Tennis players from The Villages recently made a strong showing in a United States Tennis Association Tournament.
The Villages players took home fourth place in the USTA League Men’s 7.0 (65 and Over) National Invitational tournament, which was held in Orlando this past weekend. The team competed against players from several states and regions during the event.
The Villagers were part of a USTA league that competed during the season from January through March. The league consisted of three teams from USTA Region 2 (Marion). Two teams came from Glenview Tennis Center in The Villages and another represented Citrus Hills Country Club.
All matches consisted of three pairs of doubles players with the best-of-three sets of play. The Villages team captained by Mike James won the league with a 6-2 winning record.
That qualified The Villages team to compete in the Men’s USTA 7.0 (65 and Over) Sectional Championships in Orlando in April. Six teams from the various USTA Florida Regions competed for the championship.
The competition included teams from Collier, Hillsborough, Lee/Charlotte, Duval, Pinellas and Marion (The Villages). All teams competed in a round-robin format playing each team once, with the winner determined by the best record. The Villages won with a 4-1 record.
That victory qualified The Villages team to represent Florida in the tournament this past weekend that featured 17 teams from various states and regions across the country. Florida beat teams from Eastern (New York), New England (Massachusetts), Northern (Minnesota) and Texas to qualify for the semifinals.
A team from New England won the tournament, followed by squads from New Jersey, Southern Georgia and The Villages representing Florida. The local players agreed that it was a very competitive and successful season and for many it represented the opportunity of a lifetime to compete at the national level in a sport they love.
In addition to James, the players on The Villages team included Dave O’Steen, Bob Kluemper, Dave Barnes, Bob Anglace, John Ulrich, Jim VanEmburgh, Carlos Munoz, Jim Robertson, Juno Guevara and Tim Puckett.