Road to Nationals: Adult 18&O 3.5 Men's Team
It’s been a proud showing for Team Midwest at the 2021 USTA League National Championships, and one of our men’s teams from Indianapolis captured a national title in the Adult 18 & Over 3.5 Division.
The Indy players are Jim Bohrer, David Manner, Adam Johnson, Steve Bonek, Ramsaran Singh, David Harker, Michael O'Hara, Kevin Schwartz, Paul Lee, Mike Chaplin, SherwinClark Bocade, Brennan Perkins, Michael Surak, Maxime Leveque, Mark Phillips, Ryan Wilhite and Nicholas Cebulko who all practice at the Indianapolis Racquet Club with their captain, Prem Gupta.
This year’s Adult 18 & Over 3.5 competition was held at the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex in Surprise, Arizona on October 3rd.
It was an impressive victory as Indianapolis defeated a team from El Paso, Texas, 4-1 in the championship match. Earlier that day, Indianapolis came out on top against a team from Fairfax, Virginia 3-2 in the semifinals.
Over the years, there has been tremendous growth within USTA League since it was established in 1980 leaping from 13,000 players to more than 300,000 across the nation today. It’s the world’s largest recreational tennis league.
Established to provide adult recreational tennis players the opportunity to compete against players of similar ability levels, any USTA member 18 years and older can participate, and Prem Gupta enjoys captaining teams at the Indianapolis Racquet Club where he coaches.
Prem has been teaching tennis to players of all ages for more than 50 years. “I came from India. That was 1968… I started working for North Central High School. Then I got hired at Indianapolis Racquet Club.”
He’s taught a lot of children over the years. “There were three kids that became pros,” he says.
And as a captain for Adult League tennis teams, he’s also had a lot of success.
“In ’87 I took a team to Nationals in Arizona — a 2.5 ladies team. There were very few teams those days.”
He took another team to Arizona the following year, and in total has succeeded at captaining 10 USTA League National Championship-winning teams.
“I’ve been doing this a long time,” he laughs.
When the Indianapolis Men’s Team won Nationals, Prem says the team was elated, “They were very happy.”
Seventeen teams competed for first place that weekend. Indianapolis came out number one with an undefeated record leading up to their championship match.
“They are really great players,” says Prem. “There were a lot of close matches.”
The journey to get to Nationals was special. No injuries, a lot of fun, and a chance to make friends and family proud.
“One guy’s father went with him… His father wanted to see him play,” remembers Prem.
Prem returned to Indianapolis recently after captaining another local team at Nationals — the Adult 55 & Over 7.0 Women's Team that came in second place. One of the team’s finalists kept a day-by-day record of her team’s experiences in Orlando, Florida where they competed. You can read their full story here.
For more information about USTA League, click here.
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