’s a good outlet. My boys are pretty athletic. They have some natural ability,” said Daniel Black, the father.