Photo Credit: Michael J. Le Brecht II
By J. Fred Sidhu, special to USTA.com
A pair of dramatic conclusions highlighted the men’s and women’s finals on Sunday at the 2013 USTA League Adult 40 & Over 3.5 National Championships.
On a brilliant, picture-perfect day at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Calif., the Texas Section team from Dallas scored a thrilling 3-2 victory over the Middle States Section team from Cherry Hill, N.J., to win the Men’s 3.5 National Championship. And in the Women’s 3.5 Championship, the Florida Section team from Casselberry, Fla., which was named, “The No Drama Mamas,” edged the Pacific Northwest Section team from Portland, Ore., 3-2 in a dramatic final to win the title.
With the scored tied at 2-2 in the men's final, the No. 2 doubles match determined the outcome. On Stadium 4, a large group of teammates, friends and family wildly cheered on David Leslie and Eugene Yeoh of the Texas team to an exciting 6-4, 2-6, [10-8] title-clinching victory over Michael Sarubbi and Luis Pastoriza of the Middle States team.
“It feels great. We had a bunch of guys that played real hard and they never gave up,” said Texas co-captain Stephen Graham. “It was fun. We loved playing New Jersey. They’re a great group of guys. We had a great time.”
The women's final played out in similar fashion, with the No. 1 doubles match playing the deciding role. This time, it was the Florida team of Shanda Redding and Stephanie Schwartzberg scoring an incredible 5-7, 7-6 (7), [10-8] come-from-behind victory over Sarah Nelson and Pam Delaporte of the Pacific Northwest team to seal the championship for the Florida Section.
“Oh my God, it’s incredible. The No Drama Mamas came to town with 18 players. Every one of my players was a winner and we did it,” said Schwartzberg, who serves as the Florida Section team captain. “We’ve had the best time. It’s just been an awesome experience.”