Tampa tennis is tops as Hillsborough County, which won the most USTA Florida League Sectionals titles in 2018, was this week announced as the first-time winner of the USTA Florida League Championship Cup.
As Florida’s new league tennis capital, Hillsborough County won 10 league sectionals (state) titles in 2018. They became the first county to reach double-digit sectional titles in one season. Ten different tennis clubs or facilities from Hillsborough combined for the 10 titles.
“Congratulations to Hillsborough County on this great accomplishment,” said USTA Florida Director of Adult Tennis Christine Ducey. “It is an exciting day for tennis in the area, and we will look forward to hosting the Play Day celebration in the area for all the teams that contributed to the win!”
In June Hillsborough first announced its intention to challenge for the Cup when it won three of the four titles at the 55 & Over Sectionals, then vaulting into a first-place tie with Pinellas County. Tampa-proper clubs/facilities had six sectional titles, but all of Hillsborough County made a balanced contribution throughout the season. Winning Hillsborough teams also hailed from the cities of Lithia, Lutz, Temple Terrace and Valrico.
The 10 Hillsborough County sectionals championship teams:
* Avila Golf & Country Club, Tampa (Combo 50 & Over men’s 8.5 division)
* Cheval Athletic Club, Lutz (55 & Over women’s 4.5)
* Fishhawk Ranch, Lithia (Combo 18 & Over women’s 6.5)
* Hunters Green Sports Center, Tampa (Mixed 40 & Over 7.0)
* MacFarland Park, Tampa (Mixed 18 & Over 10.0)
* Northdale Golf & Tennis Club, Tampa (18 & Over men’s 5.0)
* Palma Ceia Country Club, Tampa (55 & Over men’s 4.5)
* River Hills Country Club, Valrico ((55 & Over men’s 4.5)
* Temple Terrace Tennis Center, Temple Terrace (55 & Over men’s 3.5)
* Waterchase, Tampa (Combo 18 & Over women’s 9.5)
Finishing in second place, two titles behind Hillsborough, was Broward County. The two-time defending champion of the Cup from 2016-17, Broward made a strong year-end push, winning one title in three finals during the final Combo 18 & Over Sectionals.
The USTA Florida League Championship Cup will be presented to the 10 winning teams and players at a Play Day ceremony in February 2019 in Hillsborough County. Each team will then receive the Cup for one week to display at their facility or take on tour, after which the Cup will return to be on display at the USTA Florida headquarters in Orlando.
“As the local adult play coordinator for the Tampa area I’m proud of all captains, players and facilities who have made it possible for Hillsborough to capture the USTA Florida League Championship Cup,” said USTA Florida’s Alan Williams. “Congratulations to all!”
USTA Florida League Championship Cup History:
2018 — Hillsborough County
2017 — Broward County
2016 — Broward County
FINAL 2018 USTA FLORIDA LEAGUE
CHAMPIONSHIP CUP STANDINGS
1. Hillsborough County (10 titles) — 55&Over-M3.5/4.0/4.5,W4.5, X18&Over-10.0, X40&Over-7.0, 18&Over-M5.0+, Combo 50&Over-M8.5/W9.5/18&Over-M6.5
2. Broward County (7) — 40&Over-M3.5/W3.5, 18&Over-M4.0, X18&Over-6.0/7.0/9.0, Combo 18&Over-W8.5
3T. Duval County (6) — 65&Over-W6.0, 55&Over-W3.0, 18&Over-W2.5/W.4.5/M4.5/W5.0+
3T. Pinellas County (6) — 65&Over-W7.0/8.0, 55&Over-W3.5/4.0, 40&Over-W4.5+, Combo 50&Over-W7.5
5. Collier County (5) — 65&Over-M7.0/8.0, 40&Over-W4.0, 18&Over-W4.0, Combo 50&Over-M6.5
6. Miami-Dade County (4) — X40&Over-9.0, 40&Over-M4.0, 18&Over-W3.0, Combo 18&Over-M9.5
7. Orange County (3) — 40&Over-M4.5+, 18&Over-M3.5, Combo 18&Over-M7.5
8T. Alachua County (2) — Combo 50&Over-M7.5, Combo 18&Over-W5.5
8T. Escambia County (2) — X40&Over-6.0, Combo 18&Over-W8.5
8T. Leon County (2) — 40&Over-M3.0, 18&Over-M3.0
8T. Sarasota County (2) — Combo 50&Over-W8.5/18&Over-M8.5
8T. Seminole County (2) — 18&Over-W3.5, Combo 18&Over-W7.5
13T. Marion County (1) — Combo 18&Over-W6.5
13T. Martin County (1) — X40&Over-8.0
13T. Okaloosa County (1) — X18&Over-8.0
13T. Osceola County (1) — 40&Over-W3.0
Note: County determined by location of team’s home club. Season-ending ties to be broken by teams’ 1st-4th place results at USTA League Nationals.
Established in 1980, USTA League has grown from 13,000 participants in a few parts of the country in its first year to more than 904,000 players across the nation today, making it the world’s largest recreational tennis league. The league groups players by using six National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP) levels, ranging from 2.5 (entry) to 5.0 (advanced). USTA League is open to any USTA member 18 years of age or older.
For more information on USTA Florida Leagues, or to see your local 2019 leagues schedule, go to www.ustaflorida.com/leagues.