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Men's Intersectionals Come Up Strong But Second

November 6, 2013 05:16 PM

Players are from left to right: Drew Meyers, Les Buck, Hugh Thomson, Wes Cash, Phil Trahan, Tom Smith, Steve Duffel, Horace Reid, Rob Castorri, Oliver Scott, Mark Thompson, Al Yearwood, Marty Pearson, Dennis Engelbrecht.

By Steve Duffel, captain

National finalist doesn’t sound as good as national champion, but unfortunately that was the case last weekend in Arlington, Texas.  Being the national champion 12 out of the last 15 years is what I’ll have to hang my hat on and let Drew Meyers take on the future with hopefully as much or more success.

The USTA National Men’s Intersectionals (Keith Donoff Challenge Cup) format is played in three age groups (55, 60, 65) with three singles and two doubles matches in each age group for a total of 15 team points. 

The singles are best two out three sets. The doubles is two sets and a 10-point match tiebreak for the third set if necessary. 

We were tied with Texas going into the final round.  We played the doubles on Saturday night (total of six possible points). Four out of the six doubles matches were decided in third-set 10-point breakers. We lost all four of the breakers-plus one other.

So, Sunday morning we have the herculean task of having to win seven out of nine singles matches to retain the cup on Texas’ home turf (hard courts). This was one of the most competitive finals we have ever played. Unfortunately, we only won six out of nine singles and Texas retained the cup. 

The final team points being Texas 8, Southern 7.  In the singles matches seven out of the nine matches split sets and were determined in the final set ... so 11 out 15 matches played were determined in the final set. That’s called stressful for the captain.

This was a great team which showed a terrific competitive spirit, sportsmanship and camaraderie. 

Next year USTA Middle States will host this event at the Wilmington Country Club, Wilmington, Del., September 11-14, 2014   The Men’s 60 and 65 will be played on clay and the Men’s 55 will be played on grass.  The National Men’s 55 Grass Courts at Forest Hills, N.Y. starts on September 15.  This will allow the players to get practice on the grass a couple days before Forest Hills starts on the Monday after this event.

This year’s team was comprised of: Men’s 55: Wes Cash, Rob Castorri, Drew Meyers, Horace Reid, Mark Thompson  Men’s 60:  Dennis Engelbrecht, Marty Pearson, Oliver Scott, Tom Smith, Phil Trahan  Men’s 65:  Les Buck, Steve Duffel, Hugh Thomson, Al Yearwood.




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