Over one thousand women competed from New York to Connecticut in the newly founded interclub NYCT Ladies Fall Tennis League, which runs annually from September to October. “Simply amazing… Last year we had 430 members and now we more than doubled that number! The weather is still warm enough to play after the summer season ends, so I created this league for the ladies to play more games and enjoy more fun, competitive tennis,” said Juan Arraya, founder of the league.
On Friday, October 13, Divisions 3 & 4 competed at the Greenwich Country Club, while Divisions 1 & 2 competed at the Field Club of Greenwich on Monday, October 16th. The winners received a team trophy and a COURTGIRL Babolat Club Tote. One player remarked, “We are so grateful to Juan, who did such an amazing job of organizing and bringing all the teams together. He deserves a trophy!”
We asked Pro Juan Arraya about his background, the league and how it all got started…
“I am originally from Argentina, but have been in the U.S. for 15 years. I worked at Greenwich Country Club (GCC) from 2004-2007 as a Tennis Professional, then I become the Director of Racquet Sports at Aspetuck Valley Country Club. In 2013 I became the Director at the Westchester Country Club, and in 2015 I came to Greenwich Country Club…where everything started for me! So, I am thrilled to be back.
I love paddle, I am currently ranked #2 in the country with my partner, Jeff Morneau and I love running, playing USTA Tennis and watching my kids play sports.
Why did you decide to start the NYCT Ladies Fall League?
I had this idea for many years now, but the smaller facilities at the other clubs were I was pro at the time, posed some challenges and I couldn’t get enough committed players to make it happen. When I came to GCC, given the size of the program, it was a no-brainer for me, and I shared my thoughts with other pros that also liked the idea.
Are you doing this on your own?
Yes, however, I will need some help next year. The league has grown a lot and it is almost impossible for me to do this without losing my mind.
How many members did you start with and how many do you have now?
Last year was the first year, and I had 14 clubs, 35 teams and approximately 440 players from New York to Fairfield participating. This year, the word spread and more clubs joined. We are up to 28 clubs, 66 teams and over 1000 women playing. It is amazing.
What do you see as the future of the league?
We have room for 6 more teams next year (3 in Division 2 and 3 in Division 4), and the next step would be to add a 4th line to all the teams (Currently we are playing 3 lines). If it keeps growing we will have to add another playing day, but I think we are a long way from that. Just happy to see how this took over and going one step at the time.
What has been the best outcome out of launching this league?
They were many great outcomes from this… From the member point of view, it helped the ladies continue playing during the fall season which was almost dead at most country clubs. From the pro point of view, it helped create more clinics and lessons and the pros are busier now than three years ago.
Playing in October was cooler, but it was great to see all the women from other clubs we may not have played with during the summer league.” said Laura Martinsen, Easton Racquet Club Team.
“This league was much more relaxed. Although we always play to win there wasn’t as much pressure as the summer, which helped my mental game… and made it more enjoyable!“
Congrats to all the winners! And, kudos to Division 2 from Innis Arden, who won by default.
For more images of the players in action and some of the ‘Court’ Street Style, see our Instagram feed @cg_courtgirl or follow us on FaceBook.
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If you have interest in joining the league and you’re a pro or team captain you can email Juan at firstname.lastname@example.org