A longtime Winter Park resident and avid tennis player, Verna Alduino hits the courts out at the Winter Park Tennis Center every day.
If you’re ever looking to find Winter Park resident Verna Alduino out and about, there’s one place you’ll find her:
at the Winter Park Tennis Center. The former Division 1 tennis player has been enjoying the sport for more than 40 years and plans on throwing her hat into the senior circuit in the near future.
When did you get into tennis, and what got you into the sport?
I started playing when I was 13 years old — I’m going to be 63 this month. I started playing in high school, and then I got a scholarship to college (University of Maryland) in tennis, and I just fell in love with it from the time I picked it up.
Did you play tennis outside of school?
I played tournaments — juniors, and then you play your college tournaments — and lots of state tournaments. I was always ranked pretty high in the state tournaments.
Has tennis always been a part of your life since those early days?
I’m just coming back this last year, as a matter of fact — I’ve had a pretty long time off. I had kids — raised them — kind of came back here and there, but now I’m back here full-time.
You’ve also taught the sport as well, so how long have you been doing that?
I’ve been teaching since I was 16 years old. When I got to Florida, I opened up the Hyatt Grand Cypress — I was a pro out there — and I was a pro out at the SeaWorld Hotel, (which) I opened up, and then I went to work for Arnold Palmer and was just teaching tennis for him at Bay Hill.
What is your favorite thing about playing tennis?
Tennis is such an unbelievable sport. It’s social, it’s exercise, it’s community, and it’s just a healthy lifestyle. It is an all-over-body workout. It’s fun, and it beats going to the gym and getting on a treadmill.
Are you a cat or a dog person?
I’m a major dog person. I like cats, they’re fine, but I’m a dog person. I have two big dogs; one is a pit bull/lab mix and the other is a pointer — both rescues.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Tennis. We probably play four hours of tennis a day, and then we watch a lot of tennis. The dog park and just enjoy Winter Park — there’s a lot of stuff to do.
For your last meal, what would you eat?
I’m from Maryland, so probably a table full of blue crabs — anything seafood.