Each year, during the second week of November, NWTO sponsors and helps plan the largest women’s tournament of the year, The USTA National Women’s Intersectional Team Championships. All USTA Sections are invited and encouraged to send teams of their best players representing their area in age categories 35, 45, 55, 65, 75, 80, and new in 2020 the 85s.
This event alternates between clay courts and hard courts, hosting over 300 women each year. Each team plays for four days with singles matches in the morning and doubles in the afternoon. The 55s and 65s play Monday-Thursday, the 75s, 80s, 85s play Tuesday-Friday and the 35s and 45s play Thursday-Sunday. In recent years, the clay court event has been held in Florida and the hard court event in Phoenix.
Matt Gleason, Executive Director of USTA Phoenix, is the current tournament director for this event. The 2019 event was held in Naples, FL. The 2020 event is scheduled for November 9-15 at the Phoenix Tennis Center. If the 2020 event should be cancelled due to Covid-19, the 2021 event would be in Phoenix.
NWTO members who are interested in playing in the Intersectional event should contact their Section Office to find out how teams are organized in their Section. Registration is done by the team captain or Section Office. Each team has between 4 and 7 players, depending on numbers of singles and doubles courts to be played in each age group.
Whether on clay or hard courts, whether 35 or 85, what is always on display at Intersectionals is competition at the highest level, team bonding between those representing their sections, and renewal of enduring friendships of players from all areas of the country.
2019 USTA National Women's Intersectionals
November 11-17. Naples, Florida
11 - 14
By Colleen Clery Ferrell, Southern California section
The 2019 USTA Intersectional Team Event moved back to a former site at the Naples Swim and Tennis Club, now the home of the ASC Sanchez-Casal Tennis Academy. Played on Har-Tru clay, the contests ended with five of Southern’s six teams winning every division except the 75s, where Southern Cal and Florida ended as Co-Champions in a match halted after singles due to steady rain. The 80s Southern team had to share the Co-Champion title with Texas as their matches also concluded early because of the weather.
Fierce competition ensued on the court and sincere friendship prevailed off the court. The NSWTA sponsored their annual reception for players on Tuesday for the 55 and older players, while also offering for the first time a gathering for the young seniors ages 35-54 on Saturday afternoon. Team bonding and friendship renewals were evident as many gathered on the patio in front of the tournament desk daily to chat and wait for their matches to be called.
Matt Gleason, Intersectional Tournament Director for the second time and also Executive Director for USTA Phoenix, organized this event along with Tournament Chairman Rogelio de Haro. On Thursday, players gathered around the pool to enjoy dinner, awards and a live band. Despite losing a large part of Friday to inclement weather conditions, another Intersectional event came to a conclusion in the spirit of great competition and enduring friendships. Next year the event moves back to Phoenix on hard courts and will be played November 9-15, 2020.