Can Broward County call itself the top USTA League region in Florida for a third straight year?
Broward, anchored by Ft. Lauderdale, includes such tennis hot spots as Weston, Parkland, Oakland Park and Plantation. Broward currently sits in second place in the USTA Florida League Championship Cup race, which at the end of the USTA League season crowns the county with the most league sectionals titles.
Hillsborough County (Tampa area) currently leads the race with seven sectionals titles, followed by Broward and Duval County (Jacksonville) tied with six, and Pinellas County (St. Petersburg area) behind them with five titles (see full standings below).
Counties in the heat of the race are rallying their communities and league teams with only three sectionals left in the season.
Remaining USTA Florida League Sectionals:
Nov. 10-12 — Combo 50 & Over, Florida Tennis Center, Daytona Beach
Dec. 1-3 — Combo 18 & Over 6.5/8.5, USTA National Campus, Orlando
Dec. 8-10 — Combo 18 & Over 5.5/7.5/9.5, USTA National Campus, Orlando
USTA Florida will host a January celebration for the winning 2018-season county for all their players who were on their winning sectionals teams.
Duval County Local League Coordinator Carson Phillips blogged about Duval leading the cup race in early October. Nils Leonard, owner of the local GoPro Tennis stores in Jacksonville, is rallying area teams to help Duval County cross the finish line in December.
“If Duval wins the USTA Florida League Championship Cup race this year, we’ll contribute to the celebration with two $400 raffle packages including a racquet, bag and shoes that the winner can switch for equipment of their choice,” Leonard said. “We’ll have two more raffles of $50 certificates, and our staff will be at the celebration to personally congratulate the winning sectional teams. Can I bring a margarita machine too? If Duval wins, we’ll be ready to party.”
Broward County finds itself in a similar position to two years ago when it won the inaugural USTA Florida League Championship Cup. Entering November-December outside of first place, Broward won two Combo league titles at the last sectionals of the season to swoop in and steal the title from co-leaders Orange and Pinellas counties.
“Our Combo players are psyched!” said USTA Florida Local League Coordinator for the Broward region Maria Miro. “They are headed to Orlando to collect the cup, or that’s how they feel. They want the trifecta.”
Can Broward do it again? Tune in next on Nov. 12 at the completion of the Combo 50 & Over sectionals to see which counties set themselves up for a December run at the cup.
Following the January celebration, each of the county’s sectionals-winning teams will get possession of the cup for one week at their home club for photo ops, selfies and general bragging rights.
2018 USTA FLORIDA LEAGUE
CHAMPIONSHIP CUP STANDINGS
Hillsborough separated itself at No. 1 after the Mixed 18 & Over 6.0/8.0/10.0 sectionals, but Broward, looking for a third cup in a row, also won and moved into a second-place tie. The USTA Florida League Championship Cup is awarded to the county with the most league sectionals titles during the 2018 season (standings through Oct. 16, recent winners in bold):
1. Hillsborough County (7 titles) — 55&Over-M3.5/4.0/4.5,W4.5, X18&Over-10.0, X40&Over-7.0, 18&Over-M5.0+
2T. Broward County (6) — 40&Over-M3.5/W3.5, 18&Over-M4.0, X18&Over-6.0/7.0/9.0
2T. Duval County (6) — 65&Over-W6.0, 55&Over-W3.0, 18&Over-W2.5/W.4.5/M4.5/W5.0+
4. Pinellas County (5) — 65&Over-W7.0/8.0, 55&Over-W3.5/4.0, 40&Over-W4.5+
5. Collier County (4) — 65&Over-M7.0/8.0, 40&Over-W4.0, 18&Over-W4.0
6. Miami-Dade County (3) — X40&Over-9.0, 40&Over-M4.0, 18&Over-W3.0
7T. Leon County (2) — 40&Over-M3.0, 18&Over-M3.0
7T. Orange County (2) — 40&Over-M4.5+, 18&Over-M3.5
9T. Escambia County (1) — X40&Over-6.0
9T. Martin County (1) — X40&Over-8.0
9T. Okaloosa County (1) — X18&Over-8.0
9T. Osceola County (1) — 40&Over-W3.0
9T. Seminole County (1) — 18&Over-W3.5
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.
Next Sectionals: Nov. 10, Combo 50 & Over, Florida Tennis Center, Daytona Beach
To sign-up for a league in your area, or for more info on USTA Florida League tennis go to www.ustaflorida.com/leagues.
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