Kim and Jack Bastable have a long history of competing together on the tennis court, finding time in their busy schedules to play tennis whenever possible. Kim is a former All-American tennis player at the University of Florida while Jack was drafted by the Oakland Athletics and played six years of professional baseball. The couple will take to the court again from June 28-July 1 in Prairie Village, Kansas, at the US Open National Playoffs Missouri Valley Sectional Qualifying, taking aim at a chance to advance toward the US Open. They took a few minutes to talk us about playing tennis together and the upcoming National Playoffs.
Tell us a little bit about each of your tennis backgrounds. How did you get started playing the game?
Jack: My first memories of tennis were watching my dad play on Saturday mornings at a park in St Louis. After watching a bunch, my dad finally taught me how to play. My main sport was baseball as a child, but one summer, we moved and I never was able to get on a baseball team. The high school tennis coach in my new town saw me play tennis and encouraged me to do some tournaments. Eventually, however, it was back to baseball, and I ended up playing tennis only in the off-season during six years of playing professional baseball after playing baseball and football at Missouri.
Kim: I started tennis at age 6 at the club behind my house. I competed in a my first tournament not too long after that at the encouragement of the club pro. I wasn’t very good, but my opponent wasn’t either. Neither one of us could get our serves in. So the pro told us to flip a coin to determine the winner and I won!! That was the start, and I went on to play Missouri Valley junior tennis and then played at Florida, where I was an SEC champion and an NCAA All-American.
What made you want to sign up for the US Open National Playoffs?
We love to play mixed doubles and have played in the USTA National Husband and Wife championships the last two years. The US Open Playoff is the week before, so we decided it would be a good warm-up event!
What do you think about having the chance to advance toward the US Open?
We are just excited about having another chance to play. Who knows what our chances are until we play?
How often do you get to compete together in mixed doubles?
As often as is feasible with six kids and two grandkids. We have limited play because we still had one daughter at home but she is leaving for college in August, so we’ll hope to play more.
What’s your favorite thing, as a married couple, about being able to compete together on the tennis court? Does that chemistry help your games?
We love to be together both on and off the tennis court. Every chance we get to compete is a bonus and enjoyable.
And we have to ask: How do you feel about your chances?
The same as everyone else’s!