National Champions 8.0 Berkeley Tennis Club, L to R: James Olson, Peter O'Brien, Richard Green, Michael Mueller, Harrison Fraker, William Wagley, Steve Langmaid, Wynn Tamura (Captain).
Berkeley Tennis Club Men Crowned National Champions at USTA League 8.0 Super Senior National Championships
SURPRISE, ARIZ., April 22, 2012 – The men’s team from the Berkeley Tennis Club, representing the USTA Northern California Section, captured the national title at the USTA League 8.0 Super Senior National Championships held at the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex in Surprise, Arizona.
The Berkeley Tennis Club team defeated a team from Overland Park, Kan., 2-1 in the Championship match. Earlier in the day, the Berkeley team defeated a team from Fountain Valley, Calif., 2-1 in the semifinals. They advanced this far by winning their round-robin flight on Friday and Saturday.
The team is captained by Wynn Tamura and features James Olson, Peter O'Brien, Richard Green, Michael Mueller, Harrison Fraker, William Wagley and Steve Langmaid and plays at the Berkeley Tennis Club. Five teammates were also members of the 2011 USTA League National Senior 4.0 Championship team from Berkeley Tennis Club, Wynn Tamura, Bill Wagley, Steve Langmaid, Jim Olson, and Rich Green.
The journey started the year before, when the BTC team missed the Nationals by a 10 point tie breaker. Captain Wynn Tamura said, "When the season started I asked the team to commit to the challenge of completing our unfinished business and win the Nationals. The team responded magnificently by practicing constantly and diligently for over four months with the focus of 'going all the way' - and everyone's games improved."
He added, "In the last month we practiced many, many 10 point tiebreakers - the result being a record of six out of seven wins in tie breakers. Another big factor that helped us was having several members if the 2011 senior national team playing on this team. The conditions at Indian Wells were very similar to what we experienced in Surprise Az. - very high temperatures in the 100's and intense competition. Finally, we had a very close group of guys that were totally committed to each other and the team's success above all."
Co-captain, Rich Green said, "Right from the start, Wynn (team captain) set the goal of getting to the Nationals and winning because he saw the potential in our players to do something very special this season. He aimed high, and everyone on our team responded and worked very hard to improve our level of play. Wynn planned clinics and focussed practices, and we even met on a rainy day for a chalk talk on doubles principles and strategies. We also worked on conditioning which paid dividends in the intense heat we experienced in Arizona, as our players held up very well in extreme conditions."
Green added, "I'll never forget the exhilaration I felt when our team closed out the two 10 point tie-breakers that won the title. USTA conducted a very nice award ceremony, and each player received a beautiful crystal trophy and the team received the first place banner. It was a very proud moment for all of us!"
The top four teams in order of finish are: Northern California Section, Missouri Valley Section, Hawaii Section and Southern California Section.
This year’s USTA League 8.0 Super Senior National Championship has drawn the top 32 teams (16 men’s and 16 women’s) from throughout the nation.
USTA League celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2005. Since its inception in 1980, USTA League has grown from 13,000 participants in its first year, to over 750,000 players across the nation today, making it the world’s largest recreational tennis league.