USTA League team captain Traci Kendall of Windermere, Fla., is looking forward to more runs at USTA Florida League Sectional Championships titles in 2019, and has extended her tennis volunteer efforts to working with and promoting wheelchair tennis in Central Florida.
“Last year I was the captain of two USTA League teams at the same time,” she says. “Both teams were fortunate to finish first place in their division and go to regionals. Both teams did fantastic. One team made it to league nationals to represent the state of Florida and we finished in fourth place. My other team missed nationals by one match. I can’t take all of the credit, as I had an amazing co-captain, Shelly Crema, and outstanding players.”
Kendall is in her fifth season captaining USTA League teams and booking her teams for an increasing number of trips to the USTA League National Championships.
In July of last year her Osceola County team playing out of the Star Island Resort in Kissimmee won the USTA Florida 40 & Over Sectional Championships in the women’s 3.0 division, contested at the USTA National Campus in Orlando.
“We had such an amazing three days and met some of the nicest woman and challenging competition,” she said. Later in October at nationals they finished in fourth place, in the semifinals narrowly falling 3-2 to USTA Texas (San Antonio), then in the 3rd/4th place playoff losing to USTA Mid-Atlantic (Potomac Falls, Va.) 3-2 in Mobile, Ala.
When she is not playing tennis, Kendall is working on her captain’s line-ups and her wheelchair tennis charity, Wheeling 4 Tennis.
“I raise money to provide disabled tennis lovers the ability to be able to play and do what I love to do every chance I get,” she says. “Giving back is so easy and important. I also help out to pick up balls at the wheelchair clinic — I don’t want them to miss a second of hitting a ball over picking up balls.”
Why volunteer in tennis?
“I love the game!” she says. “It’s like a puzzle to do a league line-up together — along with strategy. It’s so exciting to see at the end if your outcome was exactly what you planned. I love putting together fun clinics, round robins, along with special high school training clinics. All of these things I love to do so much and was doing for many years.”
USTA Florida congratulates Traci Kendall as the April 2019 Florida Tennis Volunteer of the Month for giving back at numerous levels for fellow tennis players in the Orlando area.
Birthplace: New York, N.Y.
Family Members: Skip, Noah, Remi, Brady
Favorite Movie: Urban Cowboy
Favorite Food: Mexican, Sushi
Favorite Travel: Cayman Islands
Favorite Shot: Return of serve from the ad side
My earliest tennis memory was…”Watching my mother stand in front of the TV watching tennis when I was very young.”
If I could play tennis with three people, they would be…”Roger Federer, Serena Williams, and Naomi Osaka.”
My best tennis memory is…”I won tickets to the US Open and it was the very best tennis as I sat there for 11 hours and watched till the very end until 2 a.m. Crazy good and I could have stayed till the morning.”