The Golden Ticket to
Erin Maher | March 28, 2019
On Friday, March 29th, the second annual NTRP National Championships kicks-off for two weekends of exceptional play and competition for USTA members.
In 2018, the USTA launched a new national adult tournament that leverages the NTRP rating system as a way to create level-based competition at the 18 & over and 50 & over age groups.
NTRP National Champions are crowned in men’s and women’s singles and doubles at the 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5 and levels in both 18 & over and 50 & over age groups, as well as at the 5.0 level in the 18 & over division. The NTRP National Championships uses a Fast Four play format, meaning that first to four games wins the set, and it's the best out of three sets, with no-ad scoring. Each division consists of 8, 4-player round robin draws that will play off into 4, 8-player single elimination draws, and players qualify from across the country, representing the 17 USTA sections.ADVERTISEMENT
“It was great to see the level of play in different districts,” said 2018 NTRP Champion Andrew Cusik, who last year teamed up with his brother, Brandon in the doubles division. “The Midwest and Missouri Valley 4.5 talent doesn’t compare with Texas and California. We really had to step up our game; it was a lot of fun. It was really meaningful to have the opportunity to play at that level.
Dana Scott, a 2018 NTRP National Championships player, was interested in playing the broader pool of opponents.
“I have played in a few other tournaments but never any outside of Ind. or to that magnitude,” said Scott. “Just wanted to do something different and more challenging and the NTRP tournament seemed perfect for me.”
Not only does the NTRP National Championships provide top-notch competition, but it also offers participants a chance to connect with other tennis fans and players, making new friendships and connections in the tennis community.
“I travel a lot for work, so it was great to network myself,” said Aaron Ogden, 2018 NTRP National Championship participant. “To be able to say, ‘Hey, when I’m in Texas give us a call,’ or ‘When I’m in California, in San Francisco, hit us up, we’ll play.’ So that’s the other aspect to the national piece. A lot of people I talk to, they do travel, and I always struggle to find someone to hit with in a city where I know nobody. It was a good experience.”
To celebrate the 2019 National Championships, players who qualified were given the “Golden ticket” by USTA National, to commemorate the exciting occasion.
“It was such a cool moment,” Brandon Cusik, a 2018 NTRP National Championship player, said of learning he had qualified. “It was so neat, getting that golden ticket in the mail. It was very cool.”
The action kicks off on Friday, as the 18 & Over singles will get underway at Academia Sanchez-Casal in Naples, Fla., and the 50 & Over singles division will be held at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex in Surprise, Ariz.
The doubles tournament for the 18 & Over, as well as the 50 & Over division will be held from Friday, April 5 through Sunday, April 7 at both locations as well.
For more information on the NTRP Nationals, click here.