By Tori Townsend
Twenty-six senior teams headed to the tennis courts at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs on Thursday, Nov. 20 for the first day of competition at the 2008 USTA League presented by Chrysler National Mixed Doubles Championships. Although sunny skies reflected the notorious Florida weather, a temperature of 40 degrees greeted players in their early morning matches.
“Day one went extremely well,” said Pamela Leibfreid, Tournament Director and Section League Coordinator for USTA Mid-Atlantic. “All matches went on as scheduled and even though it was nippy in the morning, temperatures warmed up to brilliant sunshine. Players were very enthusiastic and thoroughly enjoyed the high level of competition.”
Leading their flights after the first day are the 6.0 mixed teams from USTA Mid-Atlantic (Flight I) and USTA Southern (Flight II), 7.0 teams from USTA Mid-Atlantic (Flight I) and USTA Midwest (Flight II), 8.0 teams from USTA Middle States (Flight I) and USTA Southern (Flight II) and the 9.0 mixed team from USTA Southern.
From a thirty-minute match tie-break between USTA Mid-Atlantic and the USTA Florida wildcard team in the No. 2 doubles position to 71-year-old Jesus Rivera from USTA Caribbean taking to the court like he was 17, the enthusiasm, talent and energy portrayed by the senior mixed teams attests that tennis is the sport of a lifetime.
That is certainly true for Gary Davis, 61, of the Senior Moments 6.0 team from USTA Midwest, who said that even through two heart attacks, five by-pass surgeries and five stints, he takes every opportunity to participate in the sport he loves and play with his teammates.
Friday brings day two of tournament play for the seniors and marks the first day of competition for the 37 adult teams. Time will tell who brings home the USTA League presented by Chrysler National Eastern Mixed Doubles Championship trophies!