Nguyen and Bracken Named May Captains of the Month
WESTBOROUGH, MA – Congratulations to Huong Nguyen and Doug Bracken on winning USTA New England’s May League Captains of the Month.
Huong Nguyen lives in Stoneham, MA and has captained and co-captained a variation of her 9.0 Mixed 18 & Over and 40 & Over team out of Woburn Racquet Club since 2017. In 2018, she was diagnosed with clear cell ovarian cancer, an extremely rare form of ovarian cancer. Despite her diagnosis, she continued to play the sport she loved, battling every day both on and off the court and scheduling matches to fit in her chemo schedule. She and partner PJ Williams competed all season long and won all but one of their matches.
Huong has been passionate about tennis her entire life, playing both in high school and college and teaching juniors at Woburn Racquet Club.
More recently, as her cancer has progressed, Huong has continued to serve as team co-captain, in a more behind-the-scenes role. She is still very involved with the team, working on appeals, organizing practices, reserving courts and recruiting players.
“I love tennis. It’s not always about the winning for me, but about the friendships, camaraderie, and self-improvement,” Huong said. “If I weren’t fighting cancer, I’d be playing as much as I could and trying to improve my tennis. Being on the court is my happy place. I want to continue to build something beyond me.”
“Prior to her diagnosis, she would be living and breathing on the courts. Her passion for tennis is unmatched by anyone I know, and her selflessness is something to be acknowledged,” said teammate Larry Tran. “I've come across passionate captains on other teams before, but Huong is on a whole other level compared to them.”
Doug Bracken lives in Farmington, CT and has captained his Men’s 18 & Over 4.5 team out of Big Sky Fitness- Farmington since 2018. An avid player since his days in New England junior tennis, Doug is now part of a perennial contender in both Connecticut and New England.
His squad has reached Sectionals for around nine consecutive years, including the past five that he’s been at the helm.
- Huong Nguyen is pictured in the front row, third from the left, with her team.
- Doug Bracken is pictured in the back row, second from the left, with his team.
- Doug (right) strategizes with his doubles partner in between points.
“Captaining is more a sense of responsibility for me to keep the streak alive at this point,” he joked. “I feel motivated to keep this team going and continue the success.”
The team finished second at both the 2019 and 2021 New England Sectionals (2020 Sectionals was canceled due to covid).
Through it all, Doug has been consistent as a captain and has worked to create a fun, fair and successful team culture.
“I try to stay positive and put everybody in great situations to succeed. I like to be open and honest with people off the court and try to build a genuine sense of a team,” he said. “With tennis being a singles or doubles sport, creating that atmosphere is what makes this fun, so you’re not just invested in yourself, but how your teammates are doing.”
“Doug is hands down the best captain I’ve ever played for. He’s well organized and takes the position of captain very seriously,” said teammate Craig Phillips. “Not only is he a great tennis player and captain, but his post-match commentary is second to none. Doug really cares about our team and deserves to be recognized for his efforts.”
Congratulations, Huong and Doug!