Marci and Ryan Ollivier from the Intermontain section.
© Andrew Ong
By Blake Grimsley, USTA.com
TUCSON , Ariz. – Making it to the USTA League National Championships is always a tremendous accomplishment, but to have your significant other qualify to play in the same location and on the same weekend is definitely a special but rare occurrence. But that is exactly what happened to Ryan and Marci Ollivier from Salt Lake City represented the USTA’s Intermountain Section.
“We can’t tell you how much fun and enjoyable the experience of being together at nationals championships has been,” said Marci.
Marci and her husband Ryan both joined the USTA Leagues after re-igniting their passion for tennis while living in Switzerland.
“We had always played when we were dating, but it wasn’t very competitive tennis,” said Ryan. “Then when we moved to Switzerland with my work, we joined a tennis club.”
After moving back to Salt Lake City, joining a USTA League was the perfect outlet for this tennis-loving couple. They first began playing 7.5 mixed doubles, but weren’t quite sure of their capabilities. Their lack of doubles experience resulted in a 6-0, 6-1 whitewash in their first 7.5 mixed doubles match.
Three years later the Ollivier’s haven’t lost a mixed 7.5 match this season. And as the No. 1 ranked players in their section, Marci and Ryan found the perfect way to spend time together.
“Both of our teams won on the last day of Sectionals, said Ryan. “Once Marci’s team advanced, we were both hoping my men’s team would clinch so that we would get to go together. “We kind of both thought there was a chance, because we both had strong teams.”
Both the Ollivier’s teams got underway this morning at the 2009 USTA League 3.5 Adult National Championships in Tucson. Marci’s straight-sets 6-1, 6-0 singles win catapulted her team to a 3-2 win over Texas. Ryan, and his doubles partner, David Randle, beat the team of Jung Kim and Ji Woong Chang, 6-3, 4-6, 1-0, but their team fell to Pacific Northwest, 3-2.
Although the babysitter bills may add up for the Ollivier’s while they are in Tucson, the husband and wife are enjoying the rare experience of a husband and wife both playing at National Championships.