By Paul Green
It’s been said that you don’t stop playing because you get old, but instead, you get old because you stop playing. There is no greater example of this than Wil Manus who, at the age of 91, holds his own on the Culver City Paddle Tennis Courts.
His stature is small, his paddle is older, but he is armed with an intense desire to mix it up in a competitive game of doubles against players sometimes half his age.
Though he started playing in 1981, his athletic background included freediving and spearfishing in Greece, where he lived for 30 years. He also had a football scholarship to Adelphi College. Off the courts — as a freelance journalist — he’s written a few books and in recent years, has been working as a playwright.
Residing in Beverly Hills, Manus routinely makes the commute to Culver City on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday mornings, often arriving long before any of the other players.
As a player, he’s even tempered and level headed, but on occasion will drop his paddle in the frustration of missing a shot he thought he should’ve made. But like any athlete, he’s able to put that shot behind him and move on to the next point.
For various reasons, many of the players that he started playing with are no longer around. There was also limited play and an adjustment period due to the COVID restrictions. But, as the elder statesman of the courts, he is back at it and going strong.
Often referred to and known as Wil, he’s admired by those who play with and against him, but he’s respected even more by all who know him.