2019 Year in Review
Leagues and Tournaments
The Year in Review would be incomplete without including USTA’s signature products: tournaments, Junior Team Tennis, and adult leagues offered in 2019. Here is a snapshot:
Junior Team Tennis (JTT)
JTT continues to grow in the Chicago District by way of four leagues throughout the winter months and three leagues in the summer. CDTA's leagues boast team competition in the Orange Ball, Green Ball, 12U, 14U and High School Doubles divisions. The Chicago District had more than 100 teams and 1,000 players in JTT programs.
CDTA is proud to report that the 14U team, Northwestern Next Level, earned first place at the Midwest Sectional in Indianapolis and represented the Section and District at JTT Nationals in San Antonio, TX where they placed 7th. Additionally, teams from Oak Brook Tennis Club won the Sectional Championships at the Orange Ball and 12U levels.ADVERTISEMENT
2019 JTT Leagues and Clubs included the following:
West Suburban League
- Barrington Area Tennis Association
- Chicago Youth Tennis Association
- Courts Plus - Elmhurst
- Downers Grove High School
- Midtown Willowbrook
- Midtown Athletic Club-Chicago
- Naperville Tennis Club
- Northwestern Next Level
- Oak Brook Tennis Center
- Oak Park Racquet and Fitness
- Rush Copley - Aurora
- Schaumburg Tennis Plus
- Wheaton Sport Center
North Shore Park District League
- Barrington Area Tennis Association
- Deer Creek Racquet Club
- Forest View Racquet & Fitness Club - Arlington Heights
- Glenview Tennis Club
- Heritage Tennis Club - Arlington Heights
Chicago City League
- XS Tennis-Chicago
- McFetridge Sports Center
- Midtown Chicago
North Shore/Chicago Orange/Green League
- LifeSport - Lincolnshire
- Five Seasons Northbrook
- Glenview Green Ball Team
- LifeSport - Libertyville
To find out more about JTT play and how to become involved, please contact CDTA Junior Play Director Barb Rueth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chicago continues to have a thriving Adult League tennis program. More than 3,000 players compete throughout the year, many playing on multiple teams as the Chicago District has more than 9,500 total registered league players. League play in the Chicago District in 2019 included teams comprised of players between the ages of 18 and 75. Play offerings include singles, doubles, mixed doubles, combo doubles and tri level. Women continue to dominate the Chicago District's league population, making up nearly two-thirds of all players.
The Chicago District crowned 27 District Champions and celebrated 8 Sectional champions:
- 18&O 3.5 Men captained by Kenji Fujimoto out of Schaumburg Tennis Plus
- 18&O 5.0 Men captained by Mark Veverka and James Bowers out of the Salt Creek Club
- 18&O 2.5 Women captained by Irene Carod and Todd Seltzer at Midtown Bannockburn
- 18&O 4.5 Women captained by Fra Angelica Farinas and Ayano Nakamura out of TAM
- 40&O 4.5+ Women captained by Lynne Buell and Cece Hopkins out of Challenge Fitness
- 40&O 4.0 Men captained by Mark Rawlins and John Li out of Glenbrook Racquet Club
- 55&O 9.0 Women captained by Dawn Moller out of Glenview Tennis Club
- 18&O 8.0 Mixed captained by Masanori Kobayashi out of Forest View Tennis Club
Two of those teams, 18&O 2.5 Women captained by Irene Carod and Todd Seltzer at Midtown Bannockburn and the 40&O 4.5+ Women captained by Lynne Buell and Cece Hopkins out of Challenge Fitness, brought home the big prize – a National championship!
In 2019, CDTA made a concerted effort to engage league players to learn what they love about the program and what they would like to see improved. The dialogue began with a survey distributed to all league players in the first quarter of the year. Input from the survey helped shape the agenda and discussion points for focus groups – with players and club representatives – that were held throughout the District in the summer and early fall. What we learned:
- There is a sense of community within the league but CDTA can do more to foster a stronger community.
- Captains make this league run! CDTA can do more to support them.
- Championships should be more of an event.
- There are concerns with league management that pertain to cost, rules, flight formation, court defaults, match reschedules and recruiting more players. Captains and players would like these concerns addressed. Despite that long list of items, there seemed to be a recurring theme underlying most of the topics – that of consistency and predictability.
