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Intermountain Section Team Features Band of Tennis Brothers

Anthony Wayne in action.
The 2.5 Men's Intermountain team.
Intermountain 2.5 team congratulating each other.

By Jenna Higueras, USTA.com

It was 1939 and World War II had just begun in Europe and the world was in turmoil. It was also the year Anthony Wayne Middleton II was born.

Seventy years later, both the world and Middleton have come a long way. Middleton II shows no signs of slowing down as he captains the USTA Intermountain section men’s 2.5 team.

A physician in Salt Lake City, Utah, Middleton II had played tennis recreationally, but took up the sport competitively when he retired. Retirement however did not sit well with him and he decided to go back to work.

He and his son Anthony Wayne Middleton III began taking tennis classes at night eight months ago at the Salt Lake Swimming and Tennis Club, his local club. Middleton III playfully goes by nickname “Monk” to differentiate himself from his father.

“I am not a monk. I am married and all that stuff,” Middleton III says. His father said the nickname is actually just short for monkey.

After a couple months of lessons, a member of their club suggested that they start their own USTA League team. They took a brotherly approach to forming the team.

Both father and son were Beta Theta Pi’s at the University of Utah and Middleton III recruited his two fraternity brothers Ben Haslam and Chuck Wall. The team still needed two additional players and was pleased to add brothers Ben and David Blake to their roster.

Middleton II doesn’t feel the strain of his age on the team even though he is 43 years older than the team’s youngest player. He also plays basketball two to three times a week, and Middleton III says, “He is in as good of physical shape as anyone else.”

The family atmosphere has proven successful, as the team reached the USTA League Championships their first year playing together. “We all go way back. Even our wives get together. This has been going for decades,” explains Middleton III.

The team won their first round of play yesterday to Florida 2-1, but lost their second round to Caribbean 2-1.

They continue their quest to national title today against Northern California.

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