Don Hutchison is no stranger to USTA League National Championships. Before the 2014 season, he had been to Nationals 11 times on teams that have finished in fifth place, third place and second place.
The 12th time was the charm.
When Hutchison’s 40 and Over 4.5 men’s team from Reading, Pa. won the National Championship in Indian Wells, Calif., it was more than just a relief.
“I’ve been working at this for a while,” Hutchison said. “It’s nice to finally be number one. It’s off my bucket list now.”
The squad, which plays in the Eastern Pa. District, had a relatively smooth ride to Indian Wells. From the very beginning of the season, Hutchison knew he had very strong doubles pairings, and an exceptional singles player.
After cruising through the District and Section Championships, the team was on its way to National Championships.
“When we found out we were going to Nationals we set three goals for the team,” Hutchison said. “Everyone is going to have a good time. Everyone will play. And we’ll try to win.”
When they arrived in Indian Wells, Hutchinson and the team found themselves in a tough group with a very strong Texas squad.
“That was our toughest match,” Hutchison said. “They nearly beat us, but we pulled through.”
Hutchison acknowledges his doubles teams, which only lost a combined three matches through Sectionals and Nationals, as one of the major contributors to the national title.
The National Championship comes at a perfect time for Hutchison’s team, which will be dispatched at the end of the season due to a handful of players moving up in NTRP rating.
For Hutchison, who has been playing USTA League Tennis since the 1980s, it was nice to finally win that National title, but it’s a love of tennis that keeps him on the court.
“I just love tennis,” Hutchison said. “I’ve met some really cool guys from all over the Section that have become good friends through tennis. That’s my favorite part of the sport.”
Learn more about USTA League Tennis by clicking here.