By Brian Bateman
Ten years ago, Linda Leftin had no idea she’d be competing for a national championship.
But now that time has come.
Leftin, the sole Jewish player on a USTA Dallas tennis squad, will begin her quest for a team national title at 7:30 a.m. PDT Friday against Northern California in Rancho Mirage, Calif. The team, which consists of mainly 40-50-year-old women, will compete in the 18-and-over division.
The final match is Sunday.
Leftin played tennis as a child growing up in Johannesburg, South Africa, but didn’t return to the sport until a few years ago.
“I just decided to join. It’s a chance to play with a lot of ladies on a daily basis,” she said. “As a kid, I was a very avid tennis player. It’s a big sport played (in South Africa). Growing up, my biggest dream was to go to Wimbledon and play tennis.”
Leftin will compete in the 4.0 level on a 5-point scale, but has qualified for 4.5 in the next tournament. Her home court is the Aaron Family JCC.
Dallas Metro Tennis and the Texas Tennis Association are sponsors of her 15-person team.
Team tennis follows the seven-point college format: The winners of six singles matches are awarded a point each. The tiebreaker comes in doubles: Three matches, and whichever side wins two or three claims the point.
Leftin will play singles.
“I want to win nationals,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to play with ladies around the nation.”