Our National Team Championships - 2017

Your source for all information related to the annual National Team Championships held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

September 15-17

On September 15-17, 2017, the National Team Championships and the 40+ National Doubles Championships will be taking place at the Darling Tennis Center in Las Vegas for the Open Men, Open Women, 5.5 Men. Over 400 players on 40 teams from around the country will be participating.  For all the registration details, email Sue Johnson at sjohnson@swbell.net




Our National Team Championships - 2016 - Recap

2016 Nationals
By Paul Wachter
 
It was another successful fall weekend in Las Vegas featuring captivating, heart-wrenching tennis at the USTA's 5.5 and Open National Championships, the best non-professional team event in the country. The 2016 tournament at the Darling Tennis Center was the XXth year of the event, which benefits the American Cancer Society, and is the brainchild of Rob Kinas, a Las Vegas-based attorney who beat mantle cell lymphoma.
 
Perhaps the weekend's biggest story at the Darling Tennis Center was the undoing of the New York Athletic Club, a perennial men's open powerhouse, which won five of the six previous titles and typically features current and recently-retired professionals. Facing a strong Texas team, Texas Hayes, NYAC prevailed in the singles match but lost both doubles. The last match on court, a doubles match featuring a current professional and three ex-pros, was decided in a dramatic tiebreaker that saw both teams fail to convert match points. But ultimately, the Texas team featuring Travis Helgeson, a former top 500 player, and Pete Stroer, a former Futures tour player, prevailed.
 
Waiting for Texas Hayes in the final was NorCal Tong, a team composed of members of the California Tennis Club. California's Andre Dome, who was ranked as high 426 in the world in 2015, claimed a close win against Texas's John Weigand. Texas's Alberto Francis, a former top-300 player, and Joe Morris, a former University of Texas standout, took the second doubles, tying the match. But on this day Helgeson and Stroer couldn't repeat their heroics, and it was the California team of Tyler Browne, a former University of California-Berkeley captain, and Nicholas Brunell, who played for Cornell, that clinched the championship with a straight-set doubles win.
 
"Only a few pointes separated us, and we were fortunate to win the critical points," said NorCal captain Ron Tong.
 
In the women's open, both Southern Zawacki and NorCal Lao (like the men's champions based at San Francisco's California Tennis Club) emerged undefeated after group play. Southern's Ewa Radzikowska, a former Polish professional who played collegiately at Oklahoma State, posted a 6-3, 6-1 win over NorCal's Marisue Jacutin-Mariona, once the Philippines' top-ranked women's player who now lives in Los Altos, California. NorCal struck back in No. 1 doubles, with Francesca La'O (an ex-Filipino pro) and Lauren Barnikow (former pro and Stanford graduate) claiming a straight-set victory over Tammy Zawacki (who played at Seton Hall) and Nanely DeMartini (a Peruvian ex-pro). Southern's No. 2 doubles team, a sisters' combination, captured the deciding final doubles point. Katrina Gildermeister-Barnes and Marissa Gildermeister-Chapin (who both played for North Carolina State) defeated NorCal's Alison Jane Rauh (who played at Davidson) and Carmen Pop (a William and Mary alumna) 6-0,6-4.
 
"We felt it was a great accomplishment," Katrina Gildermeister-Barnes told a Georgia newspaper after the win. "Especially since the other players were younger and some were rated higher than we were."
 
The men's open over-40 final saw Southern South Carolina take on Southern Gamble in the final. The format for this tier is 3 doubles matches, and South Carolina's imposing No. 1 double tandem of Martin Zumpft (a former top 300 professional born in Germany) and Phil Whitesell (a University of Southern California graduate and also a champion beach tennis player) took a 6-2, 6-2 win over Gamble's Michael E. Weidl (who played at University of North Carolina-Greensboro) and Marius Andersen, a Swedish native who attended Pacific Lutheran. Southern South Carolina won another straight-set victory at No. 2 doubles, sealing the championship. Charly Rasheed (who played at Mississippi State) and Ramon Bernal (an ex-pro who grew up in the Dominican Republic) took down Gamble's Johan Gedlitschka and Morgan Shepherd (who both played at Boise State). Gamble prevented a shut out by taking the No. 3 doubles as Toby Curtis (a British native who played at the University of Utah) and Thomas Mozur (University of Tennessee) beat South Carolina's Brian Burke (South Carolina State) and Chris Waters (University of South Carolina).
 
