By Carrie Rupp, USTA.com
Just five years ago friends and teammates Marcia Pflug (Greenwich, Conn.) and Tracy Eck (Rye, N.Y.) were crowned USTA League 4.5 Adult National Champions in Tucson, Ariz. While at the tournament, a USTA staff-person wrote a story about the women, both admitted fitness devotees, for the tournament Web site – a memory the ladies treasured and definitely the icing on their National Championship cake. Fast-forward to today and the duo is back together, this time in Las Vegas, hoping to add another championship to their collection.
“It [winning the national championship] was great,” Eck said. “They really didn’t think that we would do much. But we were a really good team and we fought really hard, we had no idea we’d come close or even win. It was a great experience.”
Since their time in Tucson, the women have focused their efforts on returning to a national championship, which the team from Rye Racquet Club in Harrison, N.Y., accomplished when they won USTA Eastern Section Championship.
Happy to return to the championship atmosphere, the women, who both started playing tennis later in life – Pflug, now 49, in her twenties and Eck, now 47, in her thirties – can’t imagine life without the sport.
“It [tennis] is how you live your life,” Eck said. “It teaches you not to judge everything you do, one day is good; one day is bad. It helps you with patience, stamina, discipline and I think it has made me a good role model for my children.”
Eck continued, “My children are just so happy that I am out here competing. It’s good for them to see that I’m not just a mom I am a competitor, too.”
Although they weren’t always active in tennis, both women have always been active in other sports. Pflug was a veteran swimmer who also enjoys weight training, while Eck adds Pilates and strength training to her fitness routine.
Pflug stressed the importance of staying fit, “You feel well rounded after a good workout. I believe exercise keeps you in balance. You are taking a healthy outlet to keep all of your stress under control and your life in balance.”
Pflug and Eck plan to channel the benefits of their athleticism into success at the 4.5 Adult national championships, hoping to again hoist the trophy with their teammates.
“To win again, it would be incredible; just incredible,” Eck said. “ We are so happy to be back, to win would just be an added bonus.”