- Communication and information availability is poor. Websites need to be improved, both TennisLink and CDTA’s site. In particular, clubs need to hear from CDTA earlier and more often when it comes to schedules and team formation. Updates as the seasons progress would be helpful too.
- Defaults and reschedules are a thorn in the side of all – players and club management alike. Club reps estimated that defaults result in approximately 10-20% loss of revenue. Although no definitive solutions were identified, some steps for improvement were discussed: CDTA can publish schedules earlier, providing captains more time to roster a match; preliminary schedules can be provided to clubs before they are set so that conflicts can be identified earlier; CDTA can educate new captains on rules and what is expected of them in terms of securing court time.
- There may be other opportunities for USTA league play but junior tennis, CITA, Jack Barry, North Suburban, Cardio and lessons are all vying for court time at clubs.
To share your thoughts about USTA League play or to learn more, contact CDTA Adult League Outreach Coordinator Nancy Manolis at email@example.com.
More than 500 tournaments were held in the Chicago District in 2019. These tournaments supported 2,031 different divisions of play, 18,170 matches, and 5,524 players. While the majority of these events are targeted toward junior players, there were 319 adult divisions and 20 wheelchair divisions played.
CDTA’s signature event for juniors, the District Qualifier, attracted more than 540 players and produced the following champions who went on to achieve more great results, along with other Chicago District players, at Sectional and National tournaments throughout the summer.
- Girls 10s Champion – Lily Revak
- Girls 12s Champion – Addison Lanton
- Girls 14s Champion – Anna Wiskowski
- Girls 16s Champion – Akari Matsuno
- Girls 18s Champion – Sylwia Mikos
- Boys 10s Champion – Dane Bozic
- Boys 12s Champion – Marcel Latak
- Boys 14s Champion – Nikia Filin
- Boys 16s Champion – Max Bengtsson
- Boys 18s Champion – Dominick Cuchran
Other outstanding athletes from the District Qualifiers are CDTA’s sportsmanship winners:
- Boys 18s: Phasu Sirinit, Jacob Williams
- Boys 16s: Casey Hishinuma
- Boys 14s: Gauthem Kappaganthula and Niyanth Puliyala
- Boys 12s: Ben Graft, David Wang, Richard Zhang
- Boys 10s: Carter Strillich, Chase Peirce
- Girls 18s: Ashley Meekly, Autumn Rabjohns, Darinka Stepan
- Girls 16s: Samantha Brassel, Ashtin, Hara, Chase Metcalf
- Girls 14s: Molly Chernawsky, Madeline Hills, Noelle Lanton
- Girls 12s: Gabrielle Lee
- Girls 10S: Sienna Bonano, Athena Khorsid, Stella Lee
Discussion of results of our junior players would be incomplete without mention of our outstanding District Cup teams. Each year, the 13 Districts across the Midwest section have the opportunity to field teams in the 12U, 14U, and 18U age divisions to compete in the District Cup Championships, a combination of singles and doubles play. For the sixth straight year, Chicago District 18U girls brought home the Baird Cup. Under the direction of Head Coach Mark Bey and Assistant Coach Alexis Prousis the G18s doubles record over the last six years is a remarkable 28 and 1!
The G18s team consisted of Alexandra Benedetto, Emily Callahan, Megan Heuser, Akari Matsuno, Sydney Pratt, Kylie Rabjohns, Tyra Richardson, Jacqueline Stasny, Darinka Stepan, and Kathryn Treiber.
The BG14s team was also victorious in District Cup competition, bringing home the championship trophy. Led by Coach Mirka Bagos, the BG14s team consisted of: Deven Carse, Nikita Filin, Maia Loureiro, Oliwia Mikos, Ervin Perkowski, Niyanth Puliyala, Kriti Sarav, and Mia Thomann.
Our gratitude goes out to B18s Head Coach Rob Budasceck, B18s Assistant Coach Ofir Weintraub and BG12s Coach Andrew Komarov for leading other District Cup teams in great competition. B18s Team Cup players were: Arjun Asokumar, Max Bengtsson, Joseph Daw, Zachary Kim, Jeremy Learner, Eric Perkowski, Max Sheldon, Natan Spear, Oleksi Vyshyvanyuk, and Bradley Yu.
BG12s Team Cup players were: Chris Ackerman, Saahil Gupte, Nathan Hernandez, Elizabeth Isyanov, Addison Lanton, Sofia Olaru, Jakub Paselak, and Sophia Shylyakhta.