James Maimonis, Communications and Engagement Coordinator | October 24, 2018
LAS VEGAS, NV- Jonathan Han, of Longmeadow, MA, is a first-year USTA League captain. He has led his Men’s 40 & Over 4.0 team, the Enfield Slammers, out of Enfield Tennis Club in Enfield, CT, to Nationals in Las Vegas, NV from October 26-28. This is the team’s first trip to Nationals.
USTA New England caught up with Jonathan ahead of his team’s first match at Nationals:
How did you end up as captain of this team?
I was a pseudo-captain the year before. I did the lineups but just wasn’t the captain in writing. Last year’s captain, Rolly Ciocca, had bee captaining for probably 30 years. He asked if I wanted to take over as captain, so I did.
How has the experience been in your first year?
It’s been great. It’s great to lead a bunch of great men playing a great sport, and just the camaraderie and teamwork has been fantastic. ADVERTISEMENT Even though it’s somewhat of an individual sport, I think at the end of the day, it’s a very team-oriented sport. It’s been a fantastic experience and we may never do this again. I don’t think we can top this.
You guys were a point away from reaching Nationals in 2017. Did you expect to get over the hump this year?
I definitely thought we had a good chance because we had everyone coming back except one guy who got bumped up. We replaced him and then added two more singles player, Mike Freedman and Eric Narotsky, and that added depth to our singles, which is key.
How do you feel about this team coming into Nationals?
We’re coming to compete hard, and I think we have a good enough team to be competitive. We’ve never been here, so we don’t know what the level of competition is, but we’re coming here to try and win. And if we don’t do that, we’re going to have a great time and really enjoy Saturday night and Sunday.
What is so special about this team that’s gotten you this far?
A lot of the guys have been on the same team, and most of the guys belong to the Field Club in Longmeadow. We play outdoors and indoors during the winter there, so we see each other a lot playing tennis. We have a lot of camaraderie, there’s always beer and a lot of chit chatting after the tennis is done. Everybody likes each other, so that’s why we can travel together. We really bond and support one another when we play together, and I think that’s key.