New England

New Hampshire’s Luneau Earns National Gold

James Maimonis, Manager, Media & Communications | April 13, 2021


SURPRISE, AZ - New Hampshire’s Juana Luneau is a National Champion! The New Boston resident, who has only been playing tennis since 2015, captured the Women’s 18 & Over 4.0 title in dominant fashion at the NTRP National Championships in Surprise, AZ.  


The three-day event that concluded on Sunday, April 11, featured adult tournament players from each USTA Section who finished the 2019 and 2020 seasons (due to the 2020 championships being canceled) atop their respective NTRP standings list (3.0-5-0).


Luneau was one of seven New Englanders who competed in either the 50 & Over event in Orlando or the 18 & Over event in Surprise. 


“I was so happy and proud to be out there on the national stage representing New England. This is where I fell in love with tennis, and I hope to get the opportunity to do it again soon,” Luneau said. 


In 2018, in just her third year playing tennis, Luneau reached the 3.5 singles finals but fell short. She played both singles and doubles in the same weekend and, while mentally there, her physical fatigue eventually got the best of her. 


2021 had a different script however. Three years in the making and her final chance to prove herself in the 4.0 division before moving up to 4.5, it was now or never for Luneau. With doubles being played the following weekend, she could focus her complete attention on singles.   


“I don’t usually get nervous, but I did this time. This was my last opportunity in 4.0 and I wanted to make sure I was on my game. If you lose, you’re out, so I knew I had to keep winning,” Luneau said. 


That’s exactly what she did, winning 4-2, 4-1; 4-1, 4-0; and 4-0, 4-0 in her three flight matches to advance to the gold bracket playoffs. 


And from there, she turned the autopilot on. She dropped just three games in six playoff sets, including a 4-0, 4-0 drubbing in the semifinals, to cruise to her first ever national championship. 

“It was so exciting because I wanted this really badly. I put a lot more pressure on myself this time around,” she said. 


While Luneau made her path to victory appear easy, it was anything but. She braved the extreme climate change and unfamiliar elements (heat, wind and sun), had little time off between matches (semis and finals were played at 10 am and 1:30 pm on Sunday) and traveled to Arizona alone. 


Adapting flawlessly to the climate and timing factors thrown her way, she found an unexpected source of companionship to help push her through the championship grind.  


“Two years ago at nationals (Luneau only played doubles), I met a girl from California named Risa Chung.

She and I are both part Japanese, and we became friends and kept in touch from there,” Luneau said. “I went by myself this year, and when I discovered she and her husband were also making the trip, I contacted her, and we were by each other’s side all weekend long. Their presence made a huge difference for me.” 


It was the combination of Luneau’s uniquely dominant game and never-say-die attitude that ultimately propelled her ahead of the rest of the field. 


“I don’t think I have a great game or great strokes, so I have to be really consistent and smart on the court. I have to hit a variety of shots and always try to know and exploit my opponents’ weaknesses,” Luneau said, “I never give up and always hit the ball back. People sometimes get frustrated by that, and I kind of like it. The more you get frustrated, the easier it is for me out there.” 


Luneau will be back in action in Surprise for the NTRP Doubles Championships from April 16-18. 


New England men, Ahmed Faisel and Alastair Chapman, also competed in Surprise. Faisel, from Chicopee, MA, finished 2-1 in his 3.0 flight while Chapman, of Newton, MA, went 1-2 in his 5.0 flight. 


Four New Englanders also competed in the 50 & Over championship in Orlando. Sallie LaChance, of Worcester, MA, headlined the group, going 3-0 in her women’s 3.0 flight. LaChance reached the semifinals, where she eventually fell to Carolyn Moore, of Florida. Carla Breton, of Stratham, NH, finished 2-1 in her women’s 4.0 flight. 


On the men’s side, Edward Mathias (Avon, CT) finished 2-1 in his 4.5 flight while David Feldman (Brookline, MA) went 2-1 on the 3.5 side. 


To see complete results from the NTRP Championships click below: 

18 & Over results

50 & Over results


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