We are so proud of VTC member and former staff person, Robin Burak,
for earning a trip to Nationals. Woohoo, way to go Robin!
How did you qualify?
By playing tournaments, I was actually shocked that I qualified! I played 7-8 tournaments in 2019 and earned enough points to be invited to play in the PNW 50+ sectionals tournament in February 2020.
I won that tournament and qualified for Nationals which was supposed to be in April, but it was canceled due to Covid-19. But I was invited to Nationals this year based on my playing record in 2019.
How did you prepare?
I didn’t start playing singles seriously until I was 62. But over the years I’ve taken lessons from Sanja and Tony, and I work out regularly to stay in shape with Mera Cosgrove from Mera’s Warriors Fitness in Vancouver, WA.
What was the experience like?
It was a very fun experience! The USTA National Tennis Center in Orlando, FL is gorgeous! It has over 100 courts, indoor and outdoor. And I met the nicest people who are just like me with a passion for tennis.
I got to play on green clay for the first time and that was fun, too. Plus, three of my best friends (VTC members Debbie Christen, Miriam Kim and Sherry Bala) traveled with me to cheer me on. I met them all playing tennis over 20 years ago. My record was 1-2 and I enjoyed every match. It was fun and challenging and I wilted a bit from the heat. But it was so inspiring to participate in a sport that brings people together. I see why Billie Jean King is so passionate about making this sport an opportunity for all.
If someone is interested in playing at Nationals, what should they do?
Play tournaments! The points system has been standardized nationally so it’s easier. You earn points for signing up, playing in consolation rounds and for placing. Based on your points you’ll receive a ranking in our section (Pacific Northwest) and it might earn you a spot in the sectionals tournament. Placing there could earn you a trip to Nationals.
Would you do it again?