In the 5.5 men's event (which your humble chronicler played), hometown Intermo Alenik met SoCal Tong-Ortiz (yet another California Tennis Club-based team) in the finals after both teams claimed 3-0 semifinal wins. Patrick Brian Kawka (a recent Brigham Young University grad) got Alenik off to a good start in singles with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Ray Wu (Cornell). But SoCal Tong-Ortiz evened the match with a win at No. 1 doubles. Jason Pickett (San Francisco State) and Max Ortiz (UC-Santa Cruz) prevailed 6-3, 6-4 over Alenik's Trento Alenik (Villanova) and Frideric Prandecki (North Carolina State). The deciding No. 2 doubles was a nail-biter. Alenik's 18-year-old Vance twins, Jack and Jamie, needed a super tiebreak to defeat Daniel McCall (fresh off playing for Duke) and Fernando Rodriguez (University of San Francisco).
 
See you next year!


 2016 Nationals - Pics of the Winners










2016 Nationals - September 30 - October 2

  • On September 30 - October 2, 2016, the National Team Championships and the 40+ National Doubles Championships will be taking place at the Darling Tennis Center in Las Vegas for the Open Men, Open Women, 5.5 Men. Over 400 players on 40 teams from around the country will be participating.
 

Our National Team Championships - 2015

2015 Recap - by Paul Watcher

Skilled tennis players from throughout the country convened in Las Vegas on the last weekend of September 2015 to compete at the highest levels of amateur league competition and to benefit the American Cancer Society. The event, spearheaded by Las Vegas attorney and mantle cell lymphoma survivor Rob Kinas, is now in its XXthyear, and features many current and former professionals. The 2015 event saw several categories of play: men's Open, women's Open, men's 5.5, women's Over 40 and men's Over 40.

In the Open men's level, the New York Athletic Club (NYAC) team breezed to the championship, surrendering only a single doubles match throughout the tournament.

The team, captained by Jeffrey Appel, was comprised of several professionals, including California-based Jason Jung, who was ranked 194 in the world in singles shortly before arriving in Las Vegas. NYAC won 3-0 in the finals over another New York-based team captained by Harry Walsh.

NYAC's lone loss came in the semifinals, against San Francisco-based Olympic Club, when Olympic's brother combo, Nate and Scott Schugg, defeated Daniel Cochrane and Adam El-Mihdawy in doubles. Appel's NYAC team has won five of the six past Open-level national championships.

"It feels great to be a part of this accomplishment," Appel said. "It's important to prove that strong tennis does exist in New York, and I enjoy keeping those thoughts alive."

In the Open's women division, which exclusively featured round robin play, it was the Illinois-based team captained by Brown University player Julie Flanzer, which emerged with the best record. Midwest Flanzer edged out NorCal Sweeney in game scores, as both teams finished with a 3-1 record.

In the men's 5.5 championship, Las Vegas-based Intermountain Alenik won 2-1 over Midwest Moorin. Ismail Lemtouni, a St. Leo University Graduate, prevailed in No. 1 singles, while Clayton Alenik and Lew DeLeon took the No. 2 doubles for the winning side. For the finalists, Midwest Moorin, the No. 1 doubles team of Ricky Heath and John Stone edged out a win in a super tiebreak.

Southern-Cal MacGregor won the Over-40 women's Open division, taking all four of their round-robin matches. The team was captained by Cammy MacGregor, who was once ranked as high as No. 75 in the world in singles and No. 38 in doubles. Another Southern California team, SoCal-O'Connor, finished second.

In the Over-40 men's Open division, whose format featured three doubles matches and no singles, Middle States Marshall won the Championship match against Southern Gamble. Among the victors was David McPherson, who coaches the Bryan brothers, and Ellis Ferreira, who won the 2000 Australian Open doubles title and the 2001 Australian Open mixed doubles championship.

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Our National Team Championships - 2014

IMG_5900 IMG_5894 IMG_5891 IMG_5881     IMG_5872    Champs!men champs!   Your source for all information related to the annual National Team Championships held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

2014 Nationals - September 26-28

  • On September 26-28, the National Team Championships and the 40+ National Doubles Championships will be taking place at the Darling Tennis Center in Las Vegas for the Open Men, Open Women, 5.5 Men. Over 400 players on 40 teams from around the country will be participating. The players party will be on Friday, September 26 th .  The teams are able to expand their rosters to a maximum of 10 players through September 10 th . If you are interested in joining a roster, contact our tournament director, Sue Johnson at sjohnson@swbell.net

2013 Nationals - September 27-29

On September 27-29, the National Team Championships will be taking place at the Darling Tennis Center in Las Vegas for the Open Men, Open Women, 5.5 Men and Over 40 Doubles.  Over 400 players on 40 teams from around the country will be participating.  The players party will be on Friday, September 27 th  .  This year's theme is country line-dancing so polish your cowboy boots.  The teams are able to expand their rosters to a maximum of 10 players through September 10 th .  If you are interested in joining a roster, contact our tournament director, Sue Johnson at  sjohnson@swbell.net