Despite a soggy weekend, three squads left the USTA National Campus on Monday with sectional crowns earned at the USTA Florida Adult 18 & Over 2.5/4.0 Sectional Championships, held Aug. 14-16.
With ten squads competing for the women’s 2.5 title, Orange/Seminole/Lake (Isleworth Tennis Club, Windermere), Miami-Dade (Doral Park Country Club, Doral), Alachua (Haile Plantation Country Club, Gainesville), and Duval (Florida Yacht Club, Jacksonville) moved out of the round-robin stage of the competition to compete in the knockout stages. Holding the sole 4-0 record, Orange/Seminole/Lake earned the top seed and battled Duval, resulting in a sweep, while Alachua overcame Miami-Dade to advance to the final.
Singles proved to be a shaky spot for Alachua, losing the lone singles court to Orange/Seminole/Lake, but made up for the deficit with a 6-4, 6-4 victory from Naomi Edmunds and Jamie Gilliam on the second doubles court. A decisive match tiebreak decided the first doubles spot as Alachua’s Hebah Fox and Elizabeth Howell bounced back to clinch a 6-2, 3-6, 1-0 win to take home the crown.
Dominating the men’s 4.0 competition were the squads from Hillsborough (HCC Tennis Complex, Tampa) and Broward (Lauderdale Tennis Club, Fort Lauderdale), the undeniable standouts from the 14-team division. Both emerged from the round-robin portion of the event with a perfect 4-0 record while only dropping two sets. In the semifinals, defending division champion Hillsborough conquered all five courts against Collier County (Arthur Allen Tennis Center, Naples) and Broward ousted Escambia’s squad (Roger Scott Tennis Center, Pensacola) by picking up four of the five courts.
Broward brought the pressure in the championship dual, as Eliu Montero and David Chen captured both singles courts in match tiebreaks. However, it wasn’t enough to overcome Hillsborough’s dominant doubles play. Daniel Zantedeschi and Aditya Deshpande took line one 6-4, 6-2 while Kyle Madill and Enrique Escobar cleaned up on court three 6-3, 6-1. The duo of Jean-Claude Dallies and Joshua Luo rallied at line two to seal the deal with a 5-7, 6-1, 1-0 victory over Broward, keeping the 4.0 men’s title in Hillsborough’s possession.
Handily the most competitive division of the event, the women’s 4.0 semifinals saw Alachua (Jonesville Tennis Center, Gainesville) defeat Sarasota (Sarasota Sports Club, Sarasota) four courts to one while Duval (Charles J. Williams YMCA, Jacksonville) upset the previously undefeated Pinellas (Bardmoor Golf Tennis Club, Largo) with a 3-2 margin.
In the head-to-head battle between Alachua and Duval for the women’s 4.0 crown, all but one of the contests were decided in straight sets. In doubles action, Alachua’s Tainana Meridez and Alison Sagas took the top spot 6-3, 7-6 while courts two and three were won by Duval with respective 6-3, 6-2 and 6-2, 6-4 scores. On the first singles court, Alachua’s Katherine Evans breezed to a 6-2, 6-1 result. However, all eyes were on the extended match between Duval’s Gina Carman and Alachua’s Olivia Wallman, where ultimately, Carman would log a thrilling 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 comeback to seize the crown for Duval.
The competing teams represented various clubs, parks, recreational departments and organizations, and finished at the top of their local leagues during the 2021 season to advance to the USTA Florida Adult 18 & Over 2.5/4.0 Sectional Championships.
