2018 USTA League National Adult 18 & Over 5.0+ Championships
Southern Men, Texas Women Victorious
October 7, 2018
Sunday marked the conclusion of the 2018 USTA League National Adult 18 & Over 5.0+ Championships, hosted by the USTA National Campus. After three days of high-level action, the men’s team representing Southern (Topspin Racquet and Swim Club – Lexington, S.C.) and the women’s squad from Texas (Greenhill Tennis Center – Addison) battled their way to league national titles.
Captained by Chris MacDougall, the full Southern roster includes Kyle Koch, Luke Whiteside, Hunter Horton, Nicholas Lombardo, Justin Downey, and Gregory Artzt. They fought their way to the trophy with consecutive 2-1 wins on Sunday.
The group from the Palmetto State played with their backs against the wall over the course of Saturday and Sunday after slipping against Southern California on the opening day. They managed to win both duals on the second day, which resulted in them sneaking into the semifinals by the slimmest of margins. Sitting tied in the overall standing with Mid-Atlantic, the tiebreaking procedure was taken all the way down to total number of games lost, which fell in favor of Southern by one game.
In their morning semifinal encounter, Southern faced the daunting task of taking on top seed Florida (Northdale Golf & Tennis Club – Tampa), who ran through Friday and Saturday with ease to finish 4-0. On top of that, their second doubles duo was forced to retire despite winning the first set, thus putting all the pressure on the other two courts. The tandem of Lombardo and Artzt came through with an impressive 6-2, 6-3 at the top doubles spot; Koch finished off the upset with a 6-3, 6-3 singles win.
In the championship dual versus second seed Northern California (Independent), Southern once again needed to overcome a retirement, this time on the first doubles court. Koch evened the team score with a solid 6-1, 6-4 result in the lone singles contest. Less than two minutes after Koch was at the net shaking hands with his opponent, Lombardo and Artzt put the finishing touches on a comprehensive 6-3, 6-2 triumph to give Southern the crown.
In the battle for third place, Caribbean (Puerto Rico) topped Florida 2-1, winning the only singles and top doubles spot.
Andrie Meiring’s Texas team played with a roster composed of Amy Allin, Alexandra Khadzhyan, Irina Lykina, Mahuiyang Rong, Teri Ware, Ruth Brown, Patricia Zerdan, Ashley Turpin, Erica Vo, Barbora Vykydalova, and Lindsey Pereira. They were the heavy favorites coming into Sunday after winning all four of their team duals without surrendering even one set.
The Lone Star squad kept up their torrid pace in the semifinals, sweeping aside Northern California (Berkeley Tennis Center). Dominating doubles headlined the victory, as Meiring and Vykydalova won 6-1, 6-1 on the first court while Rong and Turpin came through 6-2, 6-2 in the second position. Allin capped off the sweep with a 6-2, 6-4 effort.
Southern California (Los Caballeros Sports Village – Fountain Valley) figured to provide a tougher test after also going undefeated to qualify for the knockout stages and holding off Mid-Atlantic (Washington, D.C.) in the semifinal round. However, the Texas tandems simply could not be stopped. Rong and Turpin cruised at line two, taking the contest 6-0, 6-3. And while the pairing of Meiring and Vykydalova struggled to put away their opponents on court one, the final result still ended up being a thorough 6-2, 6-4 score line. With the title secured, Allin retired despite leading 6-4, 0-3.
The Northern California women staked claim to third place with a 2-1 defeat of Mid-Atlantic.
For more information on the 2018 USTA League National Adult Championships, click here.