Bill Radford in action.
© Jeff Bottari/USTA
by Fred Allemann
INDIAN WELLS, Calif., In preparation for the 2008 USTA League presented by Chrysler Senior 4.0 National Championship, from October 16-18 in Indian Wells, California, Todd Whitney, captain of the Shipwatch Yacht and Tennis Club men’s team from the Florida Section (Largo, Florida), was sure he and his teammates had all their ducks in a row.
But on Thursday morning he learned they didn’t. That’s when he received a call from teammate Bill Radford from the Tampa airport letting the captain know he had inadvertently booked his flight for Wednesday. As it was a non-refundable ticket, Bill couldn’t reschedule. There was no way that Bill was able to come up with the $800 it would take to make it to Indian Wells for the three-day National Championship that started on Friday morning, October 17.
Immediately after getting the bad news, Todd gathered the rest of his USTA Florida team to do some contingency planning. Determined not to give up, the team decided on the spot to chip in a $100 each to fly their stranded teammate to Indian Wells.
“It took our team just a few minutes to make the decision,” stated Whitney, “and less than 15-minutes later, we bought Bill a ticket on another flight.” Radford arrived late Thursday evening.
Now reunited, the Shipwatch men bring that same fighting spirit to bear in their quest for a national title. The team’s generosity paid off as Radford and doubles partner, Brian Cooper, won a match tiebreak to take their match Friday morning. The team, however, went down to a 2-1 defeat to the Middle States team.