Three teams hoping to represent USTA Florida in the 2019 USTA Adaptive National Championships battled on the court during a qualifier event Saturday, September 7, 2019, at the Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center. The adaptive tennis qualifier featured unified doubles, with one athlete (a player with an intellectual disability or special needs) teaming up with their unified partner (a player without an intellectual disability).
One of the teams vying for a spot again this year were the winners of the inaugural USTA Adaptive National Championships in 2018, No. 1 ranked U.S. Special Olympics women’s tennis player Brittany Tagliareni and partner Liam Gomez. Also on the court were 2015 Special Olympics Florida Athlete of the Year Jonathan Doring and partner Jonathan Galler; and Special Olympics athlete Brett Williams who partnered with Howard Chodak.
Each team competed against one another in round-robin play. The two teams with the highest total games won, Tagliareni/Gomez and Williams/Chodak, advanced to the finals. There, Tagliareni/Gomez went on to defeat Williams/Chodak 6-2, 6-0.
Despite the second place finish, team Williams/Chodak will join team Tagliareni/Gomez in advancing to the 2019 National Championships to represent USTA Florida in the tournament.
The 2019 Adaptive National Championships will take place at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla., from October 11-13. The event will also feature a unified doubles tournament format.
“We are excited to host the USTA Adaptive Tennis Championships again this year,” said Yasmine Osborn, USTA Manager for Diversity & Inclusion. “This tournament is a great opportunity for our athletes to compete at the highest levels and for our spectators to enjoy some fantastic tennis while learning more about Adaptive tennis.”
For more on the 2019 Adaptive National Championships, click here.
USTA Florida believes everyone can play the sport of tennis regardless of age, environment, condition, or ability. To learn more about our initiatives promoting tennis for all, click here.