November 15th, 2022
USTA Florida Captures Two More Adult League National Championships
Adult Tennis teams representing the state of Florida at the 2022 USTA League National Championships, have been competing throughout the months of October and November in locations across the country.
USTA Florida already had one National Champion earlier in October, where Miami-Dade (Biltmore Tennis Center) won the Men’s 40 and over 4.5 division. Now, we are proud to have two more winners, along with a handful of top finishes.
In the Women’s 55 and over 9.0 division, Orange County (USTA National Campus) were crowned National Champions, and they had a hard path to the trophy. In the round robin stage, the team dropped a single line through their four matches, to secure the top seed going into the semifinals.
Here, Orange County matched up Southern California, who has been a powerhouse in the past. The Florida team was able to get out with a hot start, taking the No. 1 Doubles line. They rode out that momentum to take the second line and secure their spot in the finals.
In the Championship match, Orange County ran into USTA Eastern (New York), but the team from Central Florida was able to put on a show, sweeping the finals.
Orange County (Florida) d. Eastern (New York) 3-0
No. 1 Doubles: Susan Wright/Ingrid Clapp (Florida) d. Carol Powers/Carol Chirico 6-4, 6-3
No. 2 Doubles: Ligia Bottinelli/Sonia Herring (Florida) d. Carol Levine/Karen Urban 7-5, 7-6
No. 3 Doubles: Lisa Lillie/Stacey Williams (Florida) d. Kathy McMahon/Katharina Lewis 6-3, 6-2
Orange County’s Captain, Tami Florin said this was an extremely great moment for her and her team, they have worked really hard for this moment and it all paid off. “We put together a great group of women who were dedicated to practice and being available, which is key to winning championships,” she said. “Partnerships were determined early on so that each player understood their role in the duo.”
Florida’s other National Champion came in the Adult 40 and over Mixed 9.0 division. The team from Hillsborough County came out hot in the round robin taking their first three matches with ease. However, in their final match, Mid-Atlantic gave them some trouble. Florida was unable to get the ball rolling and eventually fell in their final match.
This caused there to be a three-way tie with Mid-Atlantic and Pacific Northwest. Thankfully, since Florida was able to dominate their earlier matches, the team was able to secure the fourth seed and advance to the semifinals.
Hillsborough faced off against Southern (Louisiana) in another competitive match. Southern got on the board early with a win in the No. 1 Doubles. However, Florida kept their composure and was able to win lines two and three to secure their spot in the finals.
The Championship match was set to be another dog fight. Florida matched up against Eastern’s New York. The top line went all the way to a tiebreaker set, but Florida was able to snatch that one away from the jaws of defeat. Eastern would bounce back in the second line, in a commanding victory to turn all eyes to the third and final game. The first set was back and forth, but Hillsborough County was able to find a break and take it 7-5. In the second set, the two teams kept trading blow for blow, but once again, Florida found the break and was able to win 6-4, becoming National Champions.
Hillsborough County (Florida) d. Eastern (New York) 2-1
No. 1 Doubles: Manuel Alvarez/Maki Smith (Florida) d. Chiara Ciabatti/Tobias Glitterstam 6-3, 4-6, 1-0
No. 2 Doubles: Clinton deVries/Johanna Olsborg (Eastern) d. Jeffrey Stern/Gail Gibson 6-3, 6-2
No. 3 Doubles: Jamie Mckibban/Stephanie Wager (Florida) d. Henry Walsh/Kate Jennings 7-5, 6-4
In the Mixed 18 and over 7.0 division, Okaloosa County (Bluewater Bay Tennis Center) was able to sneak into playoffs, after going 3-1 in round robin play. In the semifinals, the Florida team fell short 2-1 and ended up with a fourth-place finish on the weekend. Captain Mark Violette was proud of his team “I was convinced we had a winning team. However, the dream started to turn into reality as we progressed from local competition and won our region,” he said. “The process, the experience, the thrills of being at National cannot be explained, they must be experienced.”
Over in the Women’s 55 and over 8.0 draw, Orange County (Grand Cypress Racquet Club) was able to reach the finals but ran out of steam in a tough 2-1 loss against Midwest, to finish second place in the tournament.
USTA Florida had another great showing in the Men’s 55 and over 8.0. Indian River/Martin/St. Lucie County (Friendship Park) qualified for the four-team playoffs. The team was able to secure a third-place finish, after a great weekend of tennis.
In the Women’s 40 and over 3.0 division, Orange County (Sanlando Park) had a stellar weekend of tennis. After going undefeated in the round robin, the Florida team reached the semifinals, and eventually secured third place.
Finally, Miami-Dade County (Crandon Park Tennis Center) in the Mixed 18 and over 6.0 finished in third and wrapped up a great season of Adult League tennis.
For more information about USTA Florida Leagues and the National Championships visit www.ustaflorida.com/leagues.