GOING ON THIS WEEK IN ENGLAND ARE THE WIMBLEDON CHAMPIONSHIPS.. AND 23ABC’S STEPHEN HICKS IS HERE WITH MORE ON ONE LOCAL WHO TOOK TO THOSE PRESTIGIOUS GRASS COURTS. THE EARLY 80’S WERE THE GOLDEN YEARS FOR TENNIS. RECORD BREAKING T-V NUMBERS AND HUGE CROWDS FLOCKED TO SEE THE BIG HAIR AND BIG PERSONALITIES OF GUYS LIKE BORG, MCENROE, CONNORS AND BAKERSFIELD’S OWN HANK PFISTER. NATS “KEEP THAT ARM STRAIGHT.” TAKE A TRIP TO THE STOCKDALE COUNTRY CLUB AND YOU’LL FIND A MAN… QUICK NATS OF HITS FOR WHOM TENNIS IS SECOND NATURE. NATS-“TURN YOUR SHOULDERS A LITTLE MORE. GET THAT RACQUET BACK A LITTLE BIT.” HANK PFISTER TEACHING THE NEXT GENERATION. NATS-“FEET SWITCH COME ON WHERE ARE YOUR FEET.” AND DOING IT–HIS OWN WAY. “HE’LL MAKE ME RUN UNTIL I CAN’T RUN ANYMORE…PRETT Y OLD SCHOOL GUY? REALLY OLD SCHOOL GUY.” NATS-HIT AN ATTITUDE HE LEARNED FROM THE OLD SCHOOL DAYS OF TENNIS. NATS THE GAME AS MUCH MENTAL AS IT IS PHYSICAL. “YOU KIND OF HAVE TO HAVE THAT SHOW OFF MENTALITY A LITTLE BIT WHERE YOU LIKE TO GET OUT THERE AND MIX IT UP. YOU LOOK FORWARD TO TRYING TO BEAT SOMEBODY YOU SHOULDN’T BEAT” PLAYING IN THE LATE 70’S AND EARLY 80’S–HE FACED A LOT OF THOSE GUYS. NATS FROM WORLD NUMBER ONES BJORN BORG AND BORIS BECKER TO JIMMIE CONNORS AND… NATS-“YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!” …JOHN MCENROE. THE FOUR WINNING A COMBINED 32 MAJOR TITLES. AVOIDING INTIMIDATION WAS KEY. “WALK OUT ON CENTER COURT AT WIMBLEDON OR THE FRENCH OR AUSTRALIAN OPEN, US OPEN WITH 25 THOUSAND PEOPLE LOOKING AT YOU AND NOT BE SCARED. IT TAKES SOME COURAGE TO DO THAT.” PFISTER ROUTINELY DID JUST THAT AND IN 19-83 ASCENDED TO 19TH IN THE WORLD RANKINGS. “I HAVE TWO MEDALS FROM WINNING THE FRENCH OPEN TWICE. I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW WHERE THEY WERE.” AT THE TIME-TRIPS AROUND THE WORLD WERE JUST PART OF THE JOB SO HANGING ON TO VIDEO OF HIS MATCHES OR KEEPSAKES FROM MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIPS WAS UNHEARD OF. “LUCKILY MY WIFE PUT A FEW OF THEM AWAY, I GO FIND THEM AND THINK ‘OH THAT IS KIND OF COOL.’ NOW IT SEEMS COOL. THEN IT WAS JUST SOMETHING TO WRAP MY DIRTY CLOTHES IN I DIDN’T CARE LESS ABOUT IT.” NATS-WIMBLEDON TODAY–STARS ARE HARD TO WATCH FOR PFISTER. “I GET BORED WITH IT WATCHING GROUND STROKE GROUND STROKE GROUND STROKE AND I SEE ALL THE CHANCES TO COME IN, COME FOWARD AND TAKE ADVANTAGE AND THEY DON’T.” NATS-HIT TODAY–HE’S TRYING TO BRING BACK THE ART OF THE SERVE AND VOLLEY. “YOU STILL WANT TO KEEP THE RAQUET MOVING THROUGH THE BALL SO YOU DON’T YANK UP.” TODAY–HE’S BACK AT THE CLUB HIS DAD STARTED. “25 YEARS LATER I’M STILL HERE.” NOW–HE’S FOUND A DRIVE TO HELP THE NEXT GENERATION. “WHEN YOU’RE DONE REAPING THE BENEFITS OF THE GAME IT’S TIME TO GIVE A LITTLE BIT BACK SO I TRY TO DO THAT AS OFTEN AS I CAN.” TIME. NATS AT 63 IT’S STARTING TO CATCH UP… “UGGH TOO TOUGH.” TIME–TO HELP OTHERS CATCH A LOVE FOR THE GAME. NATS-“TOO GOOD PALMER.” PFISTER’S QUEST TO GROW THE GAME LOCALLY COMES WITH THE GOAL OF IMPROVING FACILITIES. AN ALL NEW TENNIS CENTER IS SET TO OPEN AT STOCKDALE COUNTRY CLUB IN SEPTEMBER OF THIS YEAR. IN THE STUDIO–STEPHEN HICKS–23ABC SPORTS.

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Dennis Veasley

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