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March 26, 2009 10:43 AM
Some fans lay a towel on the concrete to watch the matches.
A little respite in the severe weather
A player enjoys a bit of neck-ice.

While unexpected, rainy weather played a factor at the 4.0 Adult League National Championships presented by Chrysler this morning in Tucson, AZ, the USTA League 5.0 Adult National Championships are off to a scorching start. The 2008 championships kicked off today as 13 Men’s and 13 Women’s Section teams took to the court at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Calif. With weather in the mid-80’s to start the day, the first flight of competition was considered lucky as mid-day temperatures rose to over 100 degrees. It didn’t effect the players mindsets as they all had their eyes on the prize of claiming the title and distinction of being crowned the 2008 5.0 Adult National Champion.

“The players have been cooperative and upbeat despite the heat,” said Jeanne Lucido, USTA League National Manager. “They’ve stayed focused on who will walk away with the championship.”

Missouri Valley’s Henry Walsh claimed the first set of his singles match. By the beginning of the second set, however, the scorching weather began to take its toll.

“I saw my teammates on the court beside me also struggling with the heat. I knew my teammates had just lost their match so I knew I had to reach down deep and find the energy inside to pull it out for the team to win our match,” Walsh said.

Walsh’s teammate Darin Weidenheimer, who clinched a doubles victory with partner Matt Wright added, “I wasn’t even thinking about it. It’s not so much the heat but battling your own thoughts out there. You have to handle the situation in a positive way.”

And that’s just what happened. Weidenheimer and Wright motivated one another to stay focused on their goal.

“I was worried about my back, I expected it to tighten up and get worse but the heat actually loosened it up,” said Matt laughing. “I should play in this type of heat more often.”

Mid-Atlantic player Alicia Wise won her match but while reporting her score added, “I’m done for today!”

Looking ahead to tomorrow, it looks like the temperatures might break as highs are only supposed to reach 104 degrees on Saturday.

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