Summit County local makes nattional tennis tourney | SummitDaily.com

Summit County local makes nattional tennis tourney

BRYCE EVANS
summit daily news

Normally, picking up a sport at the age of 46 isn’t exactly the best way to reaching the game’s competitive apex. Nonetheless, Summit County local Linda Hague is proving that a late start doesn’t mean a lack of success.

Along with her six teammates, Hague will head to Phoenix at the end of the month for the United States Tennis Association Super Senior National Championships.

“For me, it’s a been a lifelong dream to reach this point (in a sport),” Hague said. “I’m just thrilled to be on a team like this.”

Hague’s team, the Vail Super Seniors Tennis Team, has had a dominating season thus far. The team won the Colorado state championship in September, before traveling to Las Vegas for the Inter-Mountain District tournament. In Sin City, Hague and her teammates swept matches against teams from Montana, New Mexico, Idaho and Utah, effectively earning one of 17 spots in the USTA National Championships on April 27.

“It was very exciting,” Hague said of the overpowering performance in Las Vegas. “To beat all the teams there was just great.”

The Vail squad ” made up of four women from Vail, two from Aspen and Hague, who resides in Silverthorne ” will face teams from the New England, Pacific Northwest and Northern California districts.

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If Hague’s squad wins, it will move on to the national finals later in that week.

Hague’s success may have seemed improbable 16 years ago when she first decided to pick up a racket.

In 1993, Hague moved with her family from San Francisco to Texas, where she looked for a way to stay active with having a young child. That’s what led her to the court.

“It was just a great way to meet people and stay in shape,” Hague said. “And, it’s something that you can do for the rest of your life. My mother just recently stopped playing, and she’s in her 80s.”

A former collegiate and club lacrosse player, Hague also found a great way to rekindle her competitive spirits through her new pastime. And, after first playing, she realized that her years of ripping goals in lacrosse actually translated pretty well to tennis.

“I really noticed that the skills translated over ” the hand-eye coordination and things like that,” Hague said. “Charging the net (in tennis) is a lot like shooting on the goal (in lacrosse).”

Already having the athletic tools, Hague became more and more involved in competition. When she moved to Summit County a few years back, a fellow player informed her about the Super Senior team in Vail. She’s been playing with them ever since.

Hague said that she plans to continue playing for years to come, though her game has changed since she first began playing.

“In tennis, as you get older, you need to have more tricks up your sleeves,” she said. “You need more drop shots and spin and control the pace more. It really gets more and more cerebral.”

For now, though, Hague and her teammates are just focusing on their next matches.

“We just want to do the best that we can,” she said.