Player Profiles: Florentina Hanisch and Jeffrey Morneau

October 11, 2018

Player Profiles

Each week, one female and one male player will be featured on the website. This week, Florentina Hanisch and Jeffrey Morneau share their thoughts on a variety of subjects.

Florentina HanischFlorentina Hanisch, Stamford, CT, ranked #3 in the country (with Annica van Starrenburg), 2017 APTA National Champion (with van Starrenburg)

Q: Hometown:
A: Florianopolis, Brazil

Q: Occupation:
A: Tennis and Platform Tennis Professional

Q: Spouse:
A: Martin Bostrom (fellow APTA top tenner)

Q: Did you play college tennis or other college sports?
A: Yes, I played tennis for Wichita State University.

Q: Describe any international tennis you participated in:
A: I was ranked #7 in South America and #646 on the WTA tour in doubles when I was 16.

Q: How long have you played platform tennis and how were you introduced to the game?
A: I have been playing for 4 years. My husband, then boyfriend, introduced me to the sport. He said it was important for our tennis teaching career so I tried it. But then I felt in love with the game and started practicing a lot and playing many tournaments.

Q: When you started, what were the biggest adjustments you had to make as a tennis player?
A: Serves. It was extremely frustrating the amount of free points I used to give away (sometimes still do) with missed serves. The motion is very different than tennis, plus you only get one serve and the service box is way smaller.

Q: How do you make practicing fun?
A: I try to learn new shots and new plays. Overheads with spin, drop shots, FYM. Sometimes it backfires because my game gets all over the place and I lose the focus of my strategy.

Q: Where is your favorite place to play?
A: Philly J (site of Hanisch/van Starrenburg’s National Championship)

Q: List one or more highlights of your platform tennis career OR the funniest or best thing that happened to you on a platform tennis court?

A: My two favorite moments were winning the 2017 Nationals with my partner Annica, and then winning the Husband & Wife and Mixed Nationals 2018 on the same weekend with my husband Martin. Funny moment- while playing the finals of Mixed Nationals, Martin and I decided to use the “I” formation. He was hitting all the overheads and I was inches from the net volleying back the drives.  Every time the ball went up I would squat so he could hit the overheads. After one point with over 30 lobs (which means I didn’t touch the ball) he was exhausted. As he was trying to catch his breath he noticed my legs were cramping and I was struggling walking. He looked so confused. After all I didn’t touch the ball the entire point! Well, all I can say is that after that I started working more on my squats :) Luckily the strategy worked and we won the match.

Q: What is your trick/mental fix to use when you feel pressure in a match?
A: Before the matches I like to listen to "Eye of the Tiger" song to get me in my best performance state. That song makes me excited about the challenge instead of fearing the challenge.

Q: Who do you wish was watching you at your best-played match?
A: Gerri Viant (member of the Platform Tennis Hall of Fame who has worked with Hanisch/van Starrenburg on their games)

Q: List any other favorite hobbies you have:
Traveling and hanging out with friends.

Q: What is your favorite vacation spot?
A: Any beach. Usually Florianopolis, the island where I am from. But I won't complain if that beach happens to be in South Asia or Australia.

Q: Do you have a favorite sports movie?
A: Rocky

Q: Please finish this sentence "You'd be surprised to know that I…"
A: Enjoy being by myself.

Q: What is your pre-match warmup/routine?
A: I like to get to the club at least one hour before the match so I can do my dynamic exercises and hit some balls with my partner.

Q: What is your favorite shot?
A: Low drive followed by a blitz.

Q: What is your favorite part of playing doubles and the best part of competing?
A: I love having someone who can pick me up when I am down and that I can do the same when is the other way around. Even the best athletes have many bad days on the court. The best doubles teams are the one who can lift each other up when one is down. I love the camaraderie between all the players. Of course sometimes it can get heated on the court since we all want to win, but as soon as we step out of the court we are all friends again.

Jeff MorneauJeffrey Morneau, East Longmeadow , MA, ranked #3 in the country (with Juan Arraya), 2017 APTA National Finalist (with Arraya)

Q: Occupation:
A: Lawyer

Q: Children:
A: Ryan Morneau (15), Megan Morneau (13)

Q: Did you play college tennis or other college sports?
A: Tennis at Providence College

Q: Describe any international tennis you participated in:
A: I competed in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, South Africa.

Q: How long have you played platform tennis and how were you introduced to the game?
A: Twenty years. I was introduced to it by a tennis pro at a local club.

Q: When you started, what were the biggest adjustments you had to make as a tennis player?
A: Learning that you can’t lob over someone's head or hit a clean winner.

Q: How do you make practicing fun?
A: I don’t practice…it is not fun.

Q: Where is your favorite place to play?
A: Longmeadow Field Club

Q: List one or more highlights of your platform tennis career OR the funniest or best thing that happened to you on a platform tennis court?
A: Making the Finals of Nationals and winning the President's Cup as a captain.

Q: What is your trick/mental fix to use when you feel pressure in a match?
A: I don't feel pressure.

Q: Who do you wish was watching you at your best-played match?
A: My son Ryan and my father.

Q: List any other favorite hobbies you have:
A: Golf, bike riding, and tennis.

Q: What is your favorite vacation spot?
A: Myrtle Beach, SC

Q: Please finish this sentence "You'd be surprised to know that I…"
A: Won the Amateur National Grass Court Tennis Championships and ran for a state-wide political office.

Q: What is your pre-match warmup/routine?
A: Stretching because I am old.

Q: What is your favorite shot?
A: Return of serve and the drive off the back screen.

Q: What is your favorite part of playing doubles and the best part of competing?
A: Figuring out a winning strategy as a team.

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