By Matt Birch
Tucson, Ariz. - When his team from Northern Virginia captured the Mid-Atlantic sectional title in August, Florian Hafner knew that his trip to the National Championships would be special.
Hafner is competing with his team this weekend at the 2010 USTA League 3.5 Adult National Championships at the Jim Reffkin Tennis Center.
Joining him on this trip to Tucson is his girlfriend Dana Panger.
On Friday night, after the first day of competition, Florian and Dana did not join the rest of the Mid-Atlantic team for dinner, and went out on their own. Instead they went to a spa, got massages and had a nice dinner.
Once they got back to their hotel, Florian decided to propose for marriage while they were enjoying the sunset and the stars, and Dana said yes.
"Nationals doesn’t come around all the time," Florian said. "I figured it was a good idea to make this very special."
Dana and Florian have been dating for about eight months after meeting online. The couple enjoys hiking and riding mechanical bulls together.
Florian also hopes to get Dana into playing tennis, and plans to buy her tennis lessons for her birthday. For now he is happy that she is supporting him at his teams’ tournaments.
Dana felt that she knew that Florian was "the one" for her, after they took a kayaking trip to Canada in July. Riding kayaks is one of Dana’s hobbies and Florian had never been in a kayak before. Once Florian was in a kayak with her, Dana knew that he was the right person.
Florian is also very close with his tennis team. His teammates are not upset with him for missing the team dinner, and many of them are already giving him advice about to what to expect from married life.
The captain of the Mid-Atlantic team, Ed Tiong is very happy for Florian and Dana and said that his "team is their own family."
Dana said that she was not expecting Florian to propose to her during this trip.
"I was surprised," she said. "I had no idea about this, and I am very happy and excited."
Florian and Dana are already planning another trip together to Germany later this year, which will now be to celebrate their engagement.