18 & Over Women’s 2.5
Final: Alachua County (Haile Plantation Country Club, Gainesville) d. Orange County (Isleworth Tennis Club, Windermere) 2-1
Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Singles: Erica Amadori (Orange) d. Bailey Lerner 6-1, 6-2
No. 1 Doubles: Hebah Fox/Elizabeth Howell (Alachua) d. Amanda Nowak/Meghan Mannella 6-2, 3-6, 1-0
No. 2 Doubles: Naomi Edmunds/Jamie Gilliam (Alachua) d. Jessica OBrien/Lily Siviglia 6-4, 6-4
Alachua County Season Roster: Elizabeth Howell (Captain), Jenn Garrett, Hillary Arnaoutaki, Jamie Gilliam, Hebah Fox, Tina Waters, Johnna Whitmore, Bailey Lerner, Maureen Ratliff, Kelly Haager, Naomi Edmunds, Mary Kedrowski, Haesuk Park
18 & Over Men’s 4.0
Final: Hillsborough County (HCC Tennis Complex, Tampa) d. Broward County (Lauderdale Tennis Club, Fort Lauderdale) 3-2
Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Singles: Eliu Montero (Broward) d. Steven Michaelis 6-3, 3-6, 1-0
No. 2 Singles: David Chen (Broward) d. Michael Detsis 4-6, 6-0, 1-0
No. 1 Doubles: Daniel Zantedeschi/Aditya Deshpande (Hillsborough) d. Ryan Sauerman/Michael Nouri 6-4, 6-2
No. 2 Doubles: Jean-Claude Dallies/Joshua Luo (Hillsborough) d. Kelly Painter/Zain Masters 5-7, 6-1, 1-0
No. 3 Doubles: Kyle Madill/Enrique Escobar (Hillsborough) d. Michael Stites/Harley Garza 6-3, 6-1
Hillsborough County Season Roster: Joe Orsini (Captain), Gavin Smith, Steven Michaelis, Aditya Deshpande, Daniel Zantedeschi, Michael Detsis, Jean-Claude Dallies, Richard Helme, Ernie Pabon, Carlos Layrisse, Albert Alhadeff, Kyle Madill, Jeffrey Mars, Hugo Rodriguez, John Hockin, Enrique Escobar, Joshua Luo, Elvin Vargas
18 & Over Women’s 4.0
Final: Duval County (Charles J. Williams YMCA, Jacksonville) d. Alachua County (Jonesville Tennis Center, Gainesville) 3-2
Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Singles: Katherine Evans (Alachua) d. Andrea Frick 6-2, 6-1
No. 2 Singles: Gina Carman (Duval) d. Olivia Wallman 4-6, 6-4, 1-0
No. 1 Doubles: Taiana Mendez/Alison Sagas (Alachua) d. Raquel Clark/Claudia Eikner 6-3, 7-6
No. 2 Doubles: Loretta Zubero/Kristen Surface (Duval) d. Cynthia Thibault/Kristina Ford 6-3, 6-2
No. 3 Doubles: Katie Farrar/Carolina Rechy (Duval) d. Allison Shinn/Carolyn Shinn 6-2, 6-4
Duval County Season Roster: Raquel Clark (Captain), Victoria Li, Laurie Scott, Amy Curley, Andrea Frick, Kimberly Besser, Claudia Eikner, Carolina Rechy, Kerry Phillips, Katie Farrar, Kelly Atkins, Kathy Roan, Rachel Kennedy, Loretta Zubero, Kristen Surface, Gina Carman
2021 USTA FLORIDA LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP CUP STANDINGS
The USTA Florida League Championship Cup is awarded to the county with the most league sectionals titles during the 2021 season (standings through August 17, recent winners in bold):
1. Pinellas County (7 titles) — 65&Over-W7.0/W8.0/M8.0, 55&Over-M9.0, 40&Over-X7.0/X8.0, 18&Over-M4.5
2T. Orange/Seminole/Lake (6) — 55&Over-W7.0/W8.0/W9.0, 40&Over-W3.5/W4.5, 18&Over-M3.0
2T. Hillsborough County (6) — 55&Over-W6.0, 40&Over-X9.0/W4.0/W5.0, 18&Over-W4.5/M4.0
3. Duval County (4) — 55&Over-M7.0, 40&Over-X6.0/M4.0, 18&Over-W4.0
4T. Broward County (3) — 40&Over-M3.0/M3.5/M4.5
4T. Marion County (3) — 65&Over-W6.0/M7.0, 40&Over-W2.5
5T. Alachua County (1) — 18&Over-W2.5
5T. Escambia County (1) — 55&Over-M8.0
5T. Miami-Dade County (1) — 40&Over-W3.0
5T. Polk County (1) — 18&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.
Next Sectionals: Aug 21-23, Adult 18 & Over 3.5/5.0 Sectional League Championships, USTA National Campus, Orlando.
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 go to www.USTAFlorida.com/leagues.