By J. Fred Sidhu
Indian Wells, Calif. – In the competitive USTA Northern California Section, teams from larger tennis clubs win the majority of Sectional Championships and advance to the USTA Nationals.
However this year, a Northern California men’s 3.5 senior team from a small club in Portola Valley pulled off a rarity and made it through the 2010 USTA League 3.5 Senior National Championships at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Playing at the Alpine Hills Tennis & Swimming Club, which was established in 1958 in San Mateo County, the team became the first men’s team at the club to advance to a USTA National.
Team captain Raman Khanna, a club member for 10 years, says playing on the team has been all about having fun. "A bunch of them (players) have been playing together for 20 years or so," Khanna said. They just have a lot of fun."
According to Khanna, who is playing USTA Senior tennis for the first time, the teams success was not expected. "I don’t think going to playoffs, sectionals or nationals are part of the agenda," he said. "The idea is just to play well."
Two factors contributing to the Northern California Section men’s 3.5 seniors, success are team chemistry and a great attitude.
"It’s the chemistry between players," Khanna said. "It is a tremendous chemistry and I think a great attitude. Nobody worries too much about winning or losing, just play your best."