Play USTA League Tennis? If so, you know Mel Eckhaus (center in photo).
Even if you don’t recognize the name, you’ve surely crossed paths. Eckhaus, from the Central Pennsylvania District, has been captaining teams since 2002. In that time, he’s built an astonishing tennis resume.
-128 teams captained in adult and mixed
-levels of 3.5, 4.0, 7.0, 8.0-age groups 18+, 40+, 55+, 65+
-60 appearances at CPD Championships
In 2015, Eckhaus and his 65 and Over 7.0 team advanced to USTA National Championships and finished in third place. He continues to play and captain as much as possible, and has been called “instrumental” by league organizers in the area.
So after 128 teams captained, what does he like most about it?
“I enjoy recruiting, doing lineups, recognizing my players, and communicating with other captains,” Eckhaus said.
USTA League is important to Eckhaus, but it’s not the only part of his tennis story. He learned to play tennis as a child by hitting off a wall while his father and uncle would play at the courts at Lafayette College. He loved the game, eventually competing at a high level at Woodrow Wilson High School in Levitown, Pa.
Now in his 70s, Eckhaus has no plans of slowing down, and is sure to be a fixture in USTA tennis for years to come.
“Our District is fortunate to have long time coordinator Jay Witmer and Kristin Schlageter leading our leagues, keeping us informed and always being there to answer our questions,” he said.
Know a captain who deserves a shoutout? Let us know! Talk with your local coordinator, or email NetPLAY@ms.usta.com to submit a name for recognition.
Learn more about USTA League Tennis.