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Greenville Team Looking Forward to Sectional Championships

March 18, 2015 11:49 AM

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Rhonda Jackson and Greenville teammates could compete against players half their ages this weekend during a U.S. Tennis Association regional championship. But that doesn’t bother Jackson’s team of ladies in their mid-30s to late-40s; they’ve been routinely beating younger opponents since they started playing together two years ago.

Jackson and her team won were USTA South Carolina state league champions in October. (USTA SC photo.)

Last October, they won the USTA South Carolina State League Championship in the 18 and Over 6.5 division. This weekend, they’re scheduled to compete against some of the best teams in their age group and division at the USTA Combo Doubles Southern Sectional Championships in Mobile, Alabama.

Before the team left for the weekend, Jackson talked about how she started playing tennis, how her team consistently beats younger opponents, and what she loves about USTA leagues.

Tennis Origins

She started playing tennis at the Greenville Country Club about five years ago. A friend of hers wanted her to be on a USTA League team out of the club. They were all beginner players.

On Beating Younger Opponents

When facing younger opponents, Jackson said, tennis becomes more about placement than power. “You’ve just got to play smarter because they have youth on their side,” she said. “When you’re younger, you have more energy, you can get to everything.”

She and her doubles partner also try to determine the weaker player when they’re playing doubles. Sometimes a player might be not as consistent or as agile as her partner.

“You do what you can to survive. There’s so much strategy involved,” she said. “You’ve got to figure out if one thing isn’t working, what works.”

On USTA League tennis

Jackson called USTA leagues “addictive.”

“I had never really played tennis in my life and I just love it,” she said. “It’s just so much fun.”

She especially enjoys the relationships she has with her tennis teammates and, of course, when she hits a good shot. “It’s just awesome when you go for a shot and it actually works out,” she said.