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Bluffton team headed to another USTA National Championship

October 6, 2015 11:15 AM

John Brittis and his Bluffton team recently won the 2015 USTA League Adult 55 & Over Southern Sectional Championships for the 9.0 division. Later this month, Brittis and his teammate will head to another USTA National Championship.

The Bluffton 55 and Over 9.0 team is headed to another USTA National Championship. The team, from left to right: Gavin Cox, Pat Child, Mark Sheaffer, Gunter Bergmann, John Brittis (holding the sign), Bill Hoppe, Bill Sturm, Frederick Wright and Bobby Tillison.

Brittis recently took time to answer questions about his team, what they do when they're not playing tennis and why they keep playing USTA League. Enjoy!

How long has your team been playing together?

Most of us have been playing together for over 12 years.

What do you enjoy the most about USTA leagues?

Gavin, Pat, Hoppe and Guenter are local teaching pros here with Gavin owning the Tennisclub of the Lowcountry, based out of Rose Hill. We played together every Wednesday night and have done so for 18-plus years. Come to be known as Wednesday night doubles group. We try to practice with local pros in the area, then solve the world's problems when finished. I am a practicing MD specializing in Rheumatology.

What's something about your team that separates you from others?

Our team is quite special in that we know each other very well. We practice with similar partners so that when the time comes for matches, little is left to chance. We will always make it a point to eat together when at tournaments and enjoy our company in the evening.

You're going to a USTA National Championship. Congrats! Have y'all been before? If so, how'd you do?

This will be our third trip to nationals. In 2010 we got third place. In 2013 we lost out in a tiebreaker situation to advance to the final four. The team in our bracket that went was beaten by us. They also ended up winning the national title.

What are your expectations headed into the upcoming USTA National Championship?

We are looking forward to our trip to Surprise, Arizona, this year. Even though we are on the older side of 55, we all are playing well and feel that this may be our time. If not we will try again in two years. The USTA has a rule that a team must split up for a year if they advance to nationals. That is why it's been every other year or so that we are lucky enough to make it.