By Kevin Wittner
SURPRISE, Ariz. – Every tennis match starts with love, and that is exactly what LaRee and Gordon Hunting have. The couple from Sierra Sport and Racquet Club in Fresno, Calif., is representing the Northern California section at the 2010 USTA League Super Senior National Championships this weekend.
LaRee and Gordon, captains of their respective 8.0 women’s and men’s teams, are both veterans of USTA League National Championships. As a past national champion and a 40-year veteran of the game, Gordon is competing in his fifth national championship this year.
"I really enjoy the game’s camaraderie and the competition," Gordon says, not necessarily talking about his wife. "We’ve had the same team off and on for 17 years."
LaRee, who works in real estate and has been playing tennis for 20 years, says that she and her husband have played on teams together in the past. "We play some mixed (doubles), World TeamTennis and in the past some of the USTA in the (seniors). But now that they have (super seniors mixed doubles) we might play those too, but I’m really old," she self-deprecatingly jokes.
While both LaRee and Gordon claim the other plays more tennis, Gordon says his wife might have surpassed him as a player.
"We enjoy playing. She likes it; I like it," Gordon says. "I wish I was a little stronger because she is the better doubles player than I am at this point. She has a better return serve, and I have a better overhead.
"Most of the time I can still beat her," Gordon jokingly concedes.
If the USTA ever were to launch a family division, the Huntings might be the top-seeded team. With five children – four of whom are married – and eight grandchildren, the Huntings are never in need of a playing partner. Although with some of the recent additions to the family, Gordon jokes that some of his daughters – one of whom played at UC Irvine – have taken a temporary hiatus from the USTA circuit.
With such healthy competition running through the family, capturing a national championship would give LaRee and Gordon something extra to brag about at the next family reunion where they naturally they likely will be talking about and playing tennis.
for more news & photos from the 2010 USTA League 6.0 & 8.0 Super Senior National Championship.