Tri-Level Championships 2017
James Maimonis, Communications and Engagement Coordinator | March 23, 2017
New England Joins Forces at Tri-Level Championships
INDIAN WELLS, CA- While Roger Federer was busy battling Stan Wawrinka en route to his fifth title at Indian Wells, New England players were enjoying the summer weather in March competing for their shot at the BNP Paribas Tri-Level Championships. Winning teams from Tri-Level Sectionals in January joined forces to create one men’s and women’s team representing New England at the beautiful Indian Wells Tennis Garden from March 16-19.
“It felt like the Olympics but on a smaller level,” said Ben Taylor, of the 4.5 team from Vermont. “You got to feel what it’s like representing your part of the nation and no matter how you play, win or lose, you are a winner just for getting there, and everyone there makes sure you know that.”
James Ayer joined Taylor as 4. ADVERTISEMENT 5 representatives on the men’s side, as they represented New England at the Tri-Level Championships for the second time.
Rounding out the team were 4.0 Sectional winners Zach Weaver and partner Aaron Crystal (who won Sectionals last year as well but were unable to attend the Championships), also from Vermont and New Hampshire 3.5 players Jeffrey Hastings and Eric Murray. Men's 3.5 Sectional finalists Jim Tillow and David Parekh were also invited to Indian Wells to support the team.
The men’s tournament was highlighted by their convincing victory over Midwest, racking up wins in all three positions. The 4.5 spot won 6-3, 6-2, the 4.0s won 6-3, 6-3 and the 3.5s earned a 6-4, 6-3 victory.
The men’s team finished third in its flight, compiling a 5-4 match record and going 1-2 overall.
The Vermont women’s duo of Jeanne Hulsen and Kristin Hartley were making their first appearance at the Championships since 2011 and did not disappoint. Representing the 4.5 position, Hulsen and Hartley led the women’s team by sweeping the competition. The pair went 4-0 and helped their team to a second-place finish in the flight.
The women’s squad also featured 4.0 players Abi Cushman and Leah Ward, of Eastern Connecticut. The 3.5 team did not participate and substitutes were assigned for New England.
The women finished 2-2 overall with six match wins.
“The way these teams come together with one common goal is truly amazing,” said Heather Anastos, USTA New England Director of Competitive Tennis. “Some of them have never even met before the Championships, and to see them mesh and play so well together and represent New England at the highest level is inspiring to see.”