Players with a range of skills and experience will reunite April 27 to compete in the USTA Eastern 4.0-3.5-3.0 Tri-Level Championships in Saratoga Springs, NY.
Last year, the Southern Region men, led by Pankaj Arora, introduced new talent and a new name – Double Disaster – to sweep through the competition and win the men’s title. At the same time, the New Jersey women from Washington Township Tennis & Fitness Club (Township of Washington, NJ) won the Championship with help at every level, of with the captain, Christina Michie, and two teammates, Sue Check and Kelly Irvine-Gray, coordinating the team and bringing the best players to each match.
Arora and Michie are once again bringing teams to the Championships. For this article, we caught up Heather Burke, who is leading a team from Rochester out of the Western region.
Why did you decide to play in USTA Adult Leagues?
I started getting back into tennis a few years ago and noticed the USTA offered some fun leagues including Women’s and Mixed Doubles. Only last year did our area start Tri-Level. It gave a chance for some 4.5s in our area to play (who don’t normally have that opportunity around here). Tri-Level is my favorite!!
How did you decide to become a team captain?
Last year I received an email about the Tri-Level opportunity. They were looking for teams so I volunteered. I have only captained tri-level teamsand this is my second year doing so.
In all of your years in the sport, what achievement are you most proud of?
I have a lot of fond college tennis memories (from back in the olden days). I’d say most recently is probably this achievement. We have a small team, made up of only 9 players, compared to what most other Tri-Level teams put together and we have done very well!!! We are a great group of players!!
Who is your favorite professional tennis player (and why)?
I honestly don’t have a favorite. I really just enjoy watching as many of the major tournaments as I can. I do prefer women’s matches over the men’s because of the longer points and cuter outfits. I love the US Open- it’s such a different energy.
What activities do you enjoy outside of tennis?
I enjoy yoga and tend to keep busy with my children- I have 4 daughters!!! So... I don’t have much free time!!