By Tori Townsend
© Tori Townsend
Competition was exceptional in the final matches of the 2008 USTA League presented Chrysler National Eastern Mixed Doubles Championships. While ten adult mixed doubles teams took to the courts early Sunday morning on Nov. 23 at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, only five were left standing and awarded the National Champion title.
In the adult mixed 6.0 final, a team from Peñuelas, Puerto Rico, representing USTA Caribbean, defeated a team from Knoxville, Tenn., representing USTA Southern, 3-0 to take the title. The No. 2 doubles team of James Hines and Kim Rennich of USTA Southern pushed to a third set match tiebreak; however, Susana Maria Torres and Juan Monserrate of USTA Caribbean were too tough and captured the match 7-5, 4-6, 1-0.
Representing USTA Eastern, a team from Montville, N.J. defeated a team from USTA Caribbean, 2-1 in the adult mixed 7.0 championship match. USTA Caribbean took the No. 1 doubles position while USTA Eastern won the No. 2 doubles position. All eyes rested on the No. 3 doubles team of Timothy Chang and Chuanrong Sun (Eastern) and Kenneth Santos and Lourdes Figueras (Caribbean) who battled it out in a third set match tiebreak. Chang and Sun won the match 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 and solidified a national championship title for USTA Eastern.
USTA Southern reclaimed victory in the adult mixed 8.0 final, defeating USTA Mid-Atlantic, 2-1. The Knoxville, Tenn. team, who plays at Smokey Mountain Tennis Academy, overpowered a tough team from Virginia Beach, Va. USTA Southern won the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles positions while USTA Mid-Atlantic took the No. 3 doubles match. Down one set in the No. 2 doubles position, Lanny Martin and Lisa Moore Counts swung USTA Southern into victory when they rallied from behind and overcame Bonnie Holt and Scott Spruill of USTA Mid-Atlantic, 4-6, 6-4, 1-0.
USTA Eastern collected another big win in the adult mixed 9.0 division. A team from New York, N.Y. defeated a team from San Juan, Puerto Rico, representing USTA Caribbean, 2-1 in the finals. The Eastern team, who play out of East Hampton Indoor Tennis, took the No. 1 and No. 2 lines while USTA Caribbean won the No. 3 doubles line in a third set match tiebreak.
The 10.0 division was the highest level played at the National Eastern Mixed Doubles Championships. Five teams representing USTA Southern, USTA Florida, USTA New England, USTA Middle States and USTA Mid-Atlantic competed in a round robin format, playing a total four matches each. A team from Little Rock-Fayetteville, Ark., representing USTA Southern, swept the competition with a perfect match record of four wins and 0 losses. The hometown USTA Florida team from Jacksonville finished second with 2 wins and 2 losses. USTA New England also had two wins and two losses; however, due to tiebreak rules, USTA Florida claimed second because they had more individual wins.