Chemistry is crucial to a team’s success in doubles tennis - its understood that communication between teammates could mean the difference between deuce and match point. Team Tennessee can speak to this as well as anyone at the Junior Team Tennis National Championships.
Winners of the 18U Southern Intermediate title, the eight-player Team Tennessee contains a few doubles teams that have a history together dating back many years.
Kevin Curtin and John Batson will likely know exactly where the other will be on the court at any given time. The two have been playing doubles together since third grade and last year they were the Tennessee doubles state runners-up while competing for Catholic High School.
The other notable doubles team for Team Tennessee is the duo of Adam Blocher and and Austin MacKay, who have been partners for the past five years in both Junior Team Tennis as well as other tournaments. The Oak Ridge High School seniors captured the state doubles title last year and went on to play in the regional championships. Unfortunately, both players will likely be playing at different colleges next year, bringing this storied partnership to an end.
"The level of teamwork among each of our players has been really great all season," said Adam Blocher. "This is something that’s allowed us to become much closer over the last several months."
Leadership is never in question for the Team Tennessee squad with each of their high school seniors, receiving a scholarship to play tennis in college next year. Austin MacKay will be joining Stephanie Ott, who was a high school state doubles semifinalist two out of the last three years, at Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, TN. Adam Blocher will play at Southern Virginia University in Buena Vista.
While the team looks to capture a Junior Team Tennis 18U Intermediate championship this weekend in Surprise, Ariz., these longtime partners understand their time spent on the court together is coming near the end.