By J. Fred Sidhu, special to USTA.com
The Southern California section team put together two impressive victories on the final day to win the title at the USTA League Mixed 40 & Over 6.0 National Championships, and heavy rain led to the Southern California and Florida section teams being named co-champions in the USTA League Mixed 40 & Over 8.0 National Championships.
The 6.0 action National Championship saw the Southern California section team, from Arcadia, Calif., begin the day at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex with a semifinal victory over the Intermountain section team, from Las Vegas, 3-0.
Later in the day, Arcadia continued its dominating play in the final, sweeping the Southern section team, from Knoxville, Tenn., 3-0.
“It’s wonderful. It’s so exciting. This is what we were looking for. Everyone worked so hard and they have been waiting for this for a long time,” said Southern California captain Jack Yu. “We are going to go back to Arcadia and celebrate.”
The Intermountain team clinched third place by blanking the Pacific Northwest section team, from Mill Creek, Wash., 3-0.
In 8.0 action, the Florida section team, from Pensacola, Fla., advanced to the final by breezing past the Texas section team, from Hurst, Texas, 3-0. The Southern California section squad, from Fountain Valley, Calif., clinched its spot in the championship match by defeating a tough Mid-Atlantic section team, from Fairfax, Va., 2-1.
Florida and Southern California split the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles matches to tie the score at 1-1, leaving the No. 2 doubles match to determine the winner. The teams split the first two sets and were set to play a third-set match tiebreak for first place. But persistent showers began to fall and play was suspended. After waiting in a rain delay for over four hours, tournament officials decided to call the match and declare Florida and Southern California as co-champions.
“My team was excited to get to Nationals and we were happy to be here,” said Southern California captain Nina Le. “Unfortunately, the rain stopped us. Hopefully, we’ll have another chance to play in a [Nationals] again.”
Florida Captain Will Morris was disappointed the match could not be finished but was happy for his team and how it reached the final.
“It’s unfortunate we couldn’t finish the last tiebreaker. It couldn’t have been more even,” he said. “The weather just didn’t cooperate. We’ll take co-champions. I love my team and I couldn’t be prouder.”
Before the rain began, the Mid-Atlantic Section defeated the Texas section team, 2-1, to finish in